If you are looking for the benefits of using resistance bands and why you should include elastic bands in your exercise routine, then this article is for you.
But why should you use them, and how? Before we dive into these two questions, let’s first look at the main types of resistance bands so you can figure out which one is best for you.
What Are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are a means of stretching and strengthening your muscles. They are elastic or fabric bands to engage more muscles, and add resistance or tension during exercise, so they help build strength, gain muscle mass, and increase range of motion and flexibility. They come in all different shapes and sizes, having different resistances to make your workout easier or harder.
Resistance Bands Benefits
Sure, you can use machines, dumbbells, and weights of all kinds. But resistance bands provide a range of benefits that standard weights can’t:
LESS CHANCE OF INJURY
According to Fitness Buffhq, exercising with resistance bands offers similar muscle activity as weight training. Still, it involves a lower amount of stress on the joints. It means that your muscles can be put through the same stimulus with less chance of injury. This is good for anyone with joint pain or existing injuries because resistance bands may allow them to perform exercises that they can’t with dumbbells.
GREATER MUSCLE STIMULUS
A significant difference between resistance bands and free weights is the varying resistance applied through an exercise’s full range of motion. While using free weights, during some parts of the movement, the muscles aren’t required to perform much work due to lack of gravity, like at the top of a bicep curl. On the other hand, when using resistance bands, the recruited muscle undergoes greater resistance at its strongest point in the range of motion to better stimulate strength adaptations.
The constant tension from resistance bands makes you work to maintain your body stable throughout the exercises. You will often have to activate your core to maintain balance. Also, controlling the resistance band from snapping back will need greater stimulation and strength through the muscle’s full range of motion. Moreover, the pull of the bands reduces your chances of cheating by using momentum.
IMPROVED STRENGTH & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
Power resistance bands are highly useful for athletic training due to the variable resistance, increased load, and instability. According to a study by TheSportJournal.org, “Experienced powerlifters and strength and conditioning professionals have used traditional strength training combined with elastic band resistance for many years.”
MORE EXERCISE OPTIONS
With barbells or dumbbells, you are constrained to certain body positions in a vertical plane of motion to use the force of gravity. But you can do exercises in both the vertical and horizontal planes when using resistance bands. For example, you can do a chest press and back row in a standing position rather than using a bench. You can also do sideways movements, perfect for athletic activities such as golf club or swinging a baseball bat, as well as everyday tasks such as moving a box or opening a door.
One of the key benefits of resistance bands is that they offer lots of variety. You can do everything with them that you can do with weight, such as stand on one and do bicep curls, upright rows, front raises, and lateral raises. Or hang one from a tree or bar and do lateral pull-downs or tie it to a bench.
Moreover, you can do a full-body workout with them to build muscle mass and tone.
As stated in the examples above, you can perform a wide range of exercises with one band. So you don’t require so many different weights and machines. If you work out at home, buying a set of resistance bands can save you from buying many expensive weights, plus they need a lot of space.
IDEAL FOR REHABILITATION
Resistance bands engage the ‘stabilizer’ muscles, which support your larger muscles and joints when you move and help decrease the risk of injury. Bands can offer very light or heavy resistance, which can be manipulated to strengthen specific muscles while protecting joints. So, they are a safe and low-impact option for the elderly and those undergoing rehabilitation.
STRETCHING & MOBILITY
Resistance bands are excellent options for both pre-workout as well as post-workout stretches.
PERFECT FOR TRAVEL
When you travel, it’s hard to find a gym or somehow fit in workouts. Bands are an ideal option to carry in a bag that allows you to exercise in a hotel room or outdoors. They are lightweight, so they won’t increase your luggage weight and will still offer you an effective, full-body workout.
About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Personal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, the USA, obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says, ” Age is just a number!”