13 Resistance Band Exercises for Your Arms | SELF

It’s no secret that resistance bands are a go-to because they’re easy to use and super versatile. You can create a great full-body workout—or simply do resistance band exercises for arms, like what we show below. Either way, you won’t need to pick up a single dumbbell or kettlebell. What’s more, if you’re new to strength training or recently recovering from an injury, resistance bands can be a great way to ease back in.

Resistance band exercises for arms can be great for not only building strength, but also increasing mobility and flexibility in your upper body. Below, moves like the resistance band pull-apart, overhead resistance band stretch, and resistance band push-out can all loosen up your shoulders or reduce tension after a long day at a desk job.

Resistance bands can also be a great travel tool if you’re looking for ways to squeeze in a workout while on the go. They’ll easily fit into a suitcase and won’t add any extra weight to your carry-on. Plus, they’re a fairly inexpensive investment. If you’re looking to buy a band of your own, we like these resistance bands from GoFit or SPRI. Most come in several different tension levels varying from light (meaning little resistance) to heavy (meaning lots of resistance). If you’re really looking to build strength, you may also want to check out braided resistance bands, like these, which tend to offer even more resistance. And although we use bands with handles for the resistance band exercises for arms below, you can also try flat resistance bands like these, which can be even easier to adjust, since you can grip them anywhere (and not just by the handles at the end). One note: We’d suggest staying away from mini bands for the particular routine below. Although those resistance bands can be great for other workouts, they probably won’t work as well for this one.

You’ll need at least one band to complete the resistance band exercises for arms below. Depending on your strength level for various exercises, you may want more than one resistance band at different tensions so you can adjust accordingly. You can use resistance bands with or without handles, though we used ones with handles. Keep in mind that the first time through, you may need to play around to get the tension level just right. You should feel free to do a few practice reps to make sure the tension is sufficiently challenging. You can also use very light resistance and do the moves below as stretches, rather than as strength-building exercises.

For this workout, if you’re doing 10 reps of an exercise, the last two reps should feel difficult, and if you had to do two to three more reps, your form would falter. If the tension feels too easy no matter how tight you pull a band, it’s time to move up to a heavier band.

Our model, Saneeta Harris, is a blogger, SFG Level 1 certified kettlebell trainer, and the founder of @NaturalHairGirlsWhoLift. All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The Workout


Do each exercise below in order for 10-12 reps, resting as little as possible between moves. Do the entire circuit 2-3 times for a complete upper-body workout.

If you’d like to integrate a few of these into a full-body workout, select 5-6 moves and follow the above protocol. We’d suggest:

  • Seated Resistance Band Biceps Curl
  • Resistance Band Pull-Apart
  • Staggered Stance Resistance Band Row
  • Resistance Band Triceps Kickback
  • Single-Arm Lateral Raise With Static Hold
  • Single-Leg Resistance Band Deadlift

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