5 Upper-Body Exercises to Do With a Resistance Band

A resistance band is a simple piece of exercise equipment that will give you all the strength training you need for daily life. Below are five basic exercises that will strengthen and tone your triceps, biceps, shoulders and upper-body muscles.

Resistance bands are portable, affordable and can be used for workouts anywhere and anytime. There are many manufacturers out there and many levels of resistance. Before you start you will need to find the right resistance band. To start, you will need to go by your current strength and fitness level, not by what you would like to be. This way you can work your muscles effectively and prevent injuries.

Choosing a band will depend on the type of workout you are doing. If you are performing high reps of 50 to 100, you will probably use at least one level down compared to performing just 10 to 20 reps per set. Your fatigue level while performing circuit training (combined cardio and strength training) will also play a roll when choosing a resistance band. You may or may not choose a high resistance level depending upon how intense you conduct your circuit training.


Grab each handle with your left and right hand. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Stand firmly on the band with the band in the center of your shoes. Bend your knees slightly to stabilize your lower back with your palms facing out and your arms extended down. Pull the band up to your shoulder joint and resist it going down.


Grab each handle with your left and right hand. Place both feet on the band about shoulder width apart with a slight bend in the knees to stabilize your lower back. With both wrists hanging down, pull the band up to your shoulder joint while maintaining your wrists in the down position and then back to the starting position while resisting it going down.


Grab each handle with your left and right hand. Your left foot is on the band in the center of the shoe. Step through the band/tube with your right foot. Bring your arms up to a ninety-degree break in your elbows. Your wrists should be straight with the band behind your arms.


Grab each handle with your left and right hand. This next exercise will really demonstrate the versatility of the resistance band and how to incorporate your environment into the workout. Wrap the band around a tree or pole. With your band wrapped around the tree, get some resistance in the band with your palms facing inward and an exaggerated bend in your knees to stabilize your lower back. Your back should be straight and your arms should be completely extended for the starting position. Pull back on the band in line with your chest and resist it going all the way back out. Find a distance that will allow you to have enough resistance to work your muscles and still perform the complete range of motion. That's one rep.


Grab each handle with your left and right hand. Take the band in your right hand and place the other end on the ground in front of your right foot. Place your right foot six to eight inches into the band and firmly onto the band with the ball of your foot so that it does not slip. Now step forward with your left foot, while keeping your right foot on the band. Take your right hand with the band and bring it up behind your head. The starting position is with the hand lowered behind your head. Push up on the band until the arm is completely extended. That's one rep. Switch your hands and feet and do the same thing with the left side of your body.

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