Working out with resistance bands has a few advantages. First off, you can get an excellent workout without having to use expensive, bulky equipment that one uses at the gym during most strength training routines. If you choose to work out at home, resistance bands are a great way to maximize your options for working out at home without weights.
Resistance bands are highly portable, so if you need a workout that you can take with you on vacation or on business trips, resistance bands are a great solution. Simply pack your bands and a folder with your favorite exercises, and you're ready to go.
Working Out with Resistance Bands: Upper Body
Resistance bands are highly effective in developing and maintaining upper body strength. These upper body exercises should be repeated about 15 times each for beginners; intermediate and advanced exercisers can increase the amount to doing two to four sets of about 15 repetitions. Perform the following exercises three to four times a week on alternate days for optimal results.
Loop the resistance band around a stable object and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand. Sit or stand a reasonable distance from the object the band is looped around. Keeping your shoulders straight, bring the band backwards in a rowing-like movement. Keep your arms parallel to the ground to work out your shoulders and upper back.
Stand with the resistance band underneath your feet and bend over at the waist, keeping your back straight. Hold the resistance band somewhere near your calf (holding the ends will not produce any resistance at this length) and pull your arms upward until your upper arm is parallel with your back and your lower arm is perpendicular to your back. If it's too difficult, grab the band higher up; if it's too easy, grab the band lower down.
Standing Tricep Extension
Hold one arm, with elbow bent over your head with the resistance band in that hand hanging toward the floor behind you. Take your free hand and put it behind your back, grabbing onto the free end of the resistance band. Holding this end firm, use the arm over your head to pull the resistance band taut by extending your arm from the bent position to a straight position, reaching your arm towards the ceiling. Make sure to alternate sets of this exercise between your left and right arms so that both triceps get the benefit.
Standing Bicep Curl
Stand with the resistance band underneath your feet, with your feet shoulder width apart. Holding one end of the band in each hand, bend your arms at the elbows in order to curl your biceps. If you need more of a challenge, spread your feet wider apart to get more resistance in the band.
Standing Lateral Raise
Stand straight with feet apart and hold one end of the resistance band in each hand with your arms at your sides. Slowly, raise both arms to shoulder height, keeping elbows straight. This muscle group frequently gets overlooked in favor of working out the biceps or triceps, so this is a great exercise to include in your routine.
Lying Ceiling Press
Lie on your back with the resistance band held down under the weight of your back. Bend both of your arms with the ends of the band in each hand so that your fists are near your shoulders. Alternating, lift your right hand up toward the ceiling as far as you can straighten your arm, and then bring your right arm back to shoulder height and repeat with the left hand. Alternating sides, do twice as many repetitions of this exercise so that each arm gets the same amount of presses and enough reps are done to make a difference in your muscle tone.
Complete Workouts with Resistance Bands
This set of exercises for working out with resistance bands provides a complete upper-body workout. Want to continue your workout? Continue with resistance band ab exercises.