Using a resistance band for an upper body workout

Using a resistance band for an upper body workout

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - A resistance band is a great go-to fitness tool.

It is inexpensive, easy to transport and there are several ways you can use it.

"This is really good for travel," Local fitness trainer Tamatha Crowson said.

Crowson explained how to use a resistance band to work your upper body.

"We're going to start with the chest," Crowson said. "You can anchor the band on any kind of stable object. We're going to face away from the anchor and step away in a staggered stance.  This is just for balance.  The arms come out, elbows slightly bent, kind of like you are hugging a barrel. From here, all the motion comes from your shoulders."

Crowson said you can go from that exercise straight into a chest press. 
"This is where the palms face the floor, kind of like doing a bench press standing up."

The next exercise is a narrow row focused on the back.

"We're going to keep the anchor to the post, only we are going to face the anchor," Crowson said. "We're going to step away, making sure there's plenty of tension in the band.  Chest is high, shoulders are back, and we're just going to relax the arms. Think about pulling with the back. I like to keep my thumbs on the same side as my fingers to keep from gripping the handles really tight, which will kind of activate the arm muscles.  We're not looking to do that.  Just pull the handles back to your waist.  One issue that I see people doing is lifting their shoulders. You really want to focus on keeping your shoulders down and back."

Crowson said you can go straight from the narrow row to a wide row, with the palms facing down and elbows wide.

From there, Crowson moves on to a bicep curl.

"Just stand on the tube with both feet and all you are going to do is just bend your elbows and bring the handles up towards your chest and then lower back down," Crowson said. "You want to make sure the upper arms are right by your side.  You can do both arms or alternate. If the resistance is too much, you can pull on foot off and just do one foot on the band."

The next exercise is geared toward to the triceps.

Hold the resistance band in your working arm and step on the resistance band with the opposite foot.

The other leg needs to be forward putting you in a staggered stance.

The working arm needs to be bent behind our head.

The other arm is supporting the elbow.

From there, you straighten your working arm and then return to the start position.

The final exercise is for the shoulder muscles.

"This is a one arm at a time exercise," Crowson said. "One foot is on the band, handle in the opposite hand, bend your elbow just a little bit, and your elbow is going to stay in this position. From here on out the motion is coming from the shoulder. You're going to bring your upper arm away from your body and bring it back down. The elbow stays locked in place."

Crowson recommends, 3 or 4 sets per exercise, and anywhere between 12 and 18 reps.

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