"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Resistance Bands: 3 Best Ways to Strengthen Your Upper Body

Resistance bands aren't impressive-looking exercise tools, but they will actually pull their weight. During a recent gym training session, my workout routine began with several sets of biceps curls. But before I could reach the dumbbell rack, my personal trainer dropped a resistance band on my feet.

Really? This thin, light, flimsy looking thing will help strengthen my arms?

I used to be skeptical, but after just a few sets of speed curls where I did 20 reps as fast as I could, my arms burned and nothing like I normally felt with traditional grip and curl dumbbells.

Don't get me mistaken, I really like my dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells. But mixing it up with different equipment and difficult my muscles in a brand new way gave my sometimes mundane exercise ritual a jolt.

By the tip of the session, I used to be a resistance band groupie.

What forms of resistance bands can be found?

There are several forms of resistance bands. The commonest type is a length of stretchable material. Another type is a closed loop attached to a big rubber band. The third type is a skinny rubber tube with handles.

A key advantage of resistance bands over weights is that they supply variable levels of resistance. This is particularly helpful in cases where you might be stuck between weights which might be either too light or too heavy. Depending on the band you're using, you increase the resistance in other ways:

  • When using longer materials, you possibly can change the resistance by adjusting your hand position to shorten or increase the length. Colors may also be used to represent different levels of resistance starting from easiest to hardest.
  • Rubber band types coordinate colours based on the thickness and level of resistance they provide. Yellow is usually the lightest and easiest to make use of, followed by red, green, blue and black. (This may vary by brand.)
  • A tube with a handle is usually used for standing exercises. You adjust the resistance by how close or far apart you place your feet while standing on the tube. Tubes are available different thicknesses to supply low resistance or high resistance.

Bands provide many advantages.

Bands are easy to store and use in the event you follow the instructions provided, watch band exercise videos, or learn band exercises from a category or personal trainer.

They can prepare your muscles for quite a lot of movements throughout the day, reminiscent of whenever you stretch, bend, lift, or get up from a chair. In addition, training with bands improves muscle strength, which helps you reduce the chance of falls and injury.

Bands are especially helpful if you will have trouble gripping or holding dumbbells, or need more control when exercising, reminiscent of in the event you're recovering from an injury or coping with joint pain.

Three great resistance band moves for upper body strength.

Ready to hitch the band? Here are three resistance band moves that may help construct your chest, back, shoulders, and arms. For these, use a basic stretchy material band, which is well found online.

Chest punches.

Starting position: Place the exercise band around your back and under your armpits. Hold one end in each hand by your shoulders.

Motion: With control, punch your right arm across your body in front of you at a slight angle. Repeat with left arm. This is a representative.

Muscles worked: Chest

Reps: 8 to 12

Two hand pull

Starting position: Place a band in your head about 12 to 16 inches out of your hands.

Motion: Bend your elbows and pull your hands down, extending the band to chest level. Slowly raise your arms overhead and return to the starting position.

Muscles worked: Back, shoulders

Reps: 8 to 12

Biceps curl

Starting position: Place the center of the band under one foot with the alternative foot barely back to provide help to balance. Hold the tip of the band in each hand together with your arms down at your sides, palms facing forward.

Motion: Bend your elbows and lift your hands toward your shoulders. Keep your upper arms still and your elbows near your body. Slowly lower to the starting position.

Muscles worked: Front of upper arms

Reps: 8 to 12