If you’ve been at any gym or fitness center, you’ve seen these colorful and differently shaped bands around. Some don’t pay attention to them, while others swear by them. If you’ve never used resistance bands, you’re about to find out why they bring a giant amount of benefits.
What are resistance bands and why do I need them?
Let’s first define the purpose of resistance bands and what they are. Resistance bands work by applying external pressure which challenges the muscles to work against. Bands don't rely on gravity, which increases the resistance level the more they're stretched.
Resistance bands come in different colors and have incremental levels of resistance (hence their name) ranging from light to extra heavy. Most bands are a full loop shape, but there are some bands that feature handles (commonly known as resistance tubes).
How to use resistance bands
Knowing what resistance bands are and their purpose let’s explore how to use them. Whether you’re working out at home or trying them out at the gym, there are some important things to know. Since they are so versatile, you can use them for so many different exercises (more on that later).
Let’s say you’re trying to focus on your lats, which requires a pulling motion. Instead of grabbing a bar and pulling down, in the same position, use resistance bands to pull the desired amount of resistance.
In these band back exercises, you can also anchor loop bands to a sturdy object and isolate your lats, shoulders, and deltoids.
You can also use resistance bands to strengthen your lower body. For example, adding a band around your quads (slightly above the knee) for a bodyweight squat builds endurance and requires minimal equipment. When you’re short on time, it’s also helpful to not have to re-rack the barbell. The options are almost endless.
What are the benefits of using resistance bands?
If you’ve been looking into investing in resistance bands, you may have already seen their potential benefits. People love using them for muscle rehabilitation and some like mixing it in with their strength training.
When it comes to owning your own set of bands, there is a laundry list of benefits of resistance bands. Our top reasons why everyone should own resistance bands are detailed below.
1) Resistance Levels
When you invest in resistance bands, you’re not getting one size. For example, the Gymreapers resistance bands range from light to extra heavy. In addition to resistance levels, they are also color-coded with the corresponding weight, so you can make a mental note of each resistance level.
2) Exercise Options
One of the biggest reasons people love using resistance bands is because they can be used for so many different exercises. You don’t have to replace your entire workout routine, simply adjust.
For example, take any exercise you currently do and crank up the intensity by adding a resistance band. Flat bench press not providing enough gains? Add a resistance band as a way to challenge your muscles in a unique way.
3) Portable Convenience
Relatively lightweight, resistance bands come in handy for a workout literally anywhere. If you’re traveling or avoiding a global pandemic, resistance bands are the key to maintaining your progress. Any move you can do with standard equipment, you can also do with resistance bands.
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Are resistance bands better than free weight?
Although some people have totally revamped their workout routine to only include resistance bands, that isn’t typical. A lot of people have found a balance of using resistance with their normal free weight training.
Simply put, resistance bands are effective and enhance your fitness goals. They’re a great substitute for when a piece of equipment isn’t available or if you’re low on time and can’t make it to the gym.
Studies show that incorporating resistance bands with free weight training brings greater results when compared to free weight training alone.
What exercises can I do with resistance bands?
We mentioned how portable resistance bands are and it’s among the top reasons why we love them. If you’re thinking about doing workouts at home, pair it with your level of resistance for a sweat session unlike any other.
If you're thinking of hitting leg day at home or at the gym with your resistance bands, there are some brutal resistance bands workouts you can try from the list below.
If you’re at the gym, sub it out for the machine and give your muscles a different type of burn — or add it to your bench press or deadlift for extra tension.
Resistance bands can be used to build various muscle groups, such as biceps, shoulders, hamstrings, triceps, lats, quads, glutes, and more. Some top resistance band exercises you can try out are:
- Bicep Curls
- Side Lateral Raises
- Lunges (Regular and Side)
- Tricep Extensions
- Standing Rows
- Shoulder Press
- Glute Extensions
All of the mentioned resistance band exercises are considered traditional moves but substituting resistance bands for free weight gives you a full-body workout.
What should I look for in resistance bands?
When deciding to purchase your own resistance bands, it’s a good idea to watch out for some key distinctions. Be sure you’re investing in quality that will support your fitness level.
We mentioned some bands have handles or grip, those typically serve the purpose of pulling and are good for upper body movements. Loop bands tend to be more versatile and can be used for almost any upper and lower body workout.
Thousands of people trust Gymreapers for premium fitness apparel and equipment. If you’re looking for reliable resistance bands to fuel your workouts, we suggest you try our resistance bands because they are compact, durable, and available in many resistance levels.
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