When it comes to strength training, many of us usually will stick to the standard free weights and machines or, you’re feeling a little frisky, we might try to venture over towards the cable or free motion machines while we’re at the gym. What you don’t see at the gym is work with resistance bands incorporated into exercising. Resistance bands have plenty of benefits for you and your body.
Some people often get confused about what a resistance band actually does and how to use one, but they’re an excellent way to workout while you travel or add variety to your usual routine.
The resistance from these bands feels so different when compared to other types of equipment in the gym. When you use the free weights, gravity will decide where the pressure will come from, when doing this you will get a lot more resistance during some parts of the movements. For example, the upswing of a biceps curl than the downswing. With bands, the tension is constant, which makes it feel harder. Bands work much like a cable machine, allowing you to keep constant tension on the muscle. You’ll also incorporate more stabilizer muscles to keep the band in alignment throughout each exercise, adding a different dynamic to the same old moves.
Resistance bands are not as challenging as the machines or dumbbells. With weights, you will know exactly how much you’re lifting. But with bands, you can only go by how it feels and the tension on the band. That doesn’t mean you’re not getting a good workout, though. If you use good form and the right level of tension, your muscle fibers won’t know the difference between weights or bands. Plus, these bands can offer more of a variety because you can create the resistance from all directions–the side, overhead, below, etc.
If you don’t know how to use the bands, it can be very confusing trying to figure them out. You also want to keep in mind that you can perform the same exercises as you do with free weights with the bands the difference lies in positioning the band. For example, you could stand on the band and grip the handles for bicep curls or overhead presses. You can also attach it to a door and do triceps push downs. You can wrap the band around a pole or chair for some chest exercises or even shoulder rotations. You can even try to do some exercises on the floor like the seated biceps curls. The possibilities you will find with these bands are basically endless, and you’ll find there are some exercises and workouts available to you.
Why Should You Try Resistance Bands?
The resistance bands travel well. For example, you can easily pack them in your suitcase for travel and do exercises in the car or your hotel room. They are super light and easily compacted to barely anything, meaning there is plenty of room in your luggage for other items.
Resistance bands can and have been known to increase your coordination. Because of the tension throughout the exercises, you have to stabilize your body. This exercise will help you with coordination, balance and it also helps you involve more muscle groups.
Resistance bands help you add variety to your workouts. With weights, you can often be limited to how many exercises you can do. But, the resistance band will allow you to change your positioning in multiple ways. Doing this changes how your body works and how an exercise feels.
They’re ideal for all fitness levels. Depending on how you use them, bands can be perfect for beginners as well as more advanced exercisers. You can use them for basic moves or add intensity to traditional moves.You can sometimes find the workout movies that show you how or what to do with your resistance band. These films are beneficial for beginners or less advanced.
Some Resistance Band Exercises
If you’re ready to try your resistance bands, below is a list of basic moves to get you started.
Chest Press – For this exercise, you want to wrap the band and a chair behind you. You could also wrap it around a pole, rail or use the door attachment to secure the band to the door. The resistance band should be right at about your chest level, and you should step far enough away from the door that you get constant tension on the band. If you’re in a chair, you might need to wrap the bands around your hands several times for more tension. Keep your elbows in a ‘goal-post’ position, meaning, parallel to the floor throughout the movement. And push out and back for about 16 reps.
Rotating Chest Press – You wrap the band around a sturdy object and then loop one handle through the other, securing it tightly. Then step away from the anchor until you have a good amount of tension on the band and begin with the right side towards the anchor, leave your arm straight. Rotate the body, pivoting on the feet, and bring the right around all the way across and touch the left fingers. Repeat this for at least 16 reps on each side.
Seated High Row – For this move, you can keep the band where it is, unhook the handles and turn around so that you’re facing the band. This exercise targets the upper back, so make sure you squeeze the back without arching or pulling the elbows too far back.
