Resistance Band Exercises (Upper Body)

by PhysioAdvisor Staff

Exercises > Resistance Band > Resistance Band Exercises (Upper Body)

The following resistance band exercises are designed to improve the strength of the muscles of the upper body. You should discuss the suitability of these resistance band exercises with your physiotherapist prior to beginning them. Generally, they should only be performed provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Begin by performing a few of the basic resistance band exercises. Once these are too easy, gradually add the remaining basic exercises and eventually the advanced resistance band exercises.


Resistance Band Exercises – Basic Upper Body

The following basic resistance band exercises should be performed approximately 1 – 3 times per week provided they do not cause or increase pain. Ideally they should not be performed on consecutive days, to allow muscle recovery. As your strength improves, the resistance band exercises can be progressed by gradually increasing the repetitions, number of sets or resistance of the exercises provided they do not cause or increase pain.

Biceps Curl

Begin this exercise with a resistance band under your feet and around your hands as demonstrated (figure 1). Your back and elbows should be straight. Slowly bend your elbows against the band tightening your biceps. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible and comfortable without pain.

Theraband Exercise - Biceps curl vs resistance band

Figure 1 – Bicep Curl

Triceps Extension

Begin this exercise with a resistance band held in both hands and tied securely at waist height (or higher) as demonstrated (figure 2). Your elbows should begin bent. Keeping your back straight, slowly straighten your elbows against the band tightening the muscles at the back of your arm (triceps). Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible and comfortable without pain. (N.B. This exercise can also be performed in standing).

Theraband Exercise - Triceps extension vs resistance band

Figure 2 – Triceps Extension

External Rotation

Begin this exercise standing with your back straight, shoulder blades back slightly and holding a resistance band as demonstrated (figure 3). Keeping your elbow at your side and bent to 90 degrees, slowly move your hand away from your body keeping your shoulder blade still. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions as far as possible provided it is pain free on each side.

Theraband Exercise - External Rotation vs resistance band

Figure 3 – External Rotation (left side)




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