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Strength Training With Resistance Bands

The following workout is an upper body strength training routine using a resistance band. You may want to have a variety of resistance bands with different levels of tension for different muscle groups. For more information, check out Choosing and Using Resistance Bands.

  • For beginners, start with one set of 16 repetitions of each exercise.
  • For int/adv exercisers perform 2-3 sets of 12-16 repetitions.
  • Warm up for 5-10 minutes before beginning this routine
  • To progress, use thicker resistance bands or adjust your positioning.
Chest Press
Wrap the band around something stable behind you and hold handles in both hands, tubing running along the inside of the arms (under the armpits), palms facing each other.  Squeeze chest and press arms out in front of you.  Return to start and repeat.
rchestpress.jpg (16657 bytes)

Bent Over Row
Center tube under feet and bend forward at the waist, back flat and abs in.  Grab tube close to the feet and bend the elbows to pull the arms up to the torso, squeezing the back.  You can also do a seated version (see picture to right) on a ball or chair.

rbentoverrow.jpg (14167 bytes) rseatedrow.jpg (17039 bytes)

Rear Delt Row
Wrap band around stable object and sit (or stand) facing it, holding the handles with arms out in front, palms down. Pull the elbows back until level with torso, squeezing the shoulder blades and keeping arms parallel to ground.
rreardelt.jpg (14954 bytes)

One-Armed Reverse Fly
With front foot standing on one end of the band, hold other end in one hand and lean over, abs in, torso at 45 degrees. Keeping elbow slight bent and in fixed position, raise arm out to shoulder level, squeezing shoulder blades.

rreversefly.jpg (12843 bytes)
One-Armed Lateral Raise
Sit (or stand) with one end of tube under foot and the other end in one hand. Keeping elbow slightly bent and fixed, lift the arm out to side, to shoulder level.
rlatraise.jpg (11506 bytes)

Overhead Press
Place both feet on tube and grasp handles, bringing hands up just over shoulders with elbows bent and palms in. Press arms up over head and then lower.

roverheadpress.jpg (9368 bytes) 
External Rotation
Attach band to a sturdy object and sit or stand with right side facing object, holding handle in the left hand. Begin with hand in front of belly, elbow at 90 degrees. Keeping elbow in fixed position, rotate the forearm out to the side to about 30-45 degrees (not too far!). Skip this move if you have shoulder problems.
rrotation.jpg (16523 bytes)

Bicep Curl
Place both feet on tube and grasp handles (the wider the feet, the harder the exercise).  Bend the elbows and curl hands up towards shoulder.  Lower and repeat. 

rbicep.jpg (7786 bytes)
Cross-Body Bicep
Place left foot on band and hold the handle in right hand. Begin the move with palm facing in and bend the elbow, curling hand up towards the shoulder, going across the body.
rcrossbicep.jpg (9936 bytes)

Band Kickback
Attach band to sturdy object in front of you in a split stance, bent at the waist with abs in.  Hold handle in one hand, elbow bent. Straighten the arm, contracting the back of the arm.

rkickback.jpg (16461 bytes)
Related Video
Weight Lifting Exercises for Back and Shoulders
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