What are Resistance Bands and the advantages of using them

Fitness Resistance bands

WHAT ARE RESISTANCE BANDS?

Resistance bands are a very versatile and useful piece of training equipment. They are normally made of natural latex and can be used to build muscle and strength  for aesthetic purposes, sporting performance, and physical therapy.

One of the key advantages of resistance bands is that they are very easy to use and easy to keep anywhere.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF RESISTANCE BANDS

  • Mini Loop Bands (Booty Bands)

These bands are flat (almost look like therapeutic bands, except they're smaller) and form a closed loop. These are generally used for leg and glute activation exercises and are available at most gyms and physiotherapy offices.

There are different types of Mini Loop Bands. Some of the ones available are:
    • Fabric Mini Bands: These are washable and made out of a combination of fabric with an underlying layer of elastic. The advantage of these kind of bands is that they don't roll up or down, they provide similar resistance to the mini-loop booty bands and they do not snap.
    • Fabric Hip-Bands: These are a bit heavier (more resistance) and typically have a non-slip layer on the inside. Similar to the Fabric Mini Bands, these don't roll up or down and can be washed.
    • Latex Mini Bands (Booty Bands): These are the most common type of mini bands. They typically come in sets of 5 and provide different resistance levels.

Cross-training and powerlifting are two of the most popular uses for these heavy-duty loop bands. They can also be used to stretch and correct mobility issues, add variable resistance to strength training and assist with pull-ups.
These bands are extremely versatile. They can replicate many of the movements that are typically executed using dumbbells, for example: Bicep Curls, Tricep Extensions, Lateral Raises, Chest Flys and many more..

  • Long Resistance Bands with Handles

These bands are generally used for exercising and increasing muscle mass and strength. The handles, therefore, provide a secure grip and allow you to perform a wide variety of exercises that can simulate those you perform at the gym with free weights and machines. Carabiners are used in stackable resistance bands to allow the user to mix bands, attach them to poles and other accessories and increase or decrease the resistance level as desired.

  • Therapy Flat Resistance Bands

These are frequently found in treatment offices, such as physical therapists and sports therapists. They're wide and flat, so they're easy to wrap around your palm and modify the length with ease. They could also be split into smaller pieces or stretched. These bands could also be utilised for general resistance training and are employed in Pilates programs for increased resistance.
  • Tube Resistance Bands

Although they are still practical and can be used in a similar way to the power bands, these types of resistance bans are usually a bit riskier given that many of them just have a single layer of latex that can easily snap. 

ADVANTAGES OF USING RESISTANCE BANDS

Sure, the gym is full of dumbbells, machines and weights of all kinds that can help you with strength and conditioning. However, resistance bands also offer a broad range of benefits when incorporated in your workouts.
Here are the top 9 advantages of using resistance bands in your workout regime:

  • LESS CHANCE OF INJURY WITH GREAT AMOUNT OF MUSCLE ACTIVITY

Training with elastic bands produces equivalent, if not more, muscular activity than lifting weights, according to strength and conditioning. One significant distinction is that it applies less stress to the joints, allowing for more stimulus to be sent to the muscles while reducing the risk of damage. Resistance bands may continue working out and executing activities that you couldn't do with dumbbells, which is fantastic news for everyone with current ailments or joint problems.

  • GREAT MUSCLE STIMULUS

The variable resistance applied throughout the complete range of motion of activity is one of the critical differences among free weights & resistance bands. Due to lack of gravity, there are parts of exercise with free weights where the muscles aren't doing much work at the top of bicep curl. This indicates that while utilising resistance bands, according to Dr. Jim Stoppani, "Because the muscle is having received more amount of preparation at its strongest point inside the range of motion, it's indeed better necessary to activate strength adaptations.."

  • STABILISATION/CORE ACTIVATION

The band's continual tension adds an aspect of body stabiliSation that is essential for so many exercises to preserve form. This also implies that you'll have to use your core a lot to stay balanced. Because you have to keep them from snapping back into position, you get more stimulation as well as strength throughout the entire range of motion, and the pull of the bands limits your ability to abuse.