Bicep Curls– For the bicep curl, you should stand on the band with both feet (harder) or with one foot (easier). To make the tension harder stand on the band with both feet or to make the pressure easier stand on the band with just one foot. Then hold the handles in each hand and curl up in a bicep curl, just as you would with dumbbells. You can make this exercise harder by stepping with your feet wide or by using a heavier band.
Squats with an Overhead Press – You will want to use a light band for this exercise. If you do not have a light band and only have a heavy band, you can simply do this exercise with one arm at a time. You want to start this exercise by standing on the band and hold the handles up towards the shoulders and remember to keep your elbows bent to create more tension. Squat and then, as you stand up, press the weights overhead.
Many people who lift weights will have the greatness of free-weights as the best mass builder. While free weights are excellent, the resistance bands can also have their place as well. In the past, some resistance bands have been given a bad name as they became seen as only for middle-aged women doing some aerobic workout with 5 pounds of resistance, which is not true. Many men incorporate resistance bands into their workouts especially when trying to regain strength in some regions of the body.
Some distinct differences in resistance bands can make them useful to anyone, especially those who will be away from any gym for a while.
There are many advantages to using resistance bands in your routines. The first and probably the most obvious advantage is how much easier they will fit into your luggage compared with free weights. There is also a mechanical advantage in resistance bands that resistance is maintained through every part of the motion while many similar free weight exercises are non-performing work during parts of the lift when movement isn’t against gravity at a large enough angle.
With your resistance band training, every part of both the concentric and eccentric part of the exercise has resistance, resulting in better range of motion strength and a complete stimulation. The downside to resistance bands is that you can’t perform near maximum lifts and the limitation of exercises (the latter of which I will try to help overcome).
Using Resistance Bands
When using resistance bands for your workout, the factor you should be thinking about is picking a band with a resistance appropriate to your strength and the exercise you are doing. When performing the exercise, the band should be secured in a way, so the length is appropriate to give resistance even at the bottom of the exercise.
1. Bench Press: For this you will need a bench of some sort with a leg you can lift. Secure the band under the leg nearest your head, lie down on the bench and press up like you would a barbell bench press.
2. Crossovers: Secure the band around a stationary post (a poll or something of the like), step back enough to begin tension. Stand to face away from the post with arms raised to sides, palms forward. Keeping your arms straight, bring them across your chest.
3. Curls: Stand on band with leg width appropriate so that tension will start with arms straight down. Holding handles palms up, curl as you would dumbbells.
4. Triceps Extensions: Stand on band with leg width set, so tension begins at the height of your hand with arms behind your back (over your head) and elbows flexed. Extend your arms as you would with Triceps extensions.
5. Skull-Crushers: Set up the band as you did with the bench press. Point your elbows forward and up, and perform skull-crushers as you would with a barbell.
1. Shoulder Press: Stand on band so that tension starts with hands by your shoulders. Hold handles palms forward with bottom part of the handle on the backside of your hand. Press upward as you would a dumbbell press.
2. Lateral Raises: Stand on the band, so tension begins with arms at sides. Keeping your arms straight, raise your arms out to your sides, so they are parallel with the floor.
3. Upright Rows: Stand on the band, so that tension begins with your arms at sides. Pull upwards as if you would with a barbell upright row.
1. Row: Fix your band, so it is around a stationary post or your feet. Then stand back, so that tension begins with your arms raised out in front of you. Keeping feet planted or by sitting, pull back as you would with a cable row.
2. Back Fly’s: Fix band around a stationary post. Stand back so that that tension will begin with your arms raised in front of you. Keeping your arms straight and feet planted, move your arms back, so they are extended by your sides.
1. Good Mornings: Stand on the band, so tension starts with hands clasped behind neck. Keeping legs straight or slightly bent, stand up straight, raising back as in a traditional good-morning.
1. Squats: Stand on the bands, so that tension begins with your hands by shoulders and in a squat position. Stand up and keep your hands by shoulders, performing like you would if it was a barbell squat.
