I’m thoroughly enjoying training my upper body these days… like almost as much as I enjoy training my legs (I said almost), and something I’ve been incorporating into my workouts more is my mini-bands. Previously I only used a band on my leg days or during an at home glute workout, but after some experimentation, I’ve decided to add them into my upper body workouts too.
Although I am a basics gal through and through, I do love messing around in the gym with different variations of exercises or trying new things from time to time. These exercises are going to be a great addition to my at-home workouts on the days that I really don’t feel like dragging myself out to the gym (which isn’t often, I will say… but the snow is getting wild here in Ontario at the moment so my desire to keep dusting off my car is dwindling). Grab yourself some mini-bands and let’s get too it!
Keep both forearms parallel and touching the wall at all times during this movement, at just wider than shoulder width apart. Place the band just below your elbows (obviously don’t heavily drag this part of your arm on the wall as the band will start to roll up and down). Slide arms up until almost straight, then bring back down, keeping the same distance apart, and parallel.
Place band about mid forearm and position arms in same starting position as the Wall Slides. Keeping elbows in place, bring both hands towards the centre (not too close though as the band will likely ping off your arms which is ouch), then separate your hands again.
Same starting position as the Wall slides. This time you’ll only be moving one arm at a time; keeping your left arm planted, move your right arm out laterally, keeping it at the same level as your left arm then bring back to centre. Move the same arm up diagonally, staying parallel with your left arm, and then back to centre. Lastly, bring your right arm down diagonally, staying parallel, and back to centre. That’s one rep. Repeat on left arm.
Place the band around your arms (the closer to your wrists the harder the movement) and set yourself up in a high plank position. Walk your right arm out to your right, followed by the left (you should be back in a regular high plank position now). Then walk your let arm out to the left, followed by the right. Repeat for as many reps as desired.
Overhead Lat Pull-Downs
Grasp the band in one hand and put that arm straight up overhead. Grab the dangling end of the band with your other hand, and pull down towards your head while keeping the first hand up over your head. Bring back up and repeat.
In a seated position, stretch your legs out straight in front of you and hook one foot through the mini-band. Grasp the other end of the band with the opposite arm, and while keeping back straight, pull band towards chest while contracting your lats. That’s one rep. Repeat on other arm/foot.
Grab one end of the band and stretch arm out in front of you so that your fist is in line with your face. Grad the other end of the band and while keeping the first arm straight in front of you, pull the end towards your face with your free hand. Your elbow should be pointing out to the side during the movement.
Grab one and of the band and place that hand by your hip. Take the other end of the band in your free hand, and simply curl your arm up like you would a bicep curl. Repeat on the other arm.
Grab the band in the same way that you did the bicep curls, however this time the hand that stays still is curled as if it’s the top of a bicep curl, and the moving arm extends down towards your hip. Repeat on other arm.
Double Arm Row
Place band just below elbows, and tuck elbows into your sides, with a band of ~90 degrees. Push both arms out, keeping forearms parallel with the ground, and keeping arms pulled apart, then bring back to starting position. That’s one rep.
Two Hand Face Pulls
Grab one side of the band in each hand and put arms out directly in front of your face. Squeezing your rear delts, pull the band out, and towards your face. Hold, and slowly release back to starting position.
And there you have it! I outlined in my mini-band glute blog post ways in which you can incorporate these exercises into your workout, or to make them their own complete at home workout!
Until next time