Exercising With Resistance Bands (Part 3)

Last updated: February 2021

Editor's note: This is part 3 of a series. Check out part 1 and part 2.

Lots of anticipation led to my second attempt at respiratory rehab. Due to the pandemic, in-person sessions were cancelled but technology and a desire to learn are wonderful things. So, we did this respiratory rehab with zoom meetings to complete our program. My group consisted of 7 people of various ages and stages of COPD. We met twice a week as a group for exercise and education. Then I met once a week one on one with my private therapist.

Resistance bands

I was introduced to resistance bands for the first time. Each set of exercises started with a deep breath in and exhaling upon exertion but keeping time with Jim was easy.

  • Bicep Curls: In sitting position, we hold the band under our feet, and keeping our arms at our side, we pulled on the band with our arms in an upward motion bringing the bands toward our shoulder. Then, we pulled it back in a rowing motion and straight up to strengthen our upper arms.
  • Chest Press: Again while sitting, we put the bands across our back and push the band out in front of you to work our arms.
  • Clams: Putting the band round our legs, keeping your feet together, move out to separate them working our quads.
  • Triceps Extensions: Put your hand across your chest holding the band on your shoulder and pull the band in a downward motion.
  • Shoulder External Rotations: Holding the band with your elbows bent at your side, pull the band outwards, squeezing your shoulders together.

We completed upper and lower body exercise using only the resistance band. Breathing as we went, Jim asked me to check my numbers constantly, so I never got short of breath.


Finally, we did standing exercises. Using a chair for support we began by:

  • Marching on the spot
  • Hamstring curls and calf raises
  • Hip abduction
  • Our exercises finished with balancing, something that I find I have a problem with. Completing a single leg stance and a tandem stance.
  • Putting your feet in front of each other may sound easy but it is something we all need practice with.

Jim was constantly reminding me to breathe because if you are like me, I stop breathing and hold my breath during exertion. It is a habit I learned a long time ago and turning that around was a big deal and made a huge difference in my exercise routine.


Once the exercise routine was done for the day, Jim would ask to me sit down and inquired how I felt and asked for the reading off my oximeter and what I perceived my 02 levels to be. He monitored my 02 and heart rate constantly and kept a running record of it. He was free with information and easily and professionally answered my questions. I never felt like I was rushed or that I was taking up too much of his time.

This round of respiratory rehab was excellent, and I urge everyone to give it a try.

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