Want to take your workout to the next level? Tired of doing the same exercises? If so, add resistance bands to your routine! Inexpensive and easy to use, these accessories will make your workouts fun and keep your body guessing. They come in different sizes and resistances, and can be used for a multitude of exercises. From squats and leg extensions to biceps curls, the possibilities are endless! On top of that, you can get a great workout without leaving home.
Ready to give it a try? Here are the five best resistance band arm exercises for women:
For strong, well-defined arms, triceps kickbacks should be on your list. This exercise isolates the triceps muscle, which accounts for about two-thirds of the upper arm. Basically, it allows you to work all three heads of the triceps without involving other muscles. To do it, step on the middle of the resistance band and bend over. Start with your arm bent and then straighten it as you move your arm behind your torso. The key is to keep your upper arm stationary and hold the contraction at top of the movement. If you do it right, you should feel your muscles burning.
This isolation move builds arm strength and isolates the biceps muscle. It can be done from a standing or seating position, and requires no special gear other than resistance bands. Compared to dumbbell biceps curls, it puts less stress on your joints and can be safely performed by newbies. When done regularly, it will tone your arms and get you rid of flab. Simply step on the resistance band, position your arms so the insides of your elbows are pointing in front of you, then pull an arm towards your chest; do the same with the other arm and repeat.
Lateral raises work the delts, traps, and arms, making your shoulders appear wider. It also hits the muscles that stabilize and support your delts. To perform this exercise, step on the middle of a resistance band, wrap its ends around your hands, and keep your arms at your sides. Raise both arms to shoulder level and maintain the contraction for a second or two. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
Flabby arms are a common concern among women. As you age, your arm muscles lose their tone and the skin begins to sag. That's why you need to work your triceps at least once a week. The triceps pushdown can be done with resistance bands or gym machines. Simply anchor the band on top of the door, grab both ends with your hands, and step away. Bend your arms until your forearms are parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows locked and your palms facing down. Push down slowly, return to the starting position, and repeat.
This simple isolation exercise hits your biceps and shapes your arms. It's perfect for beginners and doesn't put stress on the spine. To get started, place the resistance band under your feet, wrap its ends around your hands, and keep your arms by your sides. Flex at the elbow until the band is fully extended, pause at top of the movement, and return to the initial position with a slow, controlled motion. Repeat. Refrain from moving your torso from side to side. Perform this exercise slowly to make your muscles work harder.
There are many other resistance band exercises that can be done at home. Overhead triceps extensions, overhead presses, bend over rows, and upright rows should be a part of your routine. For best results, squeeze the working muscles and hold the contraction for a few seconds before returning to the starting position.
Photo: Edson Hong