Flat resistance bands store easily in a briefcase or drawer and are an effective tool for building muscular strength. You can exercise with your band while seated at your desk, but your muscles should be warm. Jog in place for several minutes, take a quick walk up and down the hall or run the stairs to increase blood flow before you use your band. MayoClinic.com recommends performing one set of 12 to 15 resistance exercises but only if you can maintain proper form. For safety reasons, check your band for tears before using it and avoid exercising in a chair that swivels or has wheels. Breathe at regular intervals, keep your movements smooth and controlled, and conclude every exercise with a light stretch of the muscle you've worked.
Seated Biceps Curl
While seated, grasp one end of the band in your right hand with your palm facing upward. Spread the rest of the band on the floor in front of you and place your feet shoulder-width apart on the band. Sit straight with your shoulders down and back, relax your neck and engage your stomach muscles. Pressing your right elbow into your side, bend it slowly and pull the end of the band toward your right shoulder. Keep your wrist straight. Hold the raised position briefly and lower your hand. As you proceed through your set of 12 to 15 reps, expect mild tension in your biceps, at the front of your upper arm. To increase intensity, shorten the band length between your right foot and your right hand. Repeat on the left.
Seated Triceps Kickback
To work the back of your upper arm -- the triceps -- sit with your feet shoulder-width apart on the band and take one end of the band in your right hand, palm facing down. Hold your right hand near the right side of your ribcage with the elbow directed behind you. Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly extend your right hand backward until your elbow is straight, but not locked. Hold the extended position briefly, and then draw your hand back to its initial position. You should feel tension along the back of your upper arm over the course of the set. Repeat on the left.
Seated Lat Pulldown
To work your back muscles, or lats, sit with your feet shoulder-width apart and your abdominals tight. Grasp the band so your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Raise your hands just above your head with your palms facing front. Slowly extend your arms away from your body's mid-line, lowering them to shoulder height as the band comes to rest in front of your chest. Your wrists should be straight and firm and your elbows slightly bent. Feel your chest expanding as you pull your shoulders down and slightly back. Hold the open position briefly, and then raise your arms to their initial position. You should experience tension in your middle back as you complete your reps.
Seated Calf Exercise
To work your calves, ankles and the small muscles of the feet, grasp one end of the band in each hand and loop the middle of the band around the ball of your right foot. Straighten your right knee and raise the leg so it runs parallel to the floor. Flex the foot, drawing the toes back toward your shin. Adjust your grip on the band to eliminate slack. Pulling back on the band, slowly point your right foot, pushing the ball of the foot and toes into the band and away from your shin. Hold the pointed position for two seconds and return the foot to a flexed position. After you progress through your reps, you should feel tension along the back of your lower leg.