Effective Arm Workouts for Women With Resistance Bands

young Japanese woman doing stretch bands exercise
Resistance Bands (Image: deeepblue/iStock/Getty Images)

If you are a woman looking for a great way to build strength and get definition in your arms, try a resistance band workout. Resistance bands are economical, lightweight and compact enough to take along while traveling. The bands come in different resistance strengths making it easy to increase your workout by simply changing to a different band. As with any new exercise program, consult with your medical practitioner before beginning.

Major Muscle Groups

A complete arm workout trains three major muscle groups: biceps, triceps and deltoids. The deltoids are the muscles that cover your shoulder and upper arm. The biceps are directly under the deltoids, forming the muscle that you flex when showing off your arm muscles. The triceps are the muscles of the back of the arm, where you're likely to notice "chicken" or "bat wings" when you're out of shape. Targeting these muscles will provide not only build strength in your arms, it will add a noticeable curve in your biceps, reduce flabbiness under your upper arms and give you more overall ability to carry and lift things.

Biceps Curls

Biceps curls are the classic exercise for developing arm strength and are simple to do with resistance bands. Wrap the ends of the bands around your hands, then step on the middle of the band. Stand upright with your feet about hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. With your palms facing forward and your arms hanging down at your sides, flex at the elbows and bring your hands to shoulder level, keeping your elbows close to your sides. Return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions and complete two to four sets.

Triceps Extensions

Extensions are one of the best exercises to develop your triceps. Attach the band to a tall, stationary object or a clothes hook on the top of a door. Face the band, standing with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your elbows bent, with your forearms parallel to the floor. Wrap the ends of the band around each hand. This is the starting position. From here, lower and straighten your arms, until your hands are behind your hips, then bend your elbows, slowly bringing your forearms up and again parallel to the floor. This is one full repetition. Repeat 10 to 12 times per set and compete two to four sets.

Lateral Raises

Lateral raises will make your middle deltoids more defined and add to your overall arm strength. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Wrap the band around both hands and step on the middle of the band, holding your arms down by your sides, palms facing your body. Raise both arms out to shoulder level, keeping your elbows fully extended. Lower your arms slowly to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 repetitions and complete two to four sets.

Advance to the Next Level

After performing these exercises for two to three weeks, you should start to notice positive changes in the strength and appearance of your arm muscles. After four to six weeks, you can advance to a higher resistance strength band to further your progress.

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