Top 8 Resistance Band Exercises to have Strong Arms

arm-exercise

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If you’re looking to gain more upper body strength or help recover from an arm injury, resistance bands are a great option!

Many are familiar with using free weights or machines to achieve a certain amount of resistance during a workout, but don’t underestimate the effectiveness of resistance bands.

What Are Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are elastic bands or straps with built-in tension and resistance that can be used for strengthening. The more the band is stretched or pulled, the greater the tension.

Some use resistance bands on a regular basis in their workout routine. You’ll also see healthcare professionals, such as a physical therapist, use these bands to help rehab an injured body part.

Types of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands come in many shapes and sizes, with varying levels of resistance and tension, depending on where you purchase them from.

Some bands are looped and connected together, whereas others are one long band. A long band that isn’t looped may come with or without handles. 

Again, depending on the company where you purchase the bands, you’ll notice a variety of different colors offered.

Each color has a different level of resistance and tension to it. Some manufacturers may describe the level of resistance simply as light, medium or heavy. Others will give a specific weight or poundage associated with each color. 

Benefits of Resistance Band Exercise

Resistance bands are the way to go if you’re either not comfortable with using or don’t have access to free weights or weighted machines.

Many who prefer to workout from home will also favor resistance bands because of how easy they are to use and store. 

When recovering from an injury, resistance bands can be attached, held and positioned in ways that free weights or machines may not be able to, especially if you’re doing this work at home versus the gym.

Top 8 Resistance Band Exercises for Strong Arms

The following exercises are among the top recommended resistance band exercises for strong arms!

For the exercises use a light, medium or heavy resistance band for each exercise. If your bands are categorized by a weight or poundage, try to stick within a 2-5# range to begin with. 

You can always gradually increase your resistance over time.

1. Shoulder Flexion

resistance band exercises: shoulder flexion step 1
shoulder flexion step 2
  • In standing or sitting, place the feet on the middle of the resistance band.
  • Hold the ends of the bend in your hands.
  • Keeping the elbows straight and the thumbs pointing forward, lift the arms up towards the ceiling.
  • Lift no higher than shoulder height, then return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

2. Shoulder Pullbacks

 shoulder pullbacks step 1
 shoulder pullbacks step 2
  • Attach the middle of the band to a door knob or some other secure structure.
  • Hold the ends of the band in each hand.
  • Step back so that you have a little tension on the band.
  • Position the arms up about halfway to shoulder height with the palms facing down towards the floor.
  • Squeezing the shoulder blades together, pull back until the arms are by your side.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

3. Shoulder Horizontal Abduction

shoulder horizontal abduction step 1
shoulder horizontal abduction step 2
  • Hold the band between the center and ends of the band.
  • Position the arms stretched out in front of you at shoulder height, with the palms facing down towards the floor.
  • While keeping the elbows straight, open the arms out to the side until they are side by side with the shoulders.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together during this motion.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

4. Shoulder External Rotation

shoulder external rotation step 1
shoulder external rotation step 2
  • Hold the resistance band at the point between the center and ends of the band in both hands.
  • Position the elbows bent at a 90-degree angle with the upper arms tucked at your side.
  • While squeezing the shoulder blades together and keeping the elbows tucked by your side, open the forearms away from your center.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

5. Shoulder Internal Rotation

shoulder internal rotation step 1
shoulder internal rotation step 2
  • This one will have to be done one arm at a time.
  • Loop one end of the band around a door knob or other secure structure.
  • Hold the band in the arm closest to the door or other structure the band is attached to.
  • Bend the elbow 90-degrees with the upper arm tucked by your side.
  • While keeping the shoulders pulled back, pull the band in towards the stomach.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

6. Bicep Curl

bicep curl step 1
bicep curl step 2
  • In standing or sitting, position the feet over the middle of the band to anchor it down.
  • Hold the ends of the band in each hand.
  • While keeping a good posture, start with the arms down and the palms facing forward.
  • Bend the elbows to move into a bicep curl.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

7. Tricep Pulldown

tricep pulldown step 1
tricep pulldown step 2
  • Wrap the ends of the band around the hands until you are holding the band closer to the middle.
  • Position one hand on the opposite side of the chest.
  • Position the other arm by your side with the elbow bent.
  • With the arm positioned by your side, straighten the elbow and pull down on the band.
  • Return to your starting position.
  • Repeat 10-15x for 2-3 sets.

8. Bow and Arrow

bow and arrow step 1
bow and arrow step 2
  • Hold the band in both hands towards the center of the band.
  • Stretch the arms out in front of you at shoulder height with the palms facing each other.
  • Keeping the shoulders down, bend one elbow while swinging that arm back like a bow and arrow.
  • The opposite arm should remain stretched forward.
  • Return to your starting position, then repeat on the opposite side.
  • Continue alternating back and forth 10-15x each side for 2-3 sets.

The bow and arrow exercise can be a little more challenging for your timing and coordination at first. For a more detailed look at how this motion will look with each repetition, check out the video below.

Resistance bands are a whole new way to approach your fitness routine!

The beauty is that if one band feels too heavy or too easy, you have options to make things easier or more difficult.

Enjoy!

Wondering What's Next?

Discover 11 Easy, At-Home “Stretch Exercises” for Stronger, Pain-Free Joints (click below)

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