Resistance Band Exercises To Strengthen Your Upper Body
June 7, 2013
Resistance band exercises are a great alternative to traditional weights. They offer resistance routines, minus the cumbersome and expensive barbells and dumbbells. Resistance band exercises allow you to also do your fitness regimen anywhere because they are amazingly convenient to bring around. Resistance bands are basically giant rubber bands that you pull to strengthen certain muscle groups. It is the amount of elasticity that offers the resistance, as opposed to the weight of dumbbells or barbells. Not only are they extremely light weight and compact to bring around, they are also amazingly inexpensive, practically affordable for anybody or any budget.
Resistance band exercises for men are quite popular especially with those who travel a lot and do not have time to visit a gym. You can do the exercises right in your hotel room. Resistance band exercises for women are also just as popular for the same reasons, or for housewives that cannot leave home but want a challenging workout nonetheless.
Here are 5 resistance band exercises to strengthen your upper body. We will name the traditional weight exercise each one of them substitutes. After that we will also identify a couple of resistance band exercises for arms as well as resistance band exercises for abs.
1. Chest Press (replaces the barbell or dumbbell bench press) from exercise.about.com.
“For this exercise, wrap the band around a pole or rail behind you or use the door attachment to secure the band in the door. The resistance band should be right at about chest level and you should step far enough away from the door that you get constant tension on the band. Keep your elbows in a ‘goal-post’ position (parallel to the floor) throughout the movement. “
2. One-Arm Chest Fly (replaces the dumbbell fly or cable fly) from exercise.about.com.
“Attach the band to a sturdy object at about shoulder height (standing or sitting). Hold the handle in right hand and wrap the loop around hand to increase tension if needed. Keeping arm straight (elbow slightly bent) at shoulder level, contract the chest to bring the arm in towards the mid-chest. Return to start and repeat.”
3. Seated Row (replaces the seated cable row) from greatist.com.
“Take a seat, but don’t get too cozy. With legs extended, place the center of the band behind the soles of your feet. Grab the band with both hands, arms extended and palms facing each other. Sitting nice and tall, bend at the elbow and pull the band toward your core, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.”
4. Bent Over Row (replaces the bent over barbell row) from greatist.com.
“You can do it, put your back into it. Stand over the center of the band with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend slightly at the knees and hinge at the waist, keeping your hips back. Grasp each handle with hands facing the outside of your knees. With elbows bent, pull the band up toward your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together until your elbows form a 90-degree angle. Lower and row for 10-12 reps.”
5. Shoulder Press (replaces the standing dumbbell press) from bodybuilding.com.
“Stand on band so that tension starts with hands by your shoulders. Hold handles palms forward with bottom part of handle on backside of your hand. Press upward as you would a dumbbell press.”
Here now are a 2 resistance band exercises for arms.
1. Bicep Curls (replaces the dumbbell biceps curl) from personalwellnesscoach.tumblr.com.
“For the bicep curl, you can stand on the band with both feet (harder) or with one foot (easier). Hold the handles in each hand and curl up in a bicep curl, just as you would with dumbbells. You can make this move harder by stepping the feet wide or by using a heavy band.”
2. Triceps Push-Up (replaces a diamond push up for the triceps) from fitnessmagazine.com.
“Start in modified push-up position (back straight, abs engaged, knees, and lower legs on mat). Place resistance band across back and hold an end tightly under each hand. Put hands about 5 inches apart on mat and lower chest toward floor, keeping elbows by sides. Push back up into band; hold for 4 seconds. Do 10 reps.”
Finally, here are two unique resistance band exercises for abs.
1. Kneeling Crunch (replaces a high cable crunch) from greatist.com.
“Attach the band to a high anchor (such as the top of a door or cable column) and kneel down, grabbing each side of the band. Extend the elbows out at shoulder-level, engage your abdominals, and crunch down toward your hips while contracting your abs. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps.”
2. Woodchoppers (replaces cable woodchoppers) from greatist.com.
“Be an ax man (or woman) in training with this great core move. Anchor the loop or tube band toward the top of a cable column or support. With your right side to the support, grab the free end of the band with your arms stretched out overhead. In one smooth motion, pull the band down and across your body to the front of your knees while rotating your right hip and pivoting your back foot. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for 8-10 reps on each side.”
Resistance band exercises are a great add on to any strength training routine. The bands come in a variety of sizes, lengths, and elasticity suitable for any fitness level for both sexes. It is incomparable as portable exercise equipment and is also easily kept, making it ideal for the home, traveling, or when you need an alternative at the gym. Like free weights, exercise bands come in a variety of resistance levels, from very stretchable to industrial strength bands. Some models include tube bands with handles, loop bands, and therapy bands for recuperative routines. Don’t be left behind. Incorporate this routine into your workout for added variety. Get into the “band” wagon now.