1. Calf Raises: Stand on your band, so that the tension begins with your hands by your shoulders and by standing straight up. Make sure you’re standing on the band with your toes. Keeping hands by your shoulder, stand up on your toes as you would with a barbell calf raise.
1. Weighted Sit-ups: If you have a decline bench seat, you can fix the band around the base of the bench and perform the weighted decline sit-ups on the bench. Otherwise, adjust the band around a stationary post and lie on the floor facing away from the post. Holding your hands up by your head, perform the sit-ups or crunches.
Using the exercises from above, you can set up a workout routine the way you like. With the resistance band type based workouts, the best would most likely be three full-body workouts or a 2-day split with Day A on Monday and Thursday and Day B on Tuesday and Friday.
For example on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
- 3 x 8 Bench Press
- 1 x 10 Cross-over
- 3 x 10 Rows
- 1 x 15 Back Flys
- 3 x 15 Squats
- 2 x 10 Curls
- 2 x 8 Skull-Crushers
- 2 x 10 Triceps Extensions
- 2 x 8 Shoulder Press
- 2 x 8 Lateral Raises
- 1 x 10 Upright Rows
- 3 x 8 Good-Mornings
- 3 x 10 Calf Raises
- 3 x 20 Weighted Crunches
Benefits and Worth of Resistance Bands
As with any exercise routine, the resistance bands will increase the strength of your muscles and stimulate growth in such muscles. The bands will also allow you to hit the full range of motion, also working many parts of a lift and muscle that isn’t often operated by the free weights. Free weight curls and triceps extensions aren’t working during the whole action.
This, in turn, will also increase your flexibility and your applicable strength and more muscle stimulation. So it becomes quite apparent that for anyone who really needs a way to work out on vacation but periodically can’t get to the gym, or wants something even extra to add to their workout, resistance bands are very worth it. And at such a low cost, there’s little reason not to invest in them.
Resistance bands and tubing bands are becoming a more popular for rehabilitation and training tool due to their effectiveness, low price, and easy portability. They are mainly used to improve your muscular strength. Resistance tubes and bands are similar training tools. One can often be substituted for the other, but there are some fundamental differences between the two.
The form of the bands is the biggest and most noticeable difference between the two training tools. This is what gives them their different two names. Resistance bands are flat pieces of elastic that can tend to be at least several inches wide. Resistance tubes are round pieces of elastic with a hole in the middle which creates the tube shape. Most tubes measure to be about less than 1 inch in diameter.
The inclusion of the handles is another big difference between both bands. Although handles can be fitted on both bands and tubes, they are more often found with resistance tubes. Many different styles of handles can be found on various resistance tubing. Some come permanently attached to the tubing while others can be removed and switched from one tube to another. The broad but flat orientation of resistance bands does not lend itself as easily to the inclusion of the handle; a few varieties are available but often at an additional cost.
Pros of Flat Resistance Bands
Most tasks can be completed successfully with either type of resistance material, but a few activities are completed with greater ease when using one version over the other. Activities that call for the resistance cord to be anchored to the floor, such as when used to add strength to the bench press, are best completed with a resistance band. Exercises that require the strength be held or attached to pulleys are best achieved with resistance tubes.
Several types are available in both resistance bands and resistance tubing. One type that is closely associated with resistance bands are loops that can be used for lateral movements. One type that is related to resistance tubes is those that are attached to steps, chairs or other stationary objects. Overall, resistance tubing is more associated with many variations than that of bands.
A key advantage of the flat resistance bands is greater comfort in use. When you’ve got the band wrapped around your foot to do curls, for example, the pressure is evenly distributed. Since tubes are comparatively thin, the strength is noticeable against your body which some may be bothersome to some depending on the application.
It’s ideal for travel as flat bands can be folded and fit into tight spaces in suitcases. To top it off, they’re lighter than tubes.
Better for kids, older folks with weak joints, or simple rehabilitation exercises.
Maybe the best choice for specific activities associated with Pilates and yoga in which Increasing one’s strength is not the key motivating factor for use.
