7 Resistance Band Exercises to Keep You Healthy

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arm workout with resistance bands

Demonstrated by Heidi Shoemaker, Dietary Educator, Renown Health 

With the hustle and bustle of life, it can feel like gym trips are often set aside to run errands. Rather than despairing over missed gym visits, try adding these simple exercises to your weekly routine.

Resistance band exercises are a great way to get in a workout with little additional equipment and can be done virtually anywhere. We have demonstrated seven exercises that will give you a full-body workout in very little time.

how to use an exercise bandThere are two main types of bands available. One has handles and the other does not. For most people, the bands without handles are appropriate but those with arthritis in their hands or in need of a lot of resistance find the bands with handles ideal.

The following demonstrations of exercises use a band without handles, they can be done with either band. Using the whole length of the band will produce the least amount of resistance. If you wrap the band around your hands you will create more resistance.

For each exercise, beginners should use less resistance (more band) and aim for 15 to 20 repetitions of each exercise. As you get stronger, you can use more resistance (less band) and aim for eight to 12 repetitions.  If you are short on time, complete one set of each exercise. If time permits, aim for two to three sets of each exercise done in a circuit fashion.

Bicep Curl1. Bicep curl

Stand on one end of the band.  Grab the other end of the band (or wrap the band around your hand) and stand with your arm at your side (see picture No. 1).  Keeping your wrist straight, bend your arm (see picture No. 2). Return to starting position.  Do standing or seated and maintain good posture.

Tricep Press Up2. Tricep Press Up

Stand on one end of the band.  Grab the other end of the band (or wrap band around your hand).  Stand and raise your arm above your head, keeping your shoulder down (see picture No. 1).  Bend your arm so your hand is near the side of your head next to your ear (see picture No. 2).  Return to starting position.  Do standing or seated and maintain good posture.

Tricep Press Down3. Tricep Press Down

Wrap one end of the band around your hand twice.  Keep that hand in front of your chest and wrap the other end of the band around your other hand (see picture No. 1).  Keeping the wrist straight, press down to a straight arm at your side (see picture No. 2).  Return to starting position. Do standing or seated.

Chest Press4. Chest Press

Wrap the band around your back and underneath your armpits; grab each end of the band (see picture No. 1).  Press your arms in front of you until they are straight; keep at chest level (see picture No. 2).  Return to starting position. Do standing or seated.

Back Row5. Back Row (lats)

Wrap the band around a pole, leg or arm of something very sturdy (something that will not damage the band).  In a standing or seated position, grab the ends of the band.  Keep your chest high (do not slouch) with your shoulders down and back (see picture No. 1).  Pull the band so that your hands are at the side of your chest; squeeze your shoulder blades together (see picture No. 2).  Return to starting position.

Shoulder Press6. Shoulder Press

Stand on one end of the band.  Grab the other end of the band (or wrap around your hand) and stand (or sit) with your hand in front of your shoulder (see picture No. 1).  Press your arm straight above your head, keeping your shoulder down (see picture No. 2).  Return to starting position.

Squats7. Squat (quads, hamstrings, glutes)

Stand with both feet on the center of the band (about hip-width apart) with the ends of the band in each hand (see picture No. 1).  Lower down into a squat (keeping your rear behind you and using your abdominal muscles), making sure your knees do NOT go past your toes — this is essential.  See picture No. 2. Return to starting position.

18 COMMENTS

  1. I have been doing these exercises.Since I have arthritis most strength and resistant exercises are not recommended. I find this workout great. It also increases heart rate. I would like to know which muscle groups are involved in each exercise. How often a week do you suggest using these exercises? Do you have any exercises with band to abs.?
    • Thank you for your feedback, Wendy. And we're glad to hear you are finding the workouts useful and effective. We've passed along your questions to the experts and will post them soon.
    • Hi Yvonne, The resistance bands are free. Please email support@renown.org with your address and we will mail you one. Thank you.
  2. These are great to warm up to in a cold-morning office. I do one set of each exercise and it warms my body, gets my blood flowing, and helps me feel good. Anytime I start to get cold again, I do another set. Thank you for the examples!
  3. How do you sanitize the band after stepping on it so much with your sneakers (which have been through all sorts of stuff)? I should clarify...sanitize/clean it without damaging it, which product is recommended?
    • Thank you, Cece, for your question. We spoke with Heidi and to sanitize your band she recommends washing it in plain soap and warm water. Harsh cleaners or chemicals can damage the band and may cause it to break when using it (which could cause injury).
    • Thanks for your inquiry. We are completely out of the purple bands at this time, but are waiting for another shipment. We would be happy to interoffice you an exercise band once they become available. Happy Thanksgiving!
  4. It would be helpful to know what particular areas of the body/muscle groups these exercises benefit in the event one is disinclined to do them all
    • Thank you so much for your comment. We are updating the article for the holidays and are adding in information about the muscle groups.

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