Resistance band workouts for arms can be incredibly useful for multiple reasons. First, these workouts can help you preserve your arm gains when you might not have access to a formal gym. Second, resistance band arm workouts are great for providing the arms with additional training volume in a low-threshold form.
Basically, we can usually squeak out more arm work and volume with this training modality.
With gyms closing, opening, and closing once again all over the world, we wanted to continue on our resistance band workout series with an article covering the biceps and triceps. We recently covered our favorite resistance band exercises for legs, and now, we thought it was time to give our upper body legs some attention — the biceps and triceps.
In this article, we cover 8 of our favorite resistance band exercises for arms. These exercises are fantastic for targeting the biceps and triceps so you can work to maintain your arm gains even with limited gym access. Check out the video below from Coach Jake for visual explanations of each exercise!
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Best Resistance Band Biceps Exercises
There are a lot of different resistance band bicep exercises that you can tackle and program. In this article, we provided five of our favorites to help you build your biceps and forearms.
1. Resistance Band 1.5 Rep Bicep Curl
The 1.5 rep bicep curl is a great variation that’s essentially a leveled up traditional curl. Instead of completing one full rep, you’ll add a half rep to your normal bicep curl to create a one and a half movement pattern.
- Place the resistance band under your feet and grab the band with a similar grip that you’d grab a barbell with.
- Begin the concentric movement pattern and lift halfway through your normal range of motion. Think 90 degrees.
- Once you hit 90 degrees, lower the band back down, then complete a full rep all the way up.
- Lower the band back down like normal, then repeat this half-rep, full-rep flow.
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2. Resistance Band Reverse Grip Curl
Just because we don’t have free weights doesn’t mean we should ignore the forearms. The reverse grip resistance band curl is a fun and challenging variation to target the biceps and forearms.
- Place the resistance band under your feet and grip the band with a pronated grip and width that you’d perform a barbell curl with.
- From here, keep the elbows fixed and begin the curling process and fight to keep the band from pulling your hands into supination as you lift.
- At the top, demonstrate control, then lower the band back down before repeating the process.
3. Resistance Band Single-Arm Reverse Curl
For another great forearm exercise, you can opt for the single-arm reverse curl. This is a great variation because it’s easier to keep the hand pronated throughout the entire range of motion and focus on the forearm and biceps.
- Stand on the band with either one feet or two (two usually works best), then grip the band in one hand with a pronated grip.
- While keeping the elbow glued to the side, curl the band up until you reach full flexion.
- At the top, squeeze, then lower the band back down slowly.
4. Resistance Band Single-Arm Curl
On theme with single-arm curls, you can supinate the hand and isolate the biceps really well with this variation. You can also modify your grip to perform a more traditional hammer curl and neutral to supinated gripped curl.
- Stand on the band with either one feet or two (two usually works best), then grip the band in one hand with a supinated grip.
- Keeping tension in the band, curl upwards and keep the elbow close to the body. Rotate around the elbow.
- At the top, squeeze, and slowly lower the band demonstrating control over the tension.
5. Resistance Band Isometric Bicep Curl
The isometric bicep curl is an awesome variation that will push your effort to the next level. By building a time-focused contraction goal, we can set new parameters for improving our levels of effort during resistance band arm training.
- Grab a thicker band that is rather challenging to curl for a full rep. Use a similar grip width to your barbell curl.
- Keeping the elbows tight to the body, curl to about 90 degrees of elbow flexion.
- Once you’ve hit around 90 degrees, flex and hold this position for as long as the time-focused goal you’ve set requires. A good starting place is 20-30 seconds!
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Best Resistance Band Triceps Exercises
When training the triceps with a resistance band, it’s often best to use a base to place the band around as this can provide you with more variety. However, there are a few solid triceps training options when you only have a band to use.
1. Resistance Band Overhead Tricep Extension
The most popular resistance band triceps exercise is the overhead triceps extension. This variation closely mimics the overhead triceps extension that is usually performed on the cable machine.
- Place the band under the feet and extend the arms upwards overhead. Think about gripping the band just inside shoulder width.
- While keeping the elbows relatively tight, extend the band upwards and pull apart at the top, making it a point to truly squeeze the triceps.
- Demonstrate control at lockout, then bring the band back down trying to keep the elbows in a similar position throughout the entire lowering process.
2. Resistance Band Single-Arm Tricep Extension
For some lifters, they’ll prefer the single-arm overhead triceps extension because it’s generally a bit easier to perform when it comes to maintaining positioning and we can usually “feel” it slightly better depending on our elbow angle.
- Place the resistance band under both feet and grip the band in one hand. You can either perform a traditional grip with the elbow facing forward or a side grip where the elbow is facing out.
- Once you’ve decided on your grip, begin to extend the arm and work to keep your elbow relatively fixed throughout the entire process.
- At the top, squeeze, then slowly lower the band back down working to maintain to your elbow positioning.
3. Resistance Band Tricep Kickback
As opposed to the dumbbell kickback, which can be somewhat of a useless exercise, the resistance banded kickback is an entirely different animal. Since you’re working against the band throughout the entire range of motion and not capped by a physical weight, this variation is great for targeting the triceps.
- Assume a staggered stance and place the resistance band under your lead foot.
- Grip the band and lean forward to create a slightly torso lean. Usually a torso angle of 60 degrees will suffice.
- From here, bring the upper arm to about parallel to the ground, maintain this positioning and extend the arm.
- Once you hit lockout, squeeze the triceps, then bring the band back to its starting position.