Everyone has those days when their battle cry is “I’ll never get these arms back.” The weight room can be a cruel mistress, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up on working your muscles.
Resistance loop bands are an untapped resource for arm and shoulder development. These resistance bands are great at targeting the upper and lower pectorals, back of the arms, biceps, triceps, and core as you perform common exercises in a loop band format.
There is no better way to isolate the back of the arms than to perform lat pulldowns with resistance loop bands. This exercise hits the lats, middle traps, and serratus anterior (internal and external scapular muscles) along with the brachialis (back of the arms).
In order to properly perform a lat pulldown, make sure you use a low pulley with a wide grip so you don’t squeeze the hell out of the middle of your forearms. Secondly, use a band that has enough resistance to challenge your muscles without causing wrist or shoulder pain.
To perform this exercise, attach one end of a resistance band to the low pulley of a cable machine and the other end to the highest point of your pull-up bar. Use your free hand to guide the resistance band from side to side as you perform your lat pulldown.
Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in so you stay comfortable but get a great range of motion as you pull your lats down and back.
There is nothing better than chin-ups for developing the upper back and biceps. However, performing chin-ups with resistance loop bands allows you to isolate the brachialis muscle in the back of the arms as you maintain proper form.
Once you have the proper grip placement and band tension, chin up against the resistance band and concentrate on squeezing your shoulder blades together and keeping your elbows tucked in and your back straight. This will help to keep your shoulder joint healthy while allowing you to focus on the chin-up muscles.
The side bridge is a great tool for targeting the obliques and lower abdominals. However, what many people overlook is that the side bridge can be performed with resistance loop bands.
When performing a side bridge against resistance loop bands, you will be able to isolate the obliques more effectively because the bands help to pull your body apart from side to side as you bridge. Side bridges performed with resistance loop bands also allow you to bring your hips and knees closer together which will increase core stability.
The bicep curl is one of the simplest and most effective exercises you can perform. Unfortunately, many people shy away from performing curls because they think they need to use heavy sets and heavy weights when in reality all they need is a barbell and some curl-specific dumbbells.
Curl-specific dumbbells can be used to target specific bicep flexor and extensor muscles. Using just a couple of curl-specific dumbbells, you can perform isolation curls to target the long and short head of each biceps flexor and extensor.
Another great thing about curl-specific resistance loop bands is that you can perform curls with different hand placements. So, you don’t have to rely on the barbell or dumbbells for your different training needs.
Rows are one of the best ways to develop the back and mid-traps of the forearms. However, most people perform rows incorrectly by gripping the bar and pulling in a neutral anatomical position instead of retracting the barbell back towards their shoulders.
In order to target the back and mid-traps of the forearms more effectively, perform rows with resistance loop bands. When you perform rows with resistance loop bands, you have to retract the barbell back towards your shoulders instead of pulling in a neutral anatomical position.
This will help to turn your rows into a contraction-only exercise. Thus, you will be able to target the back and mid-traps of the forearms more effectively.
The crossover crunch is one of the best exercises for developing the obliques. However, it can be challenging to perform the crunch correctly with a barbell. Thus, you may be interested in performing a crunch with resistance loop bands.
When performing a crunch against resistance loop bands, you will be able to bring your hips and knees together in a crossover position which will increase core stability and improve your posture.
Keep your core tight and your knees slightly bent as you perform a crunch against resistance loop bands. You should also try to keep your back flat against the band as you crunch.
Hanging Leg Raise
Hanging leg raises are a great way to increase core strength and stability. However, you can’t perform hanging leg raises with a traditional set of dumbbells. Thus, they are often overlooked as an effective core activation exercise.
To perform hanging leg raises with resistance loop bands, you have to use a band that is thick enough to support your body weight. Start with your feet just off the ground and your knees bent at 90-degree angles.
Pull the resistance band up and under your legs and then try to straighten your legs. Keep your core tight and your shoulder blades down your back as you perform this exercise.
Resistance loop bands are one of the best tools to isolate and train specific muscles. They are portable, easy to use, and don’t require any special gym equipment. These bands can be used at home, in the office, or on the go and require little or no space.
If you are looking for a way to challenge your muscles, work your core, and squeeze in an effective training session during your downtime, resistance loop bands might be the perfect solution for you. They can also be used by beginners or those who find themselves needing a quick workout when they don’t have access to traditional gym equipment.