While the different types of resistance bands can confuse you, they all fall under the same category. They do have slightly different uses, but we can describe them holistically to make things a little easier.
Before we discuss how resistance bands can help our exercise routine, we need to first know exactly what resistance bands are.
Resistance bands are literally ‘bands’ that are either flat or tubular in shape. Originally, their sole use was as a rehabilitation method for patients wanting to get back to exercise post-injury.
Resistance bands are great for those who want to exercise at home or who like to take their workouts along when they travel, but their value doesn’t end there. There are many benefits to these simple exercise tools including versatility, convenience, safety and effectiveness.
The more you learn about the advantages of resistance band exercises, the more you’ll be motivated to add them to your home gym equipment.
Here are more benefits of using resistance bands. (1)
Resistance bands are cheap. Compared to other types of equipment such as treadmills, exercise bikes or power towers, they are clearly one of the most economical ways of getting fit. The exact price will depend on which of the different types of resistance bands you wish to buy.
Another of the practical benefits of resistance bands is that they are easy to carry around with you. Rather than buying equipment that restricts you from working out at home, why not try something you can fit in your bag?
There’s no excuse not to fit in at least 4-5 good workouts each week with resistance bands. Considering how effective resistance bands are for getting in shape, their portable nature makes them a win-win. Not only do resistance bands work, but you can use them anywhere.
The adaptability of resistance bands is one of their main strengths and compliments. Most of the different types of resistance bands come in various resistance strengths, similarly to how dumbbells come in different weights.
Bands are handy as they mean that there is room for progression and that the exercise isn’t solely for beginners. You shouldn’t underestimate the strength of resistance bands as they can actually be pretty tough to master, especially if you start at a resistance level that is too heavy for you.
Rehabilitation and Stretching
Resistance bands in their simplest forms are commonly used for rehabilitative exercises. If you’ve suffered from an injury in the past, chances are you’ve reaped the benefits of resistance bands on your road to recovery.
Even if you haven’t, it’s great to make yourself aware of this should you ever land in this situation. They were first invented in a medical setting for rehabilitation, proving that they have been effective in such cases.
Since resistance bands are adaptable and come in light resistance levels, they’re also used for stretching. They can be used before or after a workout or at any time to improve flexibility in the joints and muscles generally.
Do resistance bands actually work?
You can get an effective workout out of resistance bands with the right combination of bands and exercises. Studies (2) have found that elastic resistance training provides similar strength gains compared to resistance training performed with conventional weights.
That’s because resistance bands work much the same way as with free weights. They provide external resistance that your muscles have to work against. The only difference is you’re just working against the force of just the band alone, while free weights will have you move against the weight and also gravity for a portion of the exercise.
Are resistance bands worth it?
A resistance band is an affordable, portable and versatile fitness tool that can help you get the most out of your workouts and even replace free weights entirely if you know the right exercises. You can bring them whenever you want to workout. Since it is not bulky, you can just put it in your bag. And with some costing less than $10 a pop, who wouldn’t opt for that convenience?
You can use resistance bands as part of a variety of fitness routines and workouts. But they’re particularly useful when it comes to strength and toning workouts.
There is a range of exercises you can use them with such as assisted pull-ups, chest press, bicep curls and tricep extensions.
While resistance bands are a great option, it doesn’t mean that you need to shun the free weights and gym machines completely. Remember to ‘shake up’ your training program frequently to ensure you aren’t plateauing.
Speak with one of the Revitalize team to show you how to use resistance bands correctly.