If you’ve ever been to a gym, you might’ve seen resistance bands floating around. Perhaps you’ve used them before or you want to know the benefits before you pick one up. Coach Alice tells you what you need to know about these effective bands and why they might be a great addition to your workout regime.
What do resistance bands do?
A resistance band does exactly what the name suggests: it adds resistance to an exercise. This added resistance helps strengthen your muscles and pushes you to work a little bit harder.
6 benefits of resistance bands
Resistance bands have a number of benefits. In addition to their ability to help you strengthen muscles groups, they are also affordable, portable and accessible.
Read on for six key benefits:
1. Tone and strengthen
As resistance bands stretch, they create increased tension in your muscles and cause them to contract. The more you stretch the band, the more intense the resistance gets, and the harder the exercise becomes. You can also create more resistance by holding the resistance band in a way increases tension – like bringing your hands closer together when doing arm moves, for example.
2. Add assistance, not just resistance
Resistance bands can also assist your progress with difficult exercises. For example, for those wanting to get better at pull-ups, simply attach the resistance band to the bar and either under your knee or foot to work your way up to an unassisted version. As you perform the pull-up with the band, your weight is supported by the band, making the exercise more accessible.
3. Great for stretching
These stretchy bands are a fantastic addition to your stretching routine, especially if you lack flexibility and mobility. A resistance band enables you to increase the range of motion and deepen the stretch as you gently move the band either away or towards your body.
4. Lightweight and portable
These bands make the perfect companion to those wanting to exercise when traveling. They are extremely lightweight and can easily be stashed in your suitcase or hand luggage.
5. Suitable for almost everyone
Resistance bands work your muscles like weights do – your muscles contract to generate force to stabilize and control the desired movement. However, unlike weights, resistance bands don’t rely on gravity to provide the resistance. This means that the body can move and expand the range of motion in certain exercises (e.g. lift the arms higher in a side arm lift).
Resistance bands have been the staple for those in rehabilitation from a sports or muscle-related injury. This is because resistance bands don’t apply pressure in the way that weights do, keeping your joints — and everything else — safe. Moreover, people of any age and fitness level can get an effective workout using resistance bands, as many exercises and stretches can be done from a seated position.
Resistance bands are inexpensive, costing anywhere between $5-10. Just bear in mind that the thicker the band, the more resistance it will have so the harder the exercises will become. Select a variety pack so you always have varying resistances to choose from.
Resistance band exercises
Add a resistance band to your 8fit workouts to feel that extra burn. Here are four exercises that you can easily add resistance to:
Lateral band walk
Your body benefits from incorporating a variety of movements into your workout routine. Whether you’re coming back from injury, want to modify difficult exercises or break out of a training plateau and see significant progress, resistance bands can be a great tool to get you one step closer to your goals. Give them a go, you’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain.