Resistance Band Upper Body Superset Workout

Resistance bands are one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment.  They can be used to work just about every muscle in the body.  They're also great for traveling with since they're super light and hardly take up any space in your bag.  Do you have a set of bands?  How do you like to use them?  I'm a HUGE fan of bands both during the classes I teach and my own personal workouts.  

I'm also a huge fan of supersets.  A superset is when you do 2 exercises usually targeting the same muscle group back to back with no break.  They are a GREAT way to change up your routine a bit, and add a little bit of an extra challenge to stimulate muscle hypertrophy (growth).  Today's workout is all about the band and the muscles in the upper body.  Ready to get your sweat on and make those arm muscles pop?  Let's get right to it and start your Monday off right!

Resistance Band Upper Body Superset Workout

Resistance Band Upper Body Superset Workout

Equipment Needed: just a heavier resistance band and some room on the floor, plus a water bottle or sweat towel.
What You'll Do: repeat each superset 3 times before moving onto the next.  Once through should be enough of a workout for your whole upper body, but if you want to repeat the workout once more to really get a good burn, be my guest!

Superset 1: Biceps

15 Bicep Curls - stand on the band with your feet about hip width apart, holding a handle in each hand.  Curl up doing a regular bicep curl for 15 reps, keeping your elbows by your ribs.  Trainer Tip: for less resistance, stand on the band with one foot instead of two.  For increased resistance, loop the band once around both feet to shorten the length.

15 Second Hold - keep the band in the same position as you had it with the curls.  All you'll do here is keep a 90˚ angle in your arms and hold the band up.  Remember to keep your elbows by your ribs here, too.

Repeat superset 2 more times.

Superset 2: Back

20 Lawnmowers (each side) - stand in a semi-lunge position with your left leg forward, right leg back straight, band underneath your left foot and handle out on the right side.  (Make sure your foot is relatively close to the handle to allow resistance when you pull.)  Using your right arm (left arm is lightly propped on your knee), pull the band up to your chest while turning your upper body to look toward the ceiling.  Release it back down close to the floor.  Pull up again.  Repeat that motion for 20 reps on the right arm, and then switch to the other side.

10 Lat Pull Downs - stand with your feet hip width apart, hands holding the band with about 1-2 feet between them (handles will dangle down).  Raise your hands above your head to start.  From here, pull the band while bringing your arms down, trying to bring your shoulder blades together.  So, your elbows and the band come slightly behind you as you pull down.  Slowly raise it back up to above your head.  Do 10 reps total.

Repeat superset 2 more times.

Superset 3: Back/Chest

20 Seated Rows - sit down with your legs out straight, feet flexed and band around them with handles crossed.  Keeping your back up straight and chest up, pull the handles toward your chest.  Trainer Tip: keep your elbows down (not winged), palms facing each other (not toward the floor), and relax your shoulders.

10 Resisted Push Ups - get into a push up position (either on your feet or your knees) with the band looped over your upper back, and underneath your hands to hold it in place.  From here, do a regular push up.  You should feel resistance from the band on the concentric phase of the push up (the actual push back up).  Trainer Tip: if you don't feel a resistance, you may need to shorten the amount of band that's behind your back.  To do this, just move your hands farther up the band and place them back down on the floor.

Repeat superset 2 more times.

Superset 4: Triceps

20 Tricep Extensions (each side) - in a standing position, hold the band vertically with one arm raised above you, elbow bent, palm facing forward, and the other arm bent behind you, palm facing away.  From here, hold the band tight and in place with the bottom arm while you take your top arm and pull the band up, moving only from elbow to wrist (shoulder to elbow stays stationary).  Do 20 reps on one arm, and then switch sides.  Trainer Tip: to decrease the resistance here, simply move your grip farther away on the band; to increase resistance, move your hands closer together.

10 Straight Arm Frontal Raises - stand with one foot on top of the band and a handle in each hand, arms by your sides, palms facing backwards.  From here, keep your arms straight and lift them up as high as you can (max = up to shoulder height).  Lower them back down.  Keep lifting for 10 reps.  Trainer Tip: to increase resistance here, stand on the band with both feet.

Repeat superset 2 more times.

There you have it!  How do your arms feel?  I hope you all had a great weekend (and Halloween!) and your week is off to a good start.  Oh, and happy November!  Did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep yesterday?

Readers: chat with me!  Do you use resistance bands in your workouts?  Do you typically use them at the gym or at home?  How many of you travel with bands to get a good workout in while you're away?