When you want to work on your arm strength, free weights and barbells are always there for you. But for those of us who like to work out at home or when we're on the road, adding a resistance band to your routine can up your game—no weight rack or weight room necessary.
This week, Simone De La Rue, our current Trainer of the Month and founder of Body By Simone, has an upper body resistance band workout that fires up all of your major arm muscles. There may only be four moves in the entire workout, but, trust me: Your biceps, shoulders, chest, and triceps are going to b-u-r-n. By the end of this 10-minute sequence, not only are you going to feel stronger, but you're going to reap some major secondhand benefits, too. Strengthening your shoulders and your chest will help you to sit up straighter, which is good news for all of us who have desk jobs (seriously, bring it on!).
If you don't have a resistance band on hand, De La Rue suggests using three-pound weights, or working your way up to 10 pounds for more of a challenge.
Try De La Rue's 10-minute resistance band upper body workout
1. Bicep curl into overhead press: Grab the ends of your resistance band and stand on it. Since you're in charge of resistance, you can keep your feet closer together for lighter resistance, or shoulder-width distance apart for more of a challenge. With a neutral spine, navel pulled in, and softened knees, bicep curl, coming up into a big 'W' shape. From there, push into an overhead press, then come down again. Think about pulling back from your lats, not raising your shoulders in the overhead press. Do three sets of 10 reps.
2. Chest squeeze: This one's for your pectorals, or your chest muscles. From the same starting position, make a 'W' sign with your arms lifted, then bring your elbows towards each other, clapping your hands. Activate your chest as you squeeze, moving from the chest squeeze, without dropping your arms. Remember to breathe. Do three sets of 10 reps.
3. Lateral arm raise: Take your feet a little wider on the resistance band, at hip-width distance. Soften your knees and lift your arms straight out to the side. Don't lift your arms too high, and don't put any strain on the neck. Keep your wrists strong and your abs engaged. This is going to burn out the shoulder muscles. Do three sets of 10 reps.
4. Tricep raise: Place the band on the floor and stand on one end. Taking the opposite end with one hand, bend your elbow above your head and extend that hand up towards the ceiling, then bend again at the elbow. Keep the palm nice and flat and your wrist strong. Keep raising the roof and working the tricep. Keep your ribs and abs engaged. Do 30 reps on each side.
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