Pros of Resistance Tubes
Resistance tubes are resilient and last significantly longer than flat resistance bands. Bodylastics in particular feature “snap guard” which is an inner core that prevents you from over-stretching the band.
For serious athletes and active people, tubes are better for heavier exercises. Fans of programs on the more intense side such as P90X, P90X3, and FOCUS T25 will prefer to stick with tubes.
Resistance band kits sometimes can be more extensive with as much as 31 pieces included with the Bodylastics Mega Resistance Bands sets. Some of the sets can include door anchors, different types of handles, ankles straps and even carrying cases are included in any decent set.
Flat and Thin Resistance Bands
Flat and thin resistance bands are quite simple bands that you can manipulate to boost your strength. These bands do not come with extra attachments and are usually about four feet in length. These types of exercise bands are ideal for toning your lower body or strengthen your ankles. As with all kinds of resistance bands, flat and thin resistance bands come in individual colors that indicate their level of resistance.
Cost of Resistance Bands
If your goal is to use one or more resistance bands for strength training and general fitness, it’s important to select the most appropriate resistance level. Many sets offer little to high resistance levels, allowing you to increase the resistance as your fitness levels improve. Training with elastic resistance can help prevent you from injury and assist in strengthening your muscles, making you a stronger athlete or individual overall. They’re a very convenient size for when you might be traveling. Resistance bands are typically available in tube and loop styles. Tube bands often have handles and are ideal for strength training exercises. Loop bands don’t have handles and tend to lie flat against the body. Browse a wider selection of resistance bands on Amazon for more options if this list doesn’t have what you need.
These durable resistance bands are commonly made with a natural latex material and are usually ideal for a wide variety of workouts. There are five separate resistance levels to choose from based on your level of fitness. Each band is hand tested before it’s shipped to ensure the highest quality product. Included with the bands is an instructional booklet is along with an eBook to help you get started. You could also search online video workouts to use as a guide.
Cost can vary widely depending on the brand, resistance level and amount of material purchased, but it is also true that cost ranges from tubes and bands. Most often, you will find that bands are more cost effective than tubes. Bands and tubes can both be bought in bulk which can then be cut down to the size needed. This can help save on costs. Buying bands in bulk are commonly found when owning a gym or an active user that likes to add variety to their workouts.
Resistance bands can offer a variety of levels of resistance depending on how thick the bands are and how much they are stretched. You can buy “light,” “medium” or “heavy” types of bands. Lighter or thinner bands can offer less resistance while heavy or thicker bands can be harder to stretch and which may provide you with more resistance. You can also get more resistance from a band the more you stretch it. If you are looking for less resistance, keep the band somewhat lax, and if you are looking for more of a challenge, keep the band stretched, even in your starting position.
Effects on Strength
While some bands may not look as impressive as dumbbells or barbells, you can always use resistance bands in place of free weights or resistance machines to strengthen your muscles and get similar results. According to a study published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, the results of working out with bands are similar to those you would get from training with weight machines when you work at the same amount of perceived exertion.
Advantages of Resistance Bands
Bands can offer certain benefits over other types of weights. They are much lighter and portable than free weights so you can take them wherever you go and continue your exercise regimen no matter where you are. Even better, bands cost a fraction of what weights cost. You can get a full workout with only a couple of bands and accessories, while you would need several dumbbells or barbells to achieve a similar workout. Another advantage, especially for beginners, is that bands have a much more reduced risk of injury than weights. These resistance bands are really lightweight, so the risk of injury associated with heavy weights is eliminated.
The American College of Sports Medicine notes that exercising with resistance bands may feel unnatural if you are used to lifting free weights or exercising with machines since resistance changes throughout the exercise. Because of the resistance increases as the band stretch, the training can become tough at the end of the movement. The band can also become difficult to control when it is fully extended.
They are mostly giant rubber bands with plastic handles at each end that you pull against to work and strengthen certain muscle groups. Resistance bands come in a range of color-coded resistance levels, from easy-to-stretch to progressively more challenging.
