Adding resistance tubes while walking allows for strength gains.
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Thirty minutes -- that's the amount of daily physical activity that's recommended for adults by the American College of Sports Medicine. Yet only half of the population achieves this recommendation. Walking is an exercise that will not only help you reach your 30 minutes, but with the use of a resistance band you can also strengthen and tone your arms.
The biceps comprise two muscles: the long head of the biceps brachii and the short head of the biceps brachii. The long head is the most visible part of the biceps with the short head tucked under it. Changing your grip on the resistance tubes from neutral to underhanded, or supination, allows you to work various parts of your biceps. Biceps exercises such as curls, which are done using an underhand grip, will focus on both heads of the brachii. Using a neutral position as in biceps hammers brings the forearm into play. In order to work the biceps with a resistance band you will need to stand on the tube in order to curl the band up. This is not very safe while walking, so start and end your walk with a set or two of both curls and hammers.
The lateral head, medial head and long head form the triceps brachii or your triceps muscle. The lateral head is the most visible of the three. Triceps exercises -- unlike biceps exercises -- can be performed while walking. Start your program with overhead triceps extensions. Grabbing your tube with both hands, keep one hand at your neck while the other hand pulls upward on the tube. Try to keep your elbows as close to your head as possible during the movement; this will ensure you are working your triceps and not your shoulders. Once you have switched sides, move on to push-downs. Grab your tube with both hands about shoulder-width apart. As you walk, pull the tube back toward you. Finish with triceps kickbacks. Place the tube around your waist, holding the tube with one hand. With your other arm grab the tube and pull it past your back.
The deltoids, much like the triceps, are made up of three parts -- the anterior, middle and posterior muscles. Shoulder exercises are easy to perform with a resistance tube. Start with shoulder presses. Place your tube around your back; grabbing your tube, place your arms out to the sides at shoulder level. Pull the tube up then back to shoulder level. From here you can move to front lateral raises. Instead of the movement being to your side, move the tubes to the front. If you cross the tubes in front of you, you can perform shoulder flyes by pulling the tubes up toward your shoulders.
When walking -- whether it be on a treadmill or outside -- make sure you have plenty of water to drink. If you're adding resistance tubes to your walking program, start off with a tube that offers the least resistance. Once you're able to perform the exercises with the proper form you can then move up to a tube with more resistance. You can always put two resistance tubes together if you feel you need more resistance.