Most athletes and fitness enthusiasts want great looking arms. When you go to a gym, you almost always see someone sculpting their biceps or triceps.
If you are looking for a great arm workout finisher with minimal equipment, look no further. All you need is a resistance band and a timer.
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This workout only takes 4 minutes to complete. It uses the Tabata method, 8 sets of exercises performed for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. But instead of performing as many repetitions as possible, as with typical Tabatha protocols, the program is divided into two categories: eccentric (muscle lengthening) / concentric (muscle shortening) exercises; and exercises performed with as many repetitions as possible (AMRAP).
The first category emphasizes two types of muscle contractions. When your muscle lengthens (eccentric), and when your muscle shortens (concentric). Many fitness programs emphasize only the concentric contraction; but training your muscles when they lengthen also confers a variety of benefits—such as increased ability to tolerate stress and enhanced ability to contract. This category is also commonly referred to as “negatives.” For example, performing Curls: when you lower the weight, you are doing an eccentric movement. When you bend your elbows and bring the weight back toward your upper torso, you are doing the concentric part of the movement.
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The second category is exactly how it sounds. You perform as many repetitions as possible within the allotted time. As with any exercise, safety is always the top priority. Do not use momentum from other parts of the body. Just perform as many reps as you can, moving through the full range of motion as safely as possible.
Once you have your resistance band and timer, you can set up for the workout. Remember, it’s 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight total sets.
Eccentric/ Concentric Curls: Curl the band as fast as possible on the way up and count at least three full seconds as you lower the band back to the starting position. Complete as many reps as you can within the time limit.
ARMAP Curls: Complete as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. Avoid using momentum.
Eccentric/ Concentric Triceps Extensions: Loop a band overhead on a pull-up bar (or something similar). Extend your arms as quickly as you can and count as least three full seconds as you move your hands/arms back to the starting position. Complete as many reps as you can within the time limit.
ARAMP Triceps Extensions: Complete as many repetitions as possible within the time limit. Avoid using momentum.
For sets 5-8, repeat sets 1-4. When all eight sets are complete, you are finished.
Make It Tougher
If the band you are using is not getting the job done, there are a few ways to make the exercises tougher. For the biceps workout, step on the band with both feet instead of one to add resistance. If you need more of a challenge, spread your legs further to shorten the band, causing your biceps to work even harder. For the triceps exercises, kneel instead of stand to increase the tension.
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Remember, with all exercises, it is about quality. Although you are trying to complete as many reps as you can, you must perform them without using momentum or other parts of your body.