Exercise resistance bands are becoming more popular by the day, but what are they and do you need them? If you are into toning muscles or bodybuilding, resistance bands should be in your toolbox. However, they are also a primary part of most any rehab or recovery efforts from injuries and surgeries. The rest of this article details the uses of exercise resistance bands and why they are so popular.
What Are Resistance Bands?
The Best Resistance bands are also known as workout bands, and they can be utilized in place of exercise machines or free weights. But, they don’t have to replace anything.
Workout bands make a great and inexpensive addition to what you’re already doing with weights. A lot of people don’t realize that lifting weights is just a type of resistance training.
These simple elastic bands can enhance all your muscle building efforts due to the tension in both the exertion and release phases of your reps. And the simple fact is that workout bands have a lot of advantages of over throwing around a bunch of steel plates and dumbells.
Resistance bands can be either flat material or plastic tubing, and both stretch and contract as they are pulled and drawn out. Whether you refer to them as resistance bands, exercise bands, or workout bands, they are available in different strengths or sizes, which correlate to differing colors.
This post will help you decide which resistance bands to buy?
Resistance Band Basics
In order for them to function, there must be resistance. That comes from anchoring a part of the band to either an item of furniture, a door, or just standing on them.
Different colors are always used as a reference to the amount of intensity of each band. The following is a good guide and the most widely used color codes for the strength of the resistance bands:
Yellow – Red – Green – Blue – Black – Silver
With yellow being the easiest as well as the weakest band and silver is the strongest or the hardest.
If you are just starting out, it is highly recommended to utilize yellow, red, or green, and use them alternatively. As your workouts progress you move to blue, black, or silver resistance bands, or even stack them to exert more opposition.
What Are Resistance Bands Used For?
Perhaps the most popular way people utilize resistance bands in their exercises is by doing curls, usually by standing on one end and lifting the other.
They come in various lengths and resistance levels, so you’ll need to look for bands that will work for you. This exercise band helps work for different muscle groups as well as helps in keeping you from swaying your body as many people do with dumbbells.
Exercise bands are also used to carry out pull-ups. You may not see how this will work, but it is easy to do. If you have a pull-up bar, put the band tubing on top of the bar and hold an end in each hand. If you don’t have a bar, you can open a door and put the band behind the door, resting on a hinge. This helps in building and toning arm muscles.
Another way this band can utilize to exercise is by doing squats. All the major muscle groups are active while doing a squat using resistance bands. Because of this, your strength increases as all the muscles come together to do the movement. This also contracts your hamstring, quadriceps, as well as the gastrocnemius; as a result, keeping strength around your knee joint.
If you use a resistance band along with squatting exercises, you are less likely to experience knee injuries and back pain compared to squatting with weights.
Regular use of resistance bands can assist you in shedding a large number of calories and, at the same time, tone up your body. But not how you would think!
Resistance training of any kind burns very few calories during the actual workout. In fact, so few, that your rarely even find these workouts listed in calorie burned calculators. But that’s not the end of the story.
What they will do is build muscle in your body, and the more the percentage of muscle in your body the more calories burned in any exercise or when you are at rest.
Spending more time in front of the television and computers has resulted in a decrease in essential bodily functions such as walking or any physical activity. Our society is ridden with sedentary lifestyles that result in diverse muscular weakness.
Once you start using resistance bands, the muscle in your hips, thighs, and upper body are likely to become active. This way, you are able to overcome the issues that stiff muscles cause. The exercise bands can help you get your entire muscular system activated, increase flexibility, and energy.
Do Resistance Bands Build Muscle?
Whether you build muscle with free weights, resistance bands, raking leaves, or at work, it all starts with over taxing and stressing existing muscle tissue. Building muscle requires tension that makes tiny micro tears in the muscle fiber. When you do that over and over, the muscle responds by increasing mass and strength.
Although it might seem hard to believe this exercise equipment offers a better option for building muscle mass than free weights or machines. One thing weighs do not do, and that’s offering resistance all through the whole range of motion in a repetition.
Have you ever seen that while doing a repetition with gym machines, the weight feels light once you reach peak contraction? Like for instance, when performing biceps curls, as you reach the top of the repetition, you are able to hold the weight in which position for a long time with ease. You can rest the muscle through holding the weight in that position.
With resistance bands, you’ll feel the resistance all through the movement. You’ll feel a lot of resistance during the peak and during the negative part of the repetition.
Offering resistance all through the movements is vital in achieving large muscle. So, do resistance bands helps in building muscle? Definitely yes!
What are the Benefits of Resistance Bands?
Fitness gyms are packed with machines and weights as well as dumbbells of all types. However, resistance bands provide a lot of perks that cannot be obtained with the standard weights. Some of these benefits include:
- Less Risk of Muscle Injury: Exercise using this band offers the same and sometimes greater muscle activity than weight exercise. One important difference is that it involves low pressure on your joints, so more stimulus can be avoided to your muscle with less risk of injury. This is ideal for people with joint pain, as this band might allow them to keep on exercising and doing work out that they cannot work with standard dumbbells.
