This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in May of 2020. For the original video go to https://youtu.be/2tfwy6q9J14
Bob: Today we’re going to show you the top 10 resistance band workouts for arms and shoulders at home. We’re going to beef up, Brad, right?
Brad: Absolutely Bob. We’re going to be working on the arms, and shoulders, and you’re going to get some benefits in the core and your balance as well. What you’re going to need are some bands. These are popular nowadays; they are getting more and more popular every day. Often when you buy these bands, they give you a door anchor. You put it in your door, and you close it, then you hook the band onto the hook, and it gives us something to pull against. The wall anchors make the door anchor seem completely obsolete and you’ll know why in just a little bit. The door anchor works alright, but the wall anchor works better.
Bob: The door anchor is a little scary to me. By the way, this is based on the Tom Brady system, right? Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots, well not anymore. Now he's with the Buccaneers. Here’s a guy, he's 42 years old, and his pure strengthening is done with bands.
Brad: Right, and it keeps him going. That’s how I do it too. So, we’re going to work the biceps.
Bob’s going to show you what to do. So, we have the anchor at the bottom of the wall and he’s using two bands. The blue and the black band.
Bob: We’re going to work the biceps and it’s a decent workout. When I do biceps when using the bands, I do a set this way first with two bands on each side, but then I use both handles in one hand and do one arm at a time. So, you’re going to stand with your back to the wall and heels touching the wall and just do a basic bicep curl. This is a hard workout when you do it with one hand. Am I missing something, Brad?
Brad: No, Bob, I was going to say, if you want to increase your intensity, there are a lot of options. Now, I do my biceps, I don’t know why I started doing this, but I like it. I lay down on my back with my feet on the wall and you keep your posture and it’s a very relaxing way. You can control the resistance by how far you are from the wall. I’ll put my arms to my sides and pull the bands up like a normal bicep curl. If I need more resistance, I’ll just move farther away from the wall.
Bob: Does it pull you towards the wall?
Brad: I don’t have carpet so yeah if I have shoes on, I’ll put my feet on the ground to keep me from sliding.
Bob: As Brad said, this really isolates. You can’t get any accessory movement to try to help you, so it’s all about using your arms. Now, I'm going to move my band to an anchor that’s higher up on the wall. Just pull it out of the groove of the wall anchor that’s lower to the ground and slide it into a groove of a higher placed wall anchor. The upper wall anchor should be set to your height. Brad wouldn’t put it as high as mine. I’m going to flip around so my back is to the wall and start working on my triceps. I’m going to keep my elbows to my side and just pull the bands down towards the floor.
Bob: If you want to make it more difficult, you can put both handles in one hand and do it one arm at a time. If you don’t think you can’t get a good workout with this, you can also add more bands to your set of wall anchors.
Brad: He has two bands on there and I've gone up to four bands at once. That’s another story. It gives you a lot of versatility.
Bob: Right away he's got to brag.
Brad: They weren’t all dark band, there were some yellow ones in there. This is how I do my triceps. Again, I’m using the wall anchor that’s close to the floor and I'm lying on my back, this time with my head next to the wall. I move away from the wall until I get some resistance. The elbows flat stabilize us there and I just pull my arms down until they touch the ground. It works great.
Brad: What I do in my real life, I do 10 of these and then I also do my Lat pulls which we’ll talk about later. It’s the beauty of the anchors. Bob, what’s next?
Bob: I think we’re doing flies.
Brad: Okay, we’re going to use the wall anchors that are placed in the middle of the wall. I do reverse flies for posture. You’re going to hook the bands into the groove of the anchors that are placed about equal to your chest and step back facing the wall until you get resistance. Then, you’re going to hold one handle in each hand. To do these, you’re going to pull the bands back, pulling your shoulder blades together.
Bob: He’s pulling his shoulder blades together, using all the muscles there to keep the upper back in good posture. This is a fantastic one, one that I think you should do every day. Everyone should do this. I don’t care if you’re 105 years old, you should be getting up there and grabbing those bands and pulling them back.
Brad: I’ll do a superset and I'll turn around, so my back is facing the wall. I want to get my Pec muscles and my anterior delts and do the same thing but pull the bands in front of me instead of behind me. I’ll keep it slow and controlled.
Bob: He’s got a wide base and he can get some good strengthening going.
Brad: Sometimes I'll do these on one foot so I can incorporate some balance with it, get those ankles working at the same time. With all of these, I do 10-12 reps of these. You can go up to 15 if you want.
Bob: When I do these, I use eight bands because Brad only uses one.
Brad: Yeah, the stories continue. You know how this guy is.
Bob: Now I’m going to do lats. These are the ones my wife loves doing. She had a gym membership just so she could do Lat pull-downs and once we got the wall anchors and bands, she gave up her membership. What you’re going to do is use the wall anchor that is above your height, back facing the wall, grab a handle in each hand and pull the bands to your sides, leaving a bit of space between your hip and your hands.
Bob: You can put a little more resistance, too, by going into a wall sit position, and with this position, you’ll also get a little bit of a leg and core workout. You’re also working the lats more.
Brad: There are just so many benefits to banding, I'm finding.
Bob: You’re going to do diagonals, Brad, right?
Bob: We’re going to slide the band to the end of the groove so you’re only using one handle of the band.
Brad: I like to do this one, I'll work on one side. It works the core, pec muscle, and anterior deltoid. I get in the athletic stance with my hip facing the wall. All you do is get into a slight squat position, hold the band with the arm closest to the wall and pull the band across your body and down to the opposite knee. You really get a nice workout. I always feel with my other hand right at my stomach to make sure my abs are working hard. It’s a nice deal you’re getting. Everything from the waist up is working. Make sure you do both sides on this one, otherwise you’ll end up lop-sided.
Bob: Kittywampus, you'll end up kittywampus.
Brad: Say no more, Bob. I can feel it in the rectus abdominis, it’s working well. All right, what’s
the next one?
Bob: Last one, Brad, you’re doing standing shoulder flexion and abduction. You do this from the lower level. Make sure you put it on the one closest to the floor.
Brad: If you want those deltoids strong, shoulder flexion. That’s the nice thing about these, you can turn your hands to make it more comfortable. Stand with your back against the wall and take a step forward. Just start with your arms to your sides and lift your arms to a 90-degree angle. Some people like to bring their arms higher and above their head, but as physical therapists, we emphasize the 90-degree angle only because it can lead to some shoulder impingement.
Bob: Understand, these are not huge muscles. We have short muscles moving along the lever arm. You don’t need that much resistance to do these.
Brad: You certainly can add more though. If you feel like you need more. Raise your arms out to the sides as well as straight in front of you.
Bob: Make sure you’re using good posture. That’s going to make impingement less likely to happen.
Brad: Oh, Bob, this is making me tired.
Bob: Okay, that's it. Thanks!
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