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Get shapely, stronger arms using resistance bands

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I get a lot of questions from people about upper body strengthening and toning.

Not everyone is comfortable using weights, and if you don’t have much strength to begin with, even small weights can be challenging. Well, I’m happy to report there’s another option…

Tema Esberg from Potentia Personal Fitness will show you a few terrific “pulsing” upper body strengthening exercises you can do with a band.

The bands are easy to get, and use, if you don’t already have one. They are called fitness bands or rehab bands, and come in different thicknesses and colors; some with handles and some in a loop and other just as a strip you tie together. Most chain stores and online retailers sell them, even some dollar stores.

In today’s video, Tema is using a continuous (circle) band. It is too long so she shows you how to fold and double it, and how to find the right width and resistance.

These two exercises, the pulsing chest pull and the pulsing overhead pull, are really great for strengthening the chest, upper back, shoulders and even the lats. So either set a timer, look at a clock or count in your head, and let’s follow along with Tema and get started!

Exercise 1 – Pulsing chest pull

The first exercise is a chest pull. You will hold your band in the appropriate way, arms outstretched in front of you at about chest height.

Be sure to relax your shoulders while the arms are extended. If you find your shoulders inching up to your ears, relax them and allow them to drop back down to normal level.

Keeping your arms outstretched, the goal will be to “pulse” the band continuously for 30 seconds. Make sure your elbows are “soft” (not locked) and shoulders are relaxed. Now pulse the band; this means pulling the band apart to expand it and then allowing it to contract, again and again.

Exercise 2 – Pulsing overhead pull

This exercise is similar to the previous one, but this time you will hold the band up above your head, arms extending toward the ceiling with soft elbows.

In the raised position, you can raise your shoulders and then release them to let go of any tension and get into the right starting position.

Set your time or get ready to count for 30 seconds, and begin pulsing the bands, pulling your hands apart and allowing them to contract quickly.

Keep your arms and shoulder in line with your ears so that you engage your upper back muscles.

Try adding these two pulsing band exercises to your workout and see the improvements they bring. You will notice stronger and more defined chest, upper arms, shoulders and upper back.

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