- Improved Athletic Performance: Elastic bands are very efficient and reliable for athletic training because of the increased load, instability as well as a variable resistance. Research shows that skilled powerlifters, conditioning, and strength experts have asserted the resistance band combined with conventional training generates strength gains for many years.
- Portable: Another perk of resistance bands are the capability to take them anywhere you want to go. They easily fit into your bag, not like dumbbells. They don’t weigh you down and provide you an exercise before you start your training. And because elastic bands come in varying levels of resistance, you are able to take many with you, and they will still weight less than a five pounds dumbbell.
- Price: One last perk that this exercise equipment has over free weights is the price. Weights can be costly. A set of 10-pound dumbbells can get quite expensive, while exercise bands can cost less. It also takes less space, which allows you to exercise anywhere.
Can You Use Resistance Bands Every Day?
A lot of people ask if it is safe to use resistance bands for a daily work out? Our body is composed of more than 600 muscles, and it would be unfeasible or impracticable to train them all in just one exercise or session. So, the best way of training your body with the help of any work out equipment is to split the routine using different groups of muscles on different days.
You can exercise a major group of muscles in your upper body workout one day and then implement a lower body workout the following day, or back and ab muscles. There are some muscles that can be trained on a regular basis with the use of resistance bands such as the core muscles. This group of muscles is largely in the middle portion of are built for endurance, and you can utilize various workouts for these muscles using resistance bands.
Are Resistance Bands Effective?
Yes, indeed resistance bands are effective. In fact many people believe they are even more effective than free weights or machines for most applications. There is definite evidence that they build muscle mass and strength faster because they provide tension in both the exertion and release.
With free weights all the application of exertion is in the lifting motion. The release motion continues to get lighter all the way back to the starting point. However, due to the elasticity of bands, either flat or tubes, the tension is always the same. So there must be equal exertion on both the lifting and the return.
They are surprisingly efficient and provide a lot of perks over conventional free weights. The application of this type of exercise equipment doesn’t just make your workout productive, but it also adds a fun and exciting way of doing it.
Resistance bands with handles also allow you to target particular muscles more specifically which there again make them quite effective.
What Are the Disadvantages of Resistance Bands?
Despite the many benefits offered by resistance bands, it also comes with minor drawbacks such as:
- Inadequate Resistance: One drawback of this exercise equipment is that it doesn’t offer as much resistance as weight machine and heavy free weight. If you are a skilled or serious bodybuilder, then this exercise band might not be the best option for reaching your goals.
- Risk of Injury: Low-quality resistance bands may snap, which can lead to an eye injury, skin scar, or instant movement during your sessions, which can strain your body. Once it is attached to furniture, the connection might break, leading to serious injury.
- Quantification: A lot of these bands are color coded to show the level of strength of the band. But, because of the variety of exercises that you are able to do, it is hard to count or enumerate how hard or complex you’re pulling during a given workout.
- Comparability: With gym equipment like dumbbells, you can see your improvement daily. Just adapt the weighs as you are becoming stronger. In the case of resistance bands, it is so hard to measure the progress of your daily exercises. A sudden change in grip has an effect on the band’s tension. It is virtually impossible to evaluate your workout. Lack of comparability is a real showstopper when you are attempting to know where your exercise brought the success you are longing for or not.
- Motivation: The absence of quantification, as well as comparability, makes it difficult to motivate yourself. According to the research, you need to monitor your goals and measure the outcomes to keep motivated. In the case of resistance bands, you need to stimulate yourself instead of being enthused by the application of this exercise equipment.
Why Use Resistance Bands?
Exercise resistance bands aren’t new, but are still gaining popularity. Some people think of them as an alternative to free weights, others as an additional tool for building and or toning muscle.
These stretchy resistance bands come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and resistance. Even though the most common way to use them is to attach them to a door or other solid platform, you can do many resistance bands exercises by simply standing on one end.
One of the greatest advantages over free weights is the “cumulative” effect that comes with tightening the band. That is, with free weights, the weight you start with is the weight you finish with.
However, with resistance bands the tighter you pull the elasticity, the more the pull increases. And that’s not all, either. With weights, the exertion from you is only on the pull up or push up. With exercise bands, the physical exertion is in both parts of the exercise.
That leads to doubling your workout in the same amount of time spent along with helping you build muscle faster.
Are Resistance Bands Safe?
- Overextending muscles and joints is always a concern with weights, but not nearly such a risk with resistance bands.
- You will never injure your foot if you drop a resistance band on it. You will most likely go to the emergency room if you drop even a 5lb dumbbell on your foot.
- Resistance bands are more on the low impact side of workouts to help build joint strength instead of injuring them.
The advantages of using resistance bands in your workouts are numerous, and I can’t really think of any disadvantages.
Compared to building your home gym with free weights, they are very inexpensive and even more versatile. Adding a resistance band to anything you’re already doing in your workouts such as bicep curls or even lunges will only increase the results.
These simple bands are easy to carry with you to work or on vacation so that you need never miss a chance to get a quick workout.
If you are tired of not getting the desired results, and you’re interested in getting fit by utilizing the best workout equipment — Resistance bands are here for you. This can be obtained for a fraction of cost and, above all, very reliable in helping you look fit and athletic.