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Can I Build Muscle With a Resistance Band?

You can build strong, lean muscles with a resistance band–no gym membership necessary. Michael Sena, personal trainer and author of “Lean Mom, Fit Family,” says that this rubber tube is one of his favorite work out products. It provides variable resistance, says Sena, to provide a challenge to the muscles without creating strain. The resistance band is affordable, portable, and easy to use at home to develop strong muscles. Always start by stretching your whole body to warm up those muscles before you jump into the exercises described below.

Work Your Upper Body

Step 1

Find a way to anchor your resistance band, preferably by securing it to a tube anchor that inserts into your door jamb. See the Resources section below for a link. The resistance band should be at shoulder height. Do a chest press by standing with your back to the door and holding one end of the band in each hand. Step away from the door to create initial resistance, holding your arms at shoulder height with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Slowly extend your arms to full length without locking in your elbows. Do 10 repetitions for one set. This exercise works the chest, shoulders and triceps, says Sena.

Step 2

Move the resistance band down to waist level, face the anchor, and grasp one end in each hand. Step back to create that initial resistance, then slowly pull your arms back until your hands are at your sides and your elbows are behind your back. This move works your back muscles, shoulders and biceps. Do 10 repetitions for one set.

Step 3

Do a triceps extension with your resistance band, as recommended by the Sport-Fitness-Advisor website. Hold one end in your hand with your arm behind your back. With the other hand, reach over your head and hold the band so that it creates initial resistance. You may need to hold it somewhere in the middle rather than on the end. Extend your arm over your hand, keeping your other hand steadily locked into place behind your back. Do 10 to 15 repetitions for one set.

Step 4

Do a biceps curl using your resistance band. In this move explained by Sport-Fitness-Advisor, you simply stand on the middle of your resistance band with one foot. Hold one end in each hand with your palms facing forward and your arms straight down at your sides. Slowly lift your arms up to your shoulders, then release back to the original position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions for one set.

Work Your Lower Body

Step 1

Do a twist to work your obliques, lumbar and back muscles, says Sena. Anchor your resistance band at waist height, face it, and hold both ends in your clasped hands. Step back for that initial resistance, then slowly turn your body to one side until your arms are perpendicular to the resistance band. Return to the starting position and turn to the other side for one full exercise. Do 10 repetitions for one set.

Step 2

Do squats with your resistance band. Sport-Fitness-Advisor recommends this move: Stand on the middle of your resistance band with both feet, which should be shoulder width apart. Hold the resistance band in both hands at shoulder level. Squat straight down, keeping the band at shoulder height, then return to a standing position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions for one set.

Step 3

Do lunges with your resistance band for more lower body strength, recommends Sport-Fitness-Advisor. Place the resistance band under one foot, then step back with the free foot. (It should be a wide step, about 2 feet back.) Keep your head and back straight, grasp the resistance band in both hands and hold at waist height while lowering yourself until the thigh of your back leg is parallel to the floor. Do 10 repetitions for each leg to complete one set.

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