20 Min Upper Body Workout at Home with Resistance Band

20 Min Upper Body Workout at Home with Resistance Band is an excellent upper body strength workout for travel/when you are away from home. Personally, I would not use this workout other times because I prefer dumbbells. But since I have a long vacation coming up, I am trying a lot of band workouts to find good ones to use on vacation. This is definitely a good one. In fact, I plan to pair this workout with Caroline‘s Back & Biceps Resistance Band Workout. If you skip the intros that will give me an excellent 35 minute upper body workout. Just like in Back & Biceps I used my large loop resistance bands. However, unlike in Back & Biceps, I used all 3 of my bands. In Back & Biceps I only used my heavy band, which was appropriate for all of the back exercises but too heavy for the bicep exercise. In this workout Caroline used her heavy band for everything and had to take frequent breaks because she was burning out. I swapped out to a band strength more appropriate for the muscle group I was working and I didn’t have to take any mini breaks until near the end. But even then I did not have to break as often or as long as Caroline did.

This workout is done interval style: each exercise is done for 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of recovery. There is a timer in the upper left hand side of the screen, counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recovery Caroline previews the next exercise. During the intro Caroline gives form pointers on how to perform the band exercises with good form. She also gives some very important information. The last 2 exercises are push up variations. If you do not want to do push ups with the band, she shows you two alternative exercises in the intro. She does not show those alternative exercises when previewing the exercise in the course of the workout. I also describe those alternative exercises in the breakdown below.

Caroline is using a large loop band. The success of this band workout is contingent on two things: the strength of your band and hand/body placement. When the band is anchored on 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 end 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 can use a heavier/strong resistance band than you can for shoulder exercises.

20 Min Upper Body Workout at Home with Resistance Band is 22:50 minutes; 1:48 minute intro, no warm and 40 second stretch. Equipment: resistance bands and a mat. Heather is using a large loop band at a strong/heavy resistance. I used 3 different large loop bands–a heavy one, a medium strength one and a lighter strength one. I used the lightest one for most of the shoulder exercises. I used the heavy band for back and chest exercises and the medium band for bicep and tricep exercises and the upright rows.

  1. Shoulder press (stand on the band with one or both feet, the band is in both hands if you are using a loop (a handle in each hand of using handled band) with palms facing away from you, push hands/band overhead)
  2. Repeat #1 with palms facing toward you
  3. Frontal raise (stand on the band with one foot, the band is in both hands if you are using a loop (a handle in each hand of using handled band) , do a straight arm front raise)
  4. Bent over row (band is under feet with one end of band in each hand, hinge torso forward and do bent over rows–palms are facing each other)
  5. Supine row (repeat #4 with palms facing forward)
  6. 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)
  7. Upright row (still standing on band, the band is in both hands if you are using a loop (a handle in each hand of using handled band), pull up on the band, raising elbows high and keeping hands in front of chest)
  8. Rear delt squeeze (hold one end of band in each hand, open arms wide in out to sides in a T, pulling band against chest then release tension bringing hands/arms closer together)
  9. Push ups (band is looped around back with one end in each hand) or lying chest press (lay on mat, band is under back with one end of band in each hand, arms are open out to sides, push arms/band to ceiling)
  10. Tricep push up (same as #9 but with hands closer together under shoulders) or lying tricep press (lay on mat, band is under back with one end of band in each hand, arms are close to sides, push arms/band to ceiling)
  11. Repeat #1-10

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

5 thoughts on “20 Min Upper Body Workout at Home with Resistance Band

  1. I have also been previewing CG’s resistance band workouts. I will be n FL for 2 weeks and taking my bands. I liked the 15 minute full body resistance one. Thanks for posting this one. Have a great week!

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    1. I plan to try that one before I head off on vacation. Between Caroline and Heather Robertson, I have created a nice travel playlist of band and body weight workouts. I hope I actually do them!

      Like

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