Are resistance bands worth it?

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Are resistance bands worth it?

If you have ever been in the gym and seen someone back out some huge elastic bands then you have seen someone use resistance bands. These have become very popular in the fitness industry and are becoming even more popular as more people are at home and do not have access to a gym or weights. If you’re looking for a guide for resistance bands then you should carry on reading as in this article, we are going to be going over the basics of what resistance bands are and how they can benefit you.

 

What are resistance bands?

Resistance bands are exactly what they are called, bands that offer a resistance. They are usually made out of an elastic rubbery material that can stretch to enormous lengths and can resist a great amount of force before giving in and breaking. They come in a variation of resistances from some being weak to others being very stiff. This type of fitness equipment is commonly used in physical therapy for muscular injuries as it can slowly help muscles increase their strength after an injury without putting it at risk of a serious injury.

There are many different workouts that can be done with the bands which is one of the reasons they have become more common the past few years. They can be used in cardio and resistance training which makes them universal for all styles of workouts. Compared to weights and dumbbells, bands offer a similar effect but are favoured by many as they take up less space and are less expensive. Making them easy to keep at home and take then about. There are also different styles of bands that can help you towards your specific style of training.

 

Decreased risk of injury

Using bands over weights offers a few benefits and one of these is that your at a lower risk of getting injured when using the resistant bands. This is due to you having more control over a band rather than free weights so if you did do something to harm yourself mid set, it would be easier to get the load under control and off the vulnerable muscle. They can also help improve your form which can also decrease your risk of injury as it teaches you to do the movements the correct way.

Resistance bands are also low impact, meaning that they do not put a huge amount of strain on the area they are targeting. This makes them good form muscle rehabilitation when recovering from and injury. Here you can slowly build up your muscle before hitting the weights, so you are prepared, and the free weights won’t be as much of a shock to your muscles. Using the bands to warm up and stretch out also decreases the risk of injury as you get blood flowing to your muscles and joints lubricated before working out.

 

Lightweight and easy

The biggest reason people are favouring bands over free weights is that they are lightweight and easy to use. The bands do not require a big open space or gym to be used, they can be kept in your gym bag and weigh as much as your lifting gloves. This makes then convenient as they can be used pretty much anywhere with little to no other equipment needed.  So, if you travel a lot and struggle to find time to go to the gym then keeping some resistance bands in your bag allows you to pump out a quick workout wherever you are.

As well as being easy, resistance bands are very diverse as they can accommodate nearly any workout. From bench press to squats resistance bands can be used. They are also great for many styles as training as there are cardio workouts and resistance workouts that can be done with the bands. This is another reason they have become more popular the past few years as they can be used for a range of different styles of training.

 

Gain muscle

One thing that makes people wary of using resistance bands instead of free weights is the wonder if they have the same affect of dumbbells and bars. The main concern comes with muscle mass as this is the main reason you hit the iron. Well as the bands offer quite a bit of resistance depending on your choice, your muscles will definitely be worked and will regrow stronger. Resistance bands also give you the chance to go for more repetitions instead of heavy weight, which can help burn more calories and build endurance.

Using resistance bands can also engage your stabiliser muscles and help build them stronger. This is due to the bands being quite unstable when under load which engages the muscles when doing reps to keep the form good and stop you injuring yourself. Improving the strength of these muscles can reduce your risk of injury when training in the gym and when using heavy weight as your muscles are developed enough to be able to control the heavier weight. Your stabiliser muscles can also improve things like balance and posture.

 

They are cost effective.

One main benefit of using the resistance bands over free weights and equipment is that they are a lot cheaper. A pair of decent bands will probably set you back around £20 , whereas if your was to buy a bench, bar and some weights then the cost could be in the hundreds.  Granted the bands may not provide the same effect as the weights but the are a cost effective alternative till you are able to return to your normal training regime.

 

Negatives of using resistance bands

 Although these are very useful pieces of equipment, there are a few drawbacks of using them for training. If you are looking for maximum muscle and strength gain then you are better off training with weights at a gym as you are able to change the weight you lift, forcing your muscles to work harder. This will increase your muscle mass through a process called progressive overload. Also, ad the bands are not made from metal like dumbbells, they are more likely to break and snap. This can be a draw back as you may find yourself buying a new set of bands every month if the workouts deem to be too demanding. For these