The Resistance Band Workout for Strong Arms and Sculpted Abs

Whether you're bored with barbells, looking to add more tools to your strength training or need a workout that'll travel with you, incorporating resistance bands is an easy way to spice up your sweat sessions. Though they can work just about any body part, resistance band exercises are especially effective for your arms and abs.

The resistance band is a versatile piece of equipment that can target both your arms and abs. (Image: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages)

Here's why: Unlike larger muscle groups (quads, glutes and hamstrings) that require a heavier load to produce a training stimulus, you can use resistance bands with a high rep scheme to build your arms and abs and still see remarkable results, says Geoff Tripp, CSCS, certified personal trainer and head of fitness at Trainiac.

Arms and Abs Resistance Band Workout

Tempted to test out that extraordinary elastic band? Tripp designed a simple workout that targets and tones your arms and abs. The best part is that since this routine requires only a resistance band, you can do it from the comfort of your own living room.

Warm-Up

Do: some dynamic stretches and/or light cardio

The Workout

Do: 12 to 15 reps of each move (on each side) for two to three sets.

Move 1: Banded Triceps Kickback

  1. Anchor one end of your band around a stable object that's about waist height.
  2. Grab the band with one hand, palm facing inward.
  3. Take a few steps back to create tension in the band and hinge slightly at your hips.
  4. Keep your elbow tucked into your side, then pull the band behind you until your arm is fully extended.
  5. Lower back to starting position.

Move 2: Banded Overhead Triceps Extension

  1. Step on the middle of the band with one foot.
  2. Grab both ends of the band with one hand and lift your arm, so your elbow is pointed toward the ceiling and your hand is behind your head.
  3. Pull the band up, extending your arm fully.
  4. Then, maintaining tension in the band, lower slowly.

Move 3: Banded Biceps Curl

  1. With your feet hip-width apart, stand on the middle of the band, so it's anchored to the ground.
  2. Grab both ends of the band with an underhand grip.
  3. Keep your elbows at your side and perform a biceps curl, pulling the band to chest level.
  4. Maintain a controlled movement as you slowly lower to starting position.

Bonus: For a real biceps burnout, try this banded biceps curl sequence for a total of 21 reps.

  1. With your feet hip-width apart, stand on the middle of the band.
  2. Grab both ends of the band with an underhand grip.
  3. Keep your elbows at your side and perform a biceps curl, pulling the band just to 90 degrees elbow flexion before lowering. Repeat for 7 reps.
  4. Then, pull the band to chest level. Starting from this high position, lower the band to 90 degrees elbow flexion before raising it back to your chest. Repeat for 7 reps.
  5. Lastly, perform a biceps curl with a full range of motion, pulling the band to chest level and lowering to full extension for 7 reps.

Move 4: Banded Standing Core Press

  1. Anchor your band around a stable object at waist height.
  2. Grab the handle with both hands and step out to the side to create tension in the band.
  3. Keep your core engaged as you press your hands forward and away from you. Don't let your body rotate.
  4. Then, bring your hands into the body slowly.

Move 5: Banded Core Rotations

  1. Anchor the band chest height and step away to create tension in the band.
  2. Grab the band with your right hand. Keep your right arm straight as you rotate to your right side.
  3. Control your tension and speed as you slowly twist back to starting position.

Move 6: Banded Floor Crunch

  1. Anchor the band low to a stable object.
  2. On the ground, lie on your back about an arms-length away from the band.
  3. Reach back and grab the band with both hands, pulling it over your head to chest level.
  4. Keep your elbows bent and the band tight to your body as you use your abs to pull your head and shoulders off the ground into a crunch.
  5. Slowly lower to the starting position.

Move 7: Banded Plank With Pull

  1. Anchor your band low to a stable object.
  2. Assume a high plank position about an arm's length away.
  3. Keeping your core tight and feet wide, grab the band with one hand and pull it straight back toward your chest. Don't allow your hips to rotate.
  4. Pause as you squeeze your glutes, core and lats, then return to the starting position.

Move 8: Banded Side Plank With Pull

  1. Anchor your band low to a stable object. Position yourself about an arm's length away.
  2. Assume a side plank position by lying on your right side and propping your body up on your right elbow and forearm. Make sure your elbow is directly beneath your shoulder.
  3. Maintaining a long, straight body and a tight core, grab the band with your left hand and pull it back toward your body.
  4. Don't let your hips rotate or sag, and slowly return your arm to starting position.

Cooldown

Do: some static stretches, holding each for 15 to 30 seconds.

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