Best Arm Workout with Resistance Bands | Best Shoulder Workout with Resistance
Many people believe dumbbells and barbells are required for proper arm and upper body training. The problem comes from how much room these weights take up and also how much cost it takes to get a full set required for various muscles to be trained adequately. This understandably deters many from even attempting at home strength training. If this sounds familiar, we advise you try resistance band training. Not only do resistance bands take up less space, but when utilized correctly they can afford a fantastic alternative to free-weight training that will not leave you lacking a burn or muscle build.
Below you will find 3 excellent upper-body exercises that will have your shoulders and biceps burning and have you rethinking any misconceptions you may have with resistance band training.
KB Powerbands External Rotators
In the KB Powerbands External Rotators Exercise start by attaching the KB Powerbands to the wall at shoulder height and stand facing the wall shoulders squared up. Back away from the wall so as to already have tension on the bands while in position one - arm raised to shoulder level out to the side, fist gripping the KB Powerbands’ handle and pointed at the wall, each joint at a 90 degree angle. From here rotate the arm back until the fist is pointed at the ceiling using the shoulder to provide this rotation. Then finish the rep by releasing the arm back to the starting position. This movement should be steady and continuous with muscle tension on both the pull and the release. Do not take it easy and relax your arm back to the start position. The eccentric release is as much a part of the exercise as the concentric pull at the beginning.
Continue this back and forth movement steadily and under tension with one hand for 30 sec straight. Then switch to the other hand. There will be no rest sets between, instead continually go back and forth alternating arms until both arms have completed 4 sets. These should be burnout sets, so move back from the wall to increase tension it is too easy to complete 30 sec of continuous reps.
KB Powerbands Straight-Arm Pull
With the KB Powerbands Straight-Arm Pull we turn to the side rather than square to the anchor wall. The arm furthest from the anchor will be holding the KB Powerbands and is extended straight out from our chest parallel with the wall holding the bands, again at chest level. Step away from the wall to increase tension in position one. From here, maintain a straight arm with the thumb-side of the hand pointed at the ceiling and tighten rear deltoid muscles until the arm ends straight out to the side, pointing directly away from the anchor wall. Do not pull past and end behind your chest as you will find little benefit in it.
This exercise is designed to go after the rear deltoids and give that great definition across the shoulders. It is important again, as with every exercise, to not relax on the reset and instead hold tension to slow the arm back to the starting position. Complete 8-12 reps with each arm adjusting distance from the wall to ensure the last rep of each set is the last you can accomplish. Do this back and forth not resting between arms until each has completed 4 sets total.
KB Powerbands Neutral / Wide Curls
In the last exercise we stand on the mid point of the KB Powerbands using our feet to provide the tension we need for the bicep curls. Start the wide curls with elbows attached to your hips and palms facing up holding the KB power bands out away from your body. There should be enough tension in the bands to provide resistance from position one all the way up to a full curl and back down again. Adjust the amount of band your standing on to increase or decrease tension.
After 15 reps of wide curls move your palms to center and begin 15 reps of neutral curls. To help isolate the biceps focus on raising your wrists rather than the handles. This change in focus should reduce forearm fatigue and help deliver the burn to the area we want. Always maintain a slow release rather than a relax to position one. This will ensure you get the most from every movement.
After 30 total reps - 15 wide and 15 neutral - take a 30 sec rest set. Do this cycle 4 times with the last rep being the last you can accomplish every time. If it doesn't burn, and the last movements don’t feel impossible, you’re short-changing yourself and won’t see any gains.
The Reason Resistance Bands Work
The key to getting the most out of resistance band training is finding the right tension. Resistance bands, as opposed to free-weight training gets “heavier” as the movement reaches the end of the contraction phase. This is due to the elasticity of the band. A 30 lb. dumbbell will be 30 lbs. at the beginning, middle, and at the end of the motion. However with resistance training we naturally increase the difficulty along with our strength curve. Muscles tend to be weakest at full extension - often the first position of a movement. As the muscle contracts it is able to utilize more of the muscle fiber to pull and so is stronger though the middle of the motion. This exactly mirrors the tension of a resistance band which has the least tension in position one - fully extended, but gains tension as it stretches - through the middle and end of the motion.
More KB Powerbands Workouts
To get the most out of a set of KB Powerbands be sure to head over to the KB Powerbands section of our site. Here you can find workouts specifically designed for the use of resistance bands as well as coaching to get the most out of resistance band training on the whole.