Resistance bands are slowly becoming the favorite piece of exercise equipment for home workouts. It is easy to see why these elastic bands have revolutionized the workout industry. First, the price is incredibly affordable compared to any gym membership or complex home exercise machine. For the constant traveler, the portability you can get from a resistance band cannot be matched. The training options you have at your disposal when you pick up your resistance band is really unlimited. This exercise guide covers the overhead shoulder press which is a key movement for developing your deltoids.
Muscles Targeted: The primary muscles targeted by the overhead shoulder press are the deltoid muscles. The deltoids are a group of three muscles that collectively make up the shoulder. The second set of the muscles that assume a supplementary role are the triceps and back muscles. These muscles help to stabilize the shoulders.
Exercise Instructions: Grab the handles with both hands and place one foot in the middle of the elastic tubing. Next, pull the band up until your hands are at eye level and form a 90 degree angle with your elbows. This is the starting position. From this position, push upwards and raise your hands above your head slowly while making sure that you use your shoulders to perform the movement. Briefly hold this position at the top and then lower your hands back down to the starting position. This workout has a more difficult variation that involves stepping on the band with both feet as you start the exercise. This has the effect of increased tension.
Exercise Instructions (one arm): Stand with your legs just beyond shoulder width apart and grab the handles of an exercise band with each hand. Holding the other handle of the exercise band in your right hand, simply press the handle up toward the ceiling as high as you can extend it. Return to the start position and repeat.
Things To Avoid: Make sure to avoid having your elbows drop too low on the lower part of the exercise when you bring the hands down. Doing this will place too much tension on the delicate rotator cuff muscles. Your hands should be at eye level and your elbows parallel to the ground at the starting position. Do not raise or lower the band too fast using jerky movements. Always focus on smooth tempo with slow and controlled repetitions. Beginners should start with the one-foot anchor technique as they perform the overhead shoulder press. The two-foot variation can be used later when your muscles are stronger and can handle the extra tension.
Reps and Sets: Beginners should start with 8-10 repetitions of 2-3 sets. More advanced individuals will do 20-30 reps of 4-5 sets. Take 60-90 seconds of rest between sets and do this exercise 1-2 times per week.
Other Exercises To Use: Along with the shoulder press exercise, resistance bands can also be used to perform shoulder shrugs. Step on the band with both feet and stand in an upright position. Hold each handle and make sure your hands are by your sides. Lift your shoulders as high as they can go. Maintain a straight line from your torso all the way to your knees as you perform this exercise.
Another effective shoulder exercise is the shoulder extension. First, secure one end of the band overhead in a fixed hook or anchor. Increase the distance from the hook’s position until your band is tight enough. Pull your hand out to the side while placing maximum tension on the middle and rear deltoid muscles.