If you can pull on a big rubber band, you can get beautifully sculpted, strong arms. Resistance bands are a versatile piece of exercise equipment that you can use just about anywhere. Attach the resistance band to a door, a wall mount or simply hold them in your hands to stretch your way to firm, toned arms. Resistance bands come in different strengths so you can start out with easiest band, and then as you grow stronger, move your way up to the most difficult band.
Resistance bands are color coded, which makes it easy to progress from easy to more strenuous exercise bands. The light-colored bands are usually less resistant than the darker colors. As the color gets darker, the bands get harder to stretch. Resistance bands come with and without handles and some can be attached to a wall mount or door frame. You can choose single bands or a set of resistance bands.
One of the easiest and effective biceps exercises is the biceps curl. Stand on one end of a resistance band and curl your arm as you pull the other end of the resistance band. Move to doing some front raise exercises. Stand on the resistance band or attach it to a wall mount or door frame close to the floor. Lift your outstretched arm straight up to about shoulder height. Wrap a resistance band around the bottom of your feet and do some seated rows to help strengthen and tone your biceps. Start toning up those biceps with 10 to 12 repetitions for each exercise.
Firming and toning the back of your arms can be a challenge. The triceps muscles are often overlooked until you start to get those embarrassing bat wings. Doing triceps extensions with a resistance band can firm up your flabby arms. Simply hold a resistance band in one hand and raise your arm over your head. Drop the other end of the resistance band behind your back and grab it with your other hand. Bent over rows work your whole arm, but focus primarily on working your triceps. Do 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise to really zap the flab.
Get those lean, strong, sculpted shoulders you’ve always wanted by performing a few shoulder-shaping band exercises. Start with an overhead press by standing with the band under your feet. Keep your feet at shoulder-width, and then hold the handles in both hands with elbows bent at roughly 90 degrees and hands up just over your shoulders. Keeping your wrists straight and palms faced away from you, slowly press the band up over your head. For eye-catching, well-balanced shapely shoulders, you should also do some lateral (side) and front (anterior) shoulder raises, as well as band reverse flyes to tone and strengthen the posterior deltoids or back of the shoulders. Perform 10 to 12 repetitions of each exercise.
No matter how anxious you are to exercise, always take a few minutes to check out your resistance bands. Weak or damaged bands can break and snap back causing injury. Loose handles are also dangerous. Examine your resistance bands for nicks and tears. Never use a resistance band that has a tear because it could break and injure you. Don't use resistance bands that are discolored or have splotchy patches. Discoloration and splotches are signs of exposure to temperature extremes. These areas will be weaker than the surrounding rubber and can cause a break. Make sure your band is securely fastened to a door jam or wall mount before using it.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.