Resistance bands have a number of benefits. The most obvious is the fact that they are simple yet effective, light weight, portable and affordable. Resistance bands allows the freedom to workout at home, at your local park or when you are travelling. You no longer have to worry about missing a gym sesh, you can fit in a workout anytime, anywhere and on your demand.
There are many misconceptions when it comes to resistance bands however there is a reason why professional athletes incorporate resistance bands in their workouts. Resistance bands are just as effective as free weights and have a few advantages over free weights.
Tones & strengthens your muscles
Resistance bands help tone and develop your muscles through the variable resistance it creates, meaning that the more you stretch the band, the more resistance it gives. You can adjust the intensity of the workout by stretching the band or stacking the resistance bands. The variable resistance follows your range of motion – typically you are weaker at the start of a movement and stronger at the end. With resistance bands, the beginning of your movement is easier to achieve and the further you stretch the band, the more resistance you get at the end of your motion (where you are usually the strongest). This creates stronger peak contractions for muscle growth. Whether you are lifting a watermelon, a brick, free weight or stretching a resistance band, your muscles are oblivious to what you are lifting as it only feels the tension or weight. The trick is not what you lift but ‘how’ you lift.
Get a full body workout
A big advantage to using resistance bands is the ability to perform a full body workout. Resistance bands allows you to train multiple muscles in your body without the need to switch equipment. They target your muscles with a more comfortable and controllable ease. The number of exercises you can perform using resistance bands are limitless. For instance, you can do squats, horizontal and vertical chest presses, shoulder press, bicep curls, triceps extension, overhead press, deadlift etc – the list goes on! You can literally simulate any exercise you would do at the gym. Working out with resistance bands means you are not restricted to working against gravity for certain exercises i.e chest presses using free weights. Free weights resist the force of gravity however with resistance bands you can perform a standing chest press which will require you to have a stable balance. This helps develop balance stability and core muscles which is one of the reasons professional athletes include resistance bands in their workouts.
Add assistance, not just resistance
Want to get better at body weight exercises? Resistance bands assist with your progress on the ‘not so easy’ exercises. For instance, you can clip the carabiners together around a sturdy object and position yourself to do a push up with the help of a resistance band under you. You can increase the assistance depending on the resistance level (the higher the resistance, the more support you get). Your weight will be supported by the band making the exercise easier to perform. As you develop your strength, you can reduce the resistance band level.
Create explosive workouts with no cheating
When you are performing explosive training with free weights, you can create momentum which will make the exercise easier, whereas with resistance bands explosive training is more effective as you are not able to create momentum due to the constant resistance. The use of resistance bands forces you to get a better form when conducting exercises and reduces the chances of cheating (bad form) as well as the chance of injury.