Resistance bands are a new and efficient way to perform workouts. But before getting to know how it is efficient and effective, first, let us know what are these exercise bands, their different types, and the top five exercises to perform using them.
What are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are elastic tubes used for strength building. As the name suggests, they are bands that impart resistance to stretching your muscles. They are generally used for strength training, muscle rehabilitation, and physical therapy to help the easy rebuilding of strength and for overall fitness. The flexibility of these bands and their weightlessness are what make them attractive to many users. Resistance bands are quite useful for patients recovering from muscular strains and injuries.
They originated in the early 20th century and were generally made from surgical tubing. These bands are easy to use and their lightweight allows people to carry them while traveling and not miss any single workout. A point to note here is that strength building is a continuous process and one should dedicate themselves to routine sessions for strength training.
The fitness needs of a person whether beginner or athlete can be fulfilled by different levels of exercise with resistance bands. It can help with next-level full-body workouts which provide immense strength, flexibility, and core stability. The major benefit of resistance bands is you can be super fit without ever visiting a gym. They are easy to carry and you can do workouts anywhere whether it’s your home, garden, or public park.
The bands are in different colors to show different levels of resistance. Users need to carefully select appropriate levels according to their needs. It is to note here that code colors may vary between different resistance brands.
Types of Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are of many types and functionalities. They provide a number of options for many purchasers as different bands allow different types of exercises. Some common types are loop bands, ring bands, and bands with or without handles. Some available bands also allow handles to be attached to the loops or bands. The following are the types of resistance bands out there.
Therapy Bands: These are the lighter bands with no handles and provide mild resistance. As the name suggests, therapy bands are used in therapy, when an injury occurs, your physiotherapist may suggest using them for the slow healing of muscles. Generally used for rehabilitation of patients with muscle strains or injuries.
Compact Resistance Bands: They are also famous as tubular bands. Plastic handles are attached to the two ends of the band. You can also find ankle or wrist cuffs sometimes attached to compact resistance bands. The tubes are longer than any of the resistance band types and reach up to 4 feet in length. These are particularly used for arms, and lower and upper body workouts. This is the most versatile band out there which you probably want to keep.
Fit Loop Bands: They are continuous flat bands also known as mini resistance bands. They are small in size, usually, 9 inches long, and fit comfortably to your ankles, knees, thighs, or calves. They are magnificent therapeutic devices for training your hips. Fit loop bands are used for lower body exercises.
Figure 8 bands: They are small bands in the shape of the number 8 with two handles attached to them for easy gripping. Figure 8 bands are popular bands because they can assist you in a number of different functional exercises. They are great for carrying due to their small size. These bands are used for upper-body workouts.
Ring Resistance Bands: Several small links of a chain are put together to form ring bands. Soft handles are attached to either side of the band. The main purpose of this type of band is to change the grip width to lose or tighten the resistance no matter where you hold the band. Ring resistance bands are specially used for workouts of shoulders, arms, neck, hands, joints, feet, legs, etc depending upon where you hold it and the exercise you select. These resistance bands are usually used in lower-body workouts.
Lateral Resistance Bands: These bands look like long bands with cuffs attached to two ends. It is generally used in warmup exercises before a tough cardiovascular workout. It helps enhance ankle and knee joint stability. Lateral resistance bands are particularly for lower body exercises.
How Working With Resistance Bands Help
As we pointed out earlier that resistance bands are the best tools to exercise at home or for people who like to work out along wherever they go. But this is only the tip of the iceberg i.e., only some of the many benefits it has. The benefits include convenience, effectiveness, versatility, and safety. These advantages of resistance band exercises will surely motivate you to add them to your home gym routine.
One more pro of this device is that people of any age group can use them without any difficulty or pressure. The mere simplicity of resistance bands will force you to think about how can be they so effective. But trust us, exercises with these bands are surprisingly efficient and effective. They also offer many benefits in comparison to traditional weights. The following are some of the few resistance band advantages that our experts want you to know.
Inexpensive Workout: Whether you buy the bands as a set or individually, these bands are cost-effective tools for your own home gym. Some resistance bands are provided with a DVD on how to work out using them.
Easily scalable to multiple fitness levels: Resistance bands are available with numerous resistance levels, generally light, medium, and advanced. The total resistance of the bands can be adjusted by giving less or more slack to the band. You can also increase the resistance by using multiple resistance bands to increase the pressure during exercises.
Modify Popular Workouts: The resistance band workouts are usually based on popular physical activities. As an example, if you step on one edge of the band and curl your arm up simultaneously holding the other edge, you have successfully replaced your traditional bicep curl with dumbbells.
Full Body Workout: Resistance band sets are also available for buying with recommended workouts for every vital muscle group of your body. For instance, stepping on one edge of the band or looping it around a fixed thing provides new ways to work out.
Fits easily in Backpack: When you want to take the gym with you wherever you go, then these bands are a great choice as it fits in very little space. Its storage also is no problem as resistance bands are sleek and lightweight. You can hang them on a hook or coil them to put in a box after your workouts. Thus, saving lots of space for other things.
Exercise Anywhere: With the advantage of being small and portable, resistance bands can be used pretty much anywhere to exercise. Also, there are different resistance band workouts that you can do in any hotel room while traveling.