Some resistance bands have a thin, flat cross section which is useful for wrapping around the bar of a dumbbell or barbell to add extra resistance to the top of a lift. This makes them useful during weightlifting sessions. They’re also comfortable when you require to wrap them around your feet or body for certain exercises.The alternative band cross section is round and is usually a hollow tube section.
Resistance bands can also be known as exercise bands.You might also come across the name “Resistance tubes.” These are usually shorter than average resistance bands and look like colored lengths of oversized surgical tubing. They usually have a handle at each end, and they’re normally about two feet in length when they aren’t stretched.
Tubes are much like resistance bands but they offer different levels of resistance, and they’re color-coded for easy identification. Exercise tubes have a reputation for lasting longer than bands, although they’re usually suited for various purposes.
Another variation is the Exercise Loop, this is similar to a resistance band, like a giant rubber band. There is little that can be done with practice loops that can’t be done with the standard types of the resistance band.
Resistance bands will provide a full-body workout whenever you need it or when other options are inconvenient or unavailable.
What Do Resistance Bands Do
Whatever your level of fitness you are at, exercise is always required to maintain or improve your condition and to burn calories. Exercise is essentially work done against a resistance such as gravity if you were skipping or lifting a weight.
Resistance bands have a unique ability to provide you with resistance throughout an entire workout. When you use the free weights, you don’t necessarily get that continuous form of resistance. For example, during the lifting phase of a bicep curl, gravity will work to provide your bicep with some resistance, along with the weight. However, the lowering action does not require an equal amount of effort. Resistance bands provide a balanced lifting and lowering workload. The result is that your muscles are challenged in a different and more efficient way.
By following lighter exercises where you can work at a fast rate of repetitions you can get a very efficient cardiovascular workout.
Why Use Resistance Bands
Not only will you be able to challenge your muscles, but you’ll also be able to carry out a lot of exercises with one small and lightweight form of equipment.
When your body performs an action against the constant load of a resistance band, it will develop toned muscles very quickly. The resistance bands will help increase your muscular strength and your balance, help sculpt a more toned figure and increase your range of motion along with your flexibility.
Resistance bands are good because they create resistance in multiple directions and can be easily applied to different muscle groups.
Resistance bands are also good for keeping your joints healthy and can be very helpful even for people with an arthritic type of joints. The bands can be useful in increasing joint flexibility and muscle strength making them also sufficient for seniors to use.
Beginners, seniors and those with arthritis should try to avoid rapid motions or even jerky exercises because you might be more prone to a possible injury. However, by using resistance bands with the correct level of resistance load, you will be able to perform safe exercises that will have a great benefit to you and your body.
As your fitness and muscle strength improves, you are less likely to have problems at home and with a set of resistance band added to your exercises it will be completely under your control.
Resistance bands can be used as part of another exercise program such as Yoga and Pilates.
Resistance bands are inexpensive, light, portable and very versatile. Because it is easy to pack a set of resistance bands in a suitcase or overnight bag, they’re the equipment of choice for anyone who needs to keep their self in shape on a road trip or even during a break at work.
It is worth trying Resistance Bands
Everyone will benefit by adding resistance bands to improve their current level of health and fitness. Resistance bands can also add more challenge and variety to any workout program at any level.
You will gain immensely from using these resistance bands to provide simple, healthy exercise even if you are an absolute beginner or even any age. If you are already pretty fit and engaged in a regular training program, resistance bands will give you an extra push to keep yourself in tip top condition.
If you have not tried these types resistance bands take a look at some of the products offered here on our website. You will find a wide variety of ideas that can help you to achieve a much more fit and healthy version of you.
Resistance bands are used primarily because of two main reasons. Resistance bands are ideal to take on the road with you for quick exercise while you are traveling. Especially due to their portability, and they are a very effective way of incorporating, even more, variety into your otherwise mundane workout routine.
Resistance bands work in just about the same way that cable machines do. They allow you to keep a consistent tension on the muscle that you are working out. These are three types of the resistance bands that can help with your fitness goals.