  • IMPROVED STRENGTH & ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Power resistance bands are particularly beneficial for athletic training because of the extra stress, changing resistance, and instability. "Experienced powerlifters, as well as strength and conditioning experts, have claimed elastic band resistance compare to traditional training," as per one study from TheSportJournal.org. After using bands for back squats and bench press, one study found that the bench press increase was doubled, and the back squat one-rep max improvement was three to four times higher. "The lower average body power increase in the [resistance band] group was nearly three times higher than in the free-weight only group." Weight training using bands enhances neuromuscular performance and strength more than weight training alone, according to research. These bands can also be utilised for numerous sporting applications, such as speed and agility workouts.

  • MORE EXERCISE OPTIONS

To use the force of gravity with dumbbells or barbells, you must maintain particular body positions in a vertical plane of motion. You may do exercises in both the vertical and horizontal planes with resistance bands. For example, you can complete a chest press or back row in a standing position instead of on a bench. You can also practice sideways movements, which are beneficial to athletes.

  • INEXPENSIVE

Because you can complete various workouts with just one band, as seen in the examples above, you won't need as many weights or machines. If you work out at home, a pair of resistance bands could save you money and space by reducing the number of consequences you need to buy.

  • IDEAL FOR REHABILITATION

Resistance bands & tubes have improved cardiovascular fitness, growth, and function in both geriatric and rehabilitative patients. Bands can produce very light or extremely high resistance, and they can be utilised to target specific muscles while also protecting joints.

  • STRETCHING & MOBILITY

Any tube or flat band can be used for pre-workout mobility exercises and post-workout stretches. Your flexibility and types of motion are typically limited during times, and so many effective plays even require another person to apply pressure towards the muscle. Instead, you can utilise bands to help you stretch by extending your range and providing pressure, including hamstring stretches while lying down. Power bands are also ideal for mobility when wrapped around a vital item, such as developing ankle & hip mobility for squats.

  • PERFECT FOR TRAVEL

When you travel, it might be challenging to fit in workouts or even locate a gym. Bands are an excellent choice to pack in your bag because they allow you to work out without heavy machinery in a hotel room or outdoors. They won't make your loads richer, but they will offer you an excellent full-body workout. They're also ideal for bodybuilders and fitness competitions and models who need to accomplish a 'muscle pump' right before a show or photo shoot for much the same reason.

WHO SHOULD USE RESISTANCE BANDS?

After reading the advantages of bands, it should be evident that everyone can utilise them to achieve their fitness goals. Here are a few examples of who should use them and why:

  • ANYONE TRYING TO GAIN MUSCLE
    You can utilise bands instead or alongside dumbbells & machines to create a novel and demanding stimulation to your muscles for growth if you want to gain muscle mass and strength. You can also use them to boost the intensity and neuromuscular efficiency of barbell and dumbbell movements.

  • ANYONE WHO WANTS TO LOSE WEIGHT
    When you combine a good diet, exercise, and workouts, you can lose weight quickly. Bands can be used in a full-body circuit to add variety to your training. Doing a resistance band chest press squats with a band, and a back row with a band might be an example of this. This will help with weight loss in the long run by burning calories and building muscle simultaneously.

  • OLDER ADULTS 
    Even though weights should be a staple in everyone's exercise routines, weights can also be tough and harsh on the body of older adults who experience joint and bone issues. Resistance bands allow you to retain muscle mass and strength without overloading. According to research, resistance band training regimens are a realistic and practical way to increase strength in people over 60. Resistance bands, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, are one of the best ways to increase physical activity, which can lead to weight loss.

  • ATHLETES
    Resistance Bands assist athletes in preparing for movements in all planes, both to develop strength and power and prevent injuries. "As an athlete, I discovered there was nothing better out there just to make you quicker and stronger than resistive bands," says 2004 National Boxing Champion Daniel Sanchez. You can easily carry them with you during travelling and get a decent workout - very vital for my training, particularly with shadow boxing, striking speed, and even toning without the need for weights. If I had to choose between bands and dumbbells, I'd go with bands each time."

  • PREGNANT WOMEN
    Exercise is essential for increasing energy, sleep, mood, and preparing for childbirth throughout pregnancy. This is not, nevertheless, the time to start a rigorous weight-training regimen. For light muscular toning, strength exercises and high repetitions (15-20) are ideal. You may target all of your critical muscles without effort by using one light and a medium band.

As discussed in this article, there are a lot of benefits to including resistance bands in your daily workout routines alongside or even as an alternative to dumbbells.

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