Add Variety to Your Exercises: With time, our muscles adjust to our exercise routine. So, it is a good suggestion to mix things up by cross-training with machines, free weights, and resistance band exercises. Each one of the mentioned above will work on your muscles in a different way.
Safe to Exercise, even when alone: Resistance bands are perfect for your strength training. There is no risk whatsoever of dropping a dumbbell on your foot or squashing your fingers between weight plates. That is why they are ideal for your training even when you don’t have a partner or a personal trainer to assist or spot you.
Merge with other workout Devices: Resistance bands give the best results when combined with other exercise equipment. However, they are great on their own. As far as an example is concerned, think of performing bicep curls using both a dumbbell and a resistance band. The merging of the equipment will provide you with the combined benefits of each type of equipment.
Effective Exercise: While there are visible differences between resistance bands and weight exercises, both are effective but bands are more efficient. Understand with an example, consider the motion that your arm makes while doing a bicep curl. Using weights will feel heaviest at the beginning of that motion arc, but the bands make your muscles work harder at the end of the arc. Your body is working against resistance and will give an effective and efficient workout.
Strengthen and Sculpt With Resistance Bands
You have probably seen some sort of stretch bands lying around the gym floor or wrapped around a trainer’s legs and arms in an online training session or video. If you have not tried them, you should because of their immense benefits. As we have discussed earlier that these bands function on resistance to help you strengthen your muscles and also improve muscle cooperation.
The American Heart Association, AHA advocates including resistance bands in your workouts at least twice a week for people of every age group. We also suggest people around the globe take the benefit of resistance bands as they are inexpensive, portable, and effective. They will fit in your backpack or even in your pocket as they take almost no space while storing unlike dumbbells or other heavier gym equipment.
Also, read: How to live a healthy lifestyle with Ozempic?
The resistance bands not only give you the choice to exercise anywhere, but they also provide a good amount of resistance to impart a difference in your exercise. Dumbbells and other weights rely heavily on gravity for resistance whereas bands provide multi-directional resistance. What this means is that you are facing continuous tension in your muscles as you move during a workout. Studies have shown that this type of tension on your joints is good for targeting smaller muscles that you will miss otherwise (with weights).
Now, if you are not sure about which band to get, we will suggest going for a whole set. This is a good way to see for yourself which resistance level or band is a fit for you. That way you can upgrade to advance resistance as you move to build your strength.
Now that you understand which band to get, it is important to note a few things. First, workouts using resistance bands don’t have to be complex. You just have to add a resistance band to your already running exercise routine and bang you have made it more challenging. This way you are pushing yourself to get more out of the exercise you enjoy doing.
Top 5 Exercises to Do with Resistance Bands
Even though there are many different types of exercises that can be done with the bands. The number of repetitions and the resistance of the band is the main factor for a person to increase or decrease the intensity of the exercise. In research published in the year 2014, the researchers found out that the resistance band push-up and bench press produce similar strength gains for the body if done at similar stress levels.
The top resistance band exercises must strengthen the target muscles and should not require any additional tools or equipment than the bands, thus being recommendable to any person of any age group. We looked at the exercises with these criteria for them to be included in our top resistance band exercises. We are suggesting some of the common exercises that you can take to the next level by simply adding a resistance band to them. So, the following is our curated list of the top 5 stretch band exercises:
Lunges are one of the most common exercises, although they can certainly make a difference in your hips, thighs, and butt- and adding a resistance band to this exercise can increase your muscles. In order to start doing the lunges lift exercise, wrap the resistance band around your upper thighs above your knee. Now, keeping hands on your hips, move a step forward with your right foot into a lunge. At this position, stand up keeping both your legs straight, and then lift your leg behind you to work the glute, balancing on the right foot as you lower your upper body towards the ground. Come down into the lunge and repeat 10 times. Switch legs alternatively.
Wrapping a resistance band around when doing squats put tension on your glutes and abductors, which puts pressure to engage your outer hips and thighs to stop your knees from caving inwards and maintain proper squat form. Start by standing straight up with the band wrapped above your knees. While keeping your feet shoulder distance apart, go into a squat, pushing your butt back. Now carefully bring yourself back to the standing position. Repeat 20 times.
This exercise is a remarkable way to work on your abs, hamstrings, glutes, and quads. Bicycle crunches are like the traditional crunch that resembles riding a bicycle on your back but with a twist. This exercise work towards balancing your tendons and muscles around your knees and ankles. First, lie back down on the floor with the bands around your shoelaces. Put your hands behind your head and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Now start pedaling like a bicycle by bringing forth your right knee to touch the left elbow. Repeat this alternatively by putting forth your left knee to touch the right elbow. This is one complete rep. Do this 15 times.
Push-ups with a resistance band are for toning your abs and biceps quickly. To start, put the resistance band above both your knees and go into a plank position. To check if you are doing this right, you should feel tension from your band while performing this exercise. Do one push-up then lift your right leg up and then back to its original position. Repeat the same procedure with the left leg. Then do another push-up and repeat 10 times.
A plank with a resistance band allows you to put pressure on the biceps, abs, obliques, and shoulders. The plus point with this exercise is that it will also work on the upper back and on the muscles which keep your posture straight. To start with, wrap a resistance band around your arms above the elbows and come to the plank position. Now walk with your hands to the right three times and then to the left another three times. Maintain pressure on the band as you move around by keeping a space between the arms. Repeat this process 5 times on each side.