Resistance bands are a great alternative to weights or even a great extension to a traditional weight training schedule. They’re low-priced, adaptable, and work your muscles in a completely different approach than weights.
Studies show that muscles respond to strength training exercises with resistance bands just as well as other types of equipment, such as free weights and different gyming machines.
People sometimes try to avoid practicing resistance bands because they are unfamiliar with the process of using them. Working out with bands feels different than free weight dumbbells and other gyming equipment because resistance is felt during both motions of the exercise.
For example, while doing dumbbell curl with bands, you are working the muscles both ways, when you stretch it up and when you bend the arm and release it. As a result, there is consistent tension on the muscle that works in ways you may not be used to.
Resistance bands provide a different kind of workout.
In addition to being as powerful and effective as more expensive gym equipment, resistance bands offer many unique perks:
- They increase coordination. Bands work much like a cable machine in the gym, allowing you to keep constant tension on the muscle. You’ll also integrate more stabilizer muscles to keep the band in alignment during each exercise, adding a diverse dynamic to the same old moves. This helps with coordination and stability, and it also helps you involve more muscle groups in a single exercise.
- You get a good workout. You can do the same exercises you do with free weights. The difference rests in the positioning of the band. For example, you can stand on the band and grip the handles for bicep curls or pull it over the chest and do overhead presses. You can fasten it to a door and do triceps pushdowns. You can wrap the band about a pole or tangle it in a chair for chest exercises. Stand sideways and do shoulder rotations. You can even do exercises on the floor like seated biceps curls or concentration. The possibilities are endless, and you’ll find there are numerous exercises and workouts open to you.
- They add variety. Resistance band empowers you to change your way to exercise in various styles and generate resistance from all directions—the side, overhead, behind, below, etc. This turns how your body works and how an exercise makes you feel.
- They’re inexpensive. Bands price from $6 to $30, depending on how many you get and where you buy them, which is excellent for the budget-conscious fitness enthusiast.
- They don’t take a lot of space. Unlike other gyming equipment that requires a lot of floor space, resistance bands can be tucked under a bed or table or put in in the closet.
- They travel well. Resistance bands are very lightweight. You can easily pack them in your bag for travel and do exercises in the car or your hotel room—perfect for when you’re short on time and don’t have access to your usual gym equipment.
- They’re great for all fitness levels. Depending on how you use them, bands can be excellent for beginners as well as more advanced fitness enthusiasts. You can use them for basic moves or add intensity to traditional moves.
You can get a variety of resistance bands or a set of bands from the market. The best part is that you can usually get them almost anywhere, at most of the discount stores (like Walmart), and most of the sporting goods stores.
You can always buy resistance bands in walkin stores, but if you’re looking for better options and, sometimes, more quality, you may have to order them online like from Korsid.
Before buying resistance bands, you should consider things like
Buy comfortable, easy to use bands. Some bands you find in stores offer interchangeable handles with different attachments, which means you have to take them off and on to use various bands. Some have handles that are larger than general or made of hard plastic. These are minor issues, but they can make using your bands more complicated than it needs to be and can create confusion. Try to get bands that have padded handles and make sure you don’t have to change them out frequently.
Buy a variety of bands. Most bands are color-coded based on the tension level (e.g., light, medium, heavy, very heavy). It’s best to get a set of three bands with different resistance levels as different sets of muscle groups will need different levels of resistance. A favorite for many exercisers is Korsid bands. Do check the tension level for each color so you can buy your perfect set. Try to stick with your basic long tube with handles, if you’re just getting started. Once you get used to it, you may want to buy other types later for variety. Once you learn basic movements and get familiar with the bands, buy some accessories, and work on advanced movements.