Strength training with bands involves the use of hydraulic tension, free weights, weight machines or elastic bands to provide resistance while you perform upper-body, core or lower-body exercises. Strength training with resistance bands is extremely beneficial for individuals of all ages and all activity levels. To get the most out of your training, buy the right size and type of band. If you are using the bands for physical therapy or rehabilitation, consult your doctor or a fitness professional for specific guidance.
1. Fit Tube Resistance Bands
The first type of resistance band is for your fitness goals is known as the fitting tube resistance band. It can be characterized by its heavy type of style and construction. It is more commonly made from a heavy duty latex rubber that might feature plastic handles on each end for gripping. In most situations, a typical model of this kind of resistance band gives buyers the option to choose among five types of modes of resistance. Many models of the fit tube type of resistance bands come with many attachments for any door, so that you can easily exercise by attaching one end to a door and then choosing to alternate between either of your hands to build your muscles. The range of these type of fit tube resistance bands is good so that you can get a productive workout for both your upper and lower body.
2. Clip Tube Resistance Bands
The second type of resistance band that can also help you along in your fitness goals would be the clip tube resistance band. This kind of band has slightly more accessories than the fit tube resistance band since it does come with ankle cuffs along with the plastic handles at opposite end of the band. The material used to make clip tube resistance bands is rubber latex. This type of resistance band lets you expand the parts where you can use this piece of equipment, and now you can take it to the office at work or even on vacation. The clip tube resistance band includes door attachments, and it can also be used in one of two ways. You can use this resistance band on its own, or you can hook it up with another resistance band to challenge you with even more levels of resistance.
3. Flat and Thin Resistance Bands
The last type of resistance band is either the thin or flat one. You can identify these quickly by their length, which comes out to about four feet. If your exercise goals are to work out your ankles or to train your lower body, then this is the type of resistance band that you want to buy. Look for unique color-coding on it to determine what kind of level of resistance it offers.
Know Your Fitness Level
When purchasing a resistance band, you should be aware your current strength and fitness level. Go to your level of strength, not what level you would like to reach. Exercise bands do come in a huge variety of different resistances. Buying the proper type of resistance band can help you increase the effectiveness of your workout and also can prevent you from injuring yourself. Extra-light resistance bands are normally recommended for inexperienced individuals as well as those rehabilitating from an injury. Light resistance bands are mainly used in rehabs and sometimes by many women. If you are on average fitness level, an older man or an untrained women, consider a medium resistance band. Heavy bands can be used for inexperienced people who are active. Extra-heavy bands are usually recommended for active men and women who are strong. Ultra-heavy resistance bands should be used by female and male bodybuilders. Or by people who are extremely experienced and fit.
Consider During Your Workout
Determine what type of exercises you would like to use on the resistance bands for before purchasing any. Fit tubes are usually four feet long with plastic handles, allowing you to perform arm, abdominal and lower-back workouts. Figure-8 bands are about 18 inches long with soft handles are in the shape of an 8. This type of band is recommended for chest presses, rowing, and arm exercises. Clip-tube resistance bands typically come in 16-, 24- and 48-inch lengths with attachments for clipping to a door or a cuff for your ankle. These can be used to perform exercises as if you were using a cable machine. A fit loop is a flat, circular band typically 8 inches in diameter. This band can help exercise your legs, hips, and buttocks. A ring resistance band is also 8 inches in diameter but has soft handles to enable you to work your hips, thighs, and buttock while seated, standing or lying down. A therapy band is usually four feet long and five 1/2 inches wide. You can perform upper- and lower-body exercises with a therapy band.
Purchase Different Levels
By buying two different types of resistance bands, you will have a backup in case you purchased a resistance band that might be too easy or too difficult for you to use. By buying two different resistance levels, you also have the option of making your workout more challenging when one band becomes too easy for you to use. Having two bands can also help to make your workout more efficient. You can use a heavier resistance band for large muscle groups and a lighter resistance band for smaller muscle groups.