Resistance band exercises for arms are super effective and can be done anywhere, from the airport to the office to the gym. Use these moves to add some size to your biceps and triceps!
Rules for Resistance Band Arm Training:
- Be sure to take your time and get the resistance out of the band by holding the peak contraction for a one-second count.
- The further the band stretches, the more resistance you can create. You don’t always need a thicker band; sometimes, you can create more resistance with a larger range of motion.
- To increase resistance when training, try shortening the band by wrapping it around your wrists or just simply adding a second band to the movement.
- Control your negatives. The great thing about bands is they offer resistance throughout the range of motion with no dead spots. Use that to your advantage by controlling your negatives and not just letting the band snap back.
- For biceps and triceps, it is advised to use the full range of motion to get the most out of each exercise. Make the muscle works through its largest range possible.
Standing Biceps Curl
Reps: 10-12 (plus rest-pause on last set)
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to create more resistance with the band, and make sure your hands are also shoulder-width apart. Doing so will help activate both heads of the biceps muscle. Take your time with these and really hold the peak contraction for a one to two-second count to generate a stronger muscle pump. On your last set, go to failure, then drop the band for five to ten seconds and repeat to failure. We’ll call this a rest-pause set. Do four sets here and make the last one really count.
Single Arm Curl
Reps: 10-12 (plus rest pause on last set)
I added this exercise to the workout in case you feel more comfortable doing these instead of the double arm version. All of the same rules will apply if you choose to do this version over the first one.
Reps: 15 (plus 10 top half partials at end of last set)
This exercise is a little harder to get into, but it will really help you isolate the biceps. There are many different ways to set this up, but remember, the most important thing is that your arm is hanging over something and the back of it is stationary so you can isolate the biceps muscle. Same rules apply here as the above exercises, make sure you use a full range of motion and hold the peak contraction! You’re going to do three sets here for 15 reps. On the last set, finish with 10 extra partials in the top half of the movement. Finish your good reps, then bring the band to the top and bring it down halfway, that’s one partial, do that ten times.
Make sure you have your chair set far enough away that your arm is slightly behind your body. No special tricks here—do four sets and hold each rep hard to make your arms burn!
The most important two factors in this exercise are that you keep your shoulders retracted and only hinge from the elbow. Your arm goes all the way up as far as the elbow will allow. Do not move the shoulder. Then, lower all the way down to full contraction and a hard hold and flex. This movement is pretty straight forward; otherwise, do four sets here for a hard 12 reps.
Overhead Single Arm Extension
One of the factors you want to keep in mind here is keeping your arm straight up and down. Make sure your elbow is pointing to the ceiling, and from there, you can start to extend your arm upward working the triceps. Make sure when you are working through the rep, your arm stays fixed straight; do not let it bow outwards. Do three sets here for a good fifteen.
Lying Triceps Extension
Reps: 8 (plus rest-pause on last set)
Here we are trying to mimic one of the hardest triceps exercises and, in my opinion, the best one for building mass. I want you to grab the band with the most resistance that you can handle for these. Take your time with each rep and try to keep your elbows tucked in throughout the movement. Push your hands upward, extending back a few degrees to make it harder. Do four sets here for eight reps. On the last set, add a rest-pause set. Drop the band after failure for five to ten seconds, catch your breath and then do another round to failure.
This movement isn't about the weight; it's more about the form. I want you to keep your arm tucked against your body throughout, making sure not to let it bow outwards. From there, you're just going to kick straight back with your hand. Be careful not to use momentum, this is an isolation exercise, so form is more important than the weight you use. Do three sets of 15 and really burn out the triceps.