How to Do a Studio-Style SPIDERBANDS Workout at Home

The SPIDERBANDS Experience

Franci Cohen

Spiderbands is a boutique fitness experience taking New York City by storm. Created by Franci Cohen, a certified trainer and nutritionist, each of the Spiderband programs combine the use of gravity and aerial techniques with bodyweight exercises to create a total-body cardio resistance workout.

The Spinderbands system is unique, so to truly get a feel for the program, you do need to visit a studio to experience the burn. Each workout incorporates the use of the Spiderbands overhead apparatus, then combines it with other modalities, such as rebounders, indoor cycles and heavy bags.

If you're having a hard time imagining what a Spiderband is like, think of it as an apparatus that combines the benefits of a suspension trainer and resistance band. In other words, it's hung from a ceiling rigging point (the plum line), much like a suspension trainer, but the bands themselves offer stretch resistance, much like an elastic fitness band (only stronger).

Each Spiderband can be used individually or as a pair, where students can use the handles to perform push-pull exercises, or hook their feet in the handles to perform plank-style moves. There's also a special bar that can be hooked to two handles, enabling users to perform barre exercises or other push-pull movements.

While it's almost impossible to experience a true Spiderband workout at home, there are ways to mimic the experience using exercise bands and a partner or a high rigging point. Cohen designed the following four exercises to be performed at home, and I put together corresponding images to demonstrate the moves. While I did perform these exercises at a gym, using a pullup bar as a rigging point, you can do the same thing at home with the help of a friend or a strong ceiling hook or bar.

Floating Planks

Floating Planks
Laura Williams

  1. Grab two exercise bands with handles.
  2. Hook one end of each band securely through a high rigging point, such as a secure pullup bar or ceiling hook, or ask a friend or partner to stand on a chair adjacent to your feet and hold one end of each band straight up until there is some tension on the bands.
  3. Hook your feet up by sliding your right foot into the handle of one band and your left foot into the handle of another band.
  4. Come into plank position on the floor.
  5. Once you have established your plank, use your abs (you don't need your knees to push off the ground) to thrust your legs in the air. The resistance of the bands will assist you in leveraging your body weight and keeping it suspended for a moment or two, in order to deeply activate your core.

  6. Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps, with a 20-30 second rest on your knees between sets.

While this version isn't exactly the same as using a true Spiderbands apparatus, you will still get some levitation with the exercise bands, enabling you to work deeper into your core muscles than you would holding a regular plank.

Kneeling Spider Swim

Kneeling Spider Swims
Laura Williams

  1. Using two exercise bands with handles, hook one end of each band to a high rigging point.
  2. Place one hand in each handle and kneel down onto your knees.
  3. Walk forward so you're situated approximately one to two feet in front of your plum line (rigging point).
  4. With the Spiderbands, reach your arms out in front of you to straighten them. Your arms should be slightly below shoulder height.
  5. Keeping arms straight and resistance engaged, open arms wide. 
  6. In a controlled fashion, slowly pull both elbows out to the side and back, so that you squeeze your shoulder blades toward the center of your spine. You're basically mimicking a swimmer's breaststroke with the added resistance of the bands, and the needed core engagement to perform the move with the proper speed and control.
  7. Perform 3 sets of 32-40 reps

Spider Lunge N' Lift

Spider Lunge and Lift
Laura Williams

  1. Hook two exercise bands to a secure ceiling rigging point.
  2. Stand with feet hip width apart, one handle in each hand.
  3. Lunge straight back behind you with your right leg as far as you can, so that your chest touches the top of your left thigh.
  4. At the same time reach your right hand and spiderband down to touch the floor.
  5. Jump up, bringing your right leg back up to starting position.
  6. Repeat on the left leg and arm.
  7. Perform 2 or 3 sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each leg.

Note: The jump is important! Make sure you're hopping back to the starting position, a step I couldn't adequately show in pictures.

Twisted Spinal Extensions

Twisted Spinal Extensions
Laura Williams

  1. Hook two exercise bands to a secure ceiling rigging point.
  2. Sit about one foot behind your plum line (rigging point), and hold one handle handle in each hand.
  3. Lean back, extending your spine until you feel your abdominals engage.
  4. Rotating your torso throughout the movement, begin to pull your arms (and spiderbands) in and behind you, so that the elbows touch the floor one at a time in a rhythmic fashion.

Continue Reading