Back and Biceps | Resistance Band Workout at Home

Back and Biceps | Resistance Band Workout at Home is one of Caroline Girvan‘s earlier workouts (pre-EPIC programs). The sound at the beginning of the workout is horrible. You have to jack the volume way up to hear Caroline’s intro then once the actual workout starts the music is blaring. I suggest listening to the intro beforehand on your computer to prepare then when you do the workout just scrub forward past the intro. (this suggestion is from someone who streams workouts to their TV)

This is a great back strengthening workout. I have a lot of bands and I rarely use them. I am going on a long vacation in a few months so I wanted to try Caroline’s band workouts to see if they would be good travel workouts. This is actually an excellent finisher/add on workout for home as well as a great travel workout. You do need to be able to attach your resistance band to something high. Most resistance band packages come with a door anchor. You need that or something else strong. In my home gym I have hooks installed in the wall from waist to ceiling for this very purpose and I never use them! So I was very pleased to use them this morning. My back feels well worked. There is only one bicep isolation exercise at the end of this workout but your biceps are working with all of the back exercises, so if you are using heavy bands that challenge your muscles then your biceps should already feel nicely worked by the time you get to the isolation exercises at the end. I know my biceps were burning out during the final exercises. Caroline’s were, too!

This workout is done interval style: each exercise is done for 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. Each exercise is also done 3 times before you move on to the next exercise. There is a timer in the upper right hand side of the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. Unlike in her more current workouts, Caroline does not preview the next exercise during the recoveries. However she does preview each exercise during the intro.

During the intro Caroline gives form pointers on how to perform the band exercises with good form. Caroline is using a large loop band. I have a huge variety of resistance bands but I decided to also use my heavy loop band that is similar to Caroline’s. I usually default to my handled resistance bands. I was surprised at how much stronger and more effective the loop was for some of the exercises than my handled bands. The success of this (or any) band workout is contingent on two things: the strength of your band and hand/body placement. When the band is anchored to something, the further you are from the anchor the more resistance you create. In addition, choking up on the band will increase the resistance. You can do that by gripping it lower and/or wrapping the band around your hands. Bands come in many different strengths. The band(s) you use should be appropriate not only to your fitness level but to the exercise you are performing. For instance, for a back exercise you would generally use a heavier/stronger resistance band than you what you would use for a bicep exercise. Neither me nor Caroline changed bands for the bicep exercise and our muscles were burning out. Had we changed to a lighter band (but still strong enough to give us sufficient resistance) we wouldn’t have had to take mini breaks to let our muscles thaw.

Back and Biceps | Resistance Band Workout at Home is 18 minutes; 2:35 minute intro, no warm up or stretch. Equipment: resistance band(s), fitness mat, a chair or other heavy object to anchor the bands and something high to loop the band around (something you won’t break by pulling down on the band) or a door anchor.

  1. Bent over row (band is under feet with one end of band in each hand, hinge torso forward and do bent over rows)
  2. Repeat #1 two more times
  3. Seated row (band is looped around something sturdy on the floor (Caroline is using the leg of her couch; I used the leg of one of my weight racks loaded down with dumbbells), sit far enough away from your anchor so there is tension on the band, legs are wide and knees are bent with feet on floor to brace yourself, you are holding the band in both hands (or a handle in both hands if that is the type of band you are using), row band back, pulling elbows behind you and keeping arms close to sides)
  4. Repeat #3 two more times
  5. Lat pull down (loop/secure band to something high (Caroline is using a window handle), kneel on floor holding the band in both hands (or a handle in both hands if that is the type of band you are using), torso is hinged forward and your gaze is on the floor, pull band down bringing elbows to ribs)
  6. Repeat #5 two more times
  7. Straight arm push down (band is still anchored to something high, stand facing the anchor and hold the band in both hands (or a handle in both hands if that is the type of band you are using), hinge forward slightly and pull band down, keeping arms close to sides, arms only have a slight bend in elbows)
  8. Repeat #7 two more times
  9. Bicep curls (stand on band with both feet, one end of the band in each hand, do bicep curls with palms facing ceiling and elbows close to body)
  10. Repeat #9 two more times

For more info on Caroline Girvan’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.

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