Resistance bands are a great addition to any strength training routine or rehabilitation program. They are available in a variety of sizes, lengths, and resistance levels. Therefore, doing exercises with rubber bands can favor the strengthening of the arms.
They’re also portable and easy to store, making them perfect for home use, hotel workouts, or making the most of a small space at the gym.
Like weights, elastic bands come in a variety of resistance levels, from very stretchy to heavy duty. The most common types of bands are tube bands with handles, loop bands, and rehab bands. If in doubt, a fitness professional can help us determine which band is appropriate, based on your fitness level and specific training plan.
Exercise routine with rubber bands
To do these exercises with rubber bands we will need at least one band. Depending on the level of strength in various exercises, we may want to have more than one resistance band in different tensions so that they can be adjusted accordingly. We can use resistance bands with or without handles.
Keep in mind that the first time, you may have to play around to get the right level of tension. We should feel free to do some practice reps to make sure the tension is challenging enough. We can also use very light resistance and do the movements as stretches, instead of strengthening exercises.
Seated Bicep Curl
- We will sit on a chair, bench or stool with our feet apart.
- We will place one end of the resistance band under the left foot and hold the other end with the right hand, while resting the right elbow on the right thigh.
- You may need to lean slightly forward to achieve this starting position. We will focus on keeping the abdomen tight and the back straight. The left hand (which we are not using), can rest at the side or be gently placed on the left thigh.
- We should be able to start with the arm at an angle of 90 degrees or more, with the band already taut.
- Now we will do a biceps curl by pulling the right hand towards the right shoulder. We will keep the shoulder relaxed and concentrate on activating the biceps to bring the hand towards us.
- We will stand in a forward bend position with the feet together, placed over the center of the band.
- Holding each end of the band, we will place the arms at the sides with the palms facing backwards.
- We will bend the elbows (keeping them tucked into the sides) until the forearms are parallel to the ground.
- Next, we’ll press the arms down, pushing the band behind the body until the arms are fully extended.
- We will lower our back down and repeat.
Overhead triceps extension
- We will sit on a chair or bench, placing the center of a tube band under the buttocks.
- We will take a handle in each hand and stretch our arms up, bending the elbows so that the hands are behind the neck.
- With the palms of the hands facing the ceiling, we will press the arms up until they are fully extended.
- We will stand with our feet together, with our core tight, we will grab one end of the resistance band in each hand and we will pass the band through our back.
- Now we will step forward with the left foot so that we are in a staggered stance. We can find this position easier if we widen the posture.
- With your hands on your rib cage and the band stretched along the midline of your back, push both hands forward, fully extending your arms at chest height.
- We should be using our back as resistance, so we’ll stand up and resist the urge to lean forward as the band stretches against our back.
- We will pull the arms towards the rib cage to complete the repetition.
rotator cuff twist
- We will stand with our feet together, our core tight and we will grab one end of the resistance band in each hand. We may have to wrap the band several times to make it short enough for this movement (so that the tension is correct).
- We’ll hold the ends of the resistance band just below the chest (about the height of the bottom of the rib cage), with the elbows bent and pointing out.
- Keeping the left hand perfectly still, we’ll pull the right hand out and to the right, allowing the rotation to come from the shoulder and the elbow to rotate naturally toward the waist. We’ll keep one arm bent and focus on feeling the shoulder blades do the work of rotation. We will resist the temptation to move the left arm to continue exercising the muscles on both sides of the body.
stand up rowing
- As in other rubber exercises, we will stand with the left foot in front of the right, so that we are in a staggered position. We’ll widen the stance to make this position feel easier.
- We will place the resistance band under the left foot and grab one end of the resistance band in each hand.
- We will bend the left knee slightly and rotate forward at the hip so that the abdomen is tight and the back is straight. With your arms fully extended toward your left foot, the band should be under slight tension. That is your starting position.
- We will do a row by pulling the hands towards the torso and keeping the elbows, forearms and hands in line with the rib cage.
- We will extend our arms to return to the initial position and complete the repetition. We’ll do all the reps on one side, then switch so the other foot wobbles forward.
- This is another of the best exercises with rubber bands for arms. We will stand with our feet hip-width apart. We will pass the band under one (or both) feet and grab one end of the band in the right hand with the right hand resting on the side. There should be a slight tension on the band in this starting position.
- With a straight back, shoulders down and a tight abdomen, we will raise the right hand directly in front of us, bringing the arm to chest height. We will focus on using only the arm and shoulders, not tilting the torso or scrunching the shoulder to make the movement happen.
- We will lower the arm to return to the initial position. We’ll do all the reps on one side, then repeat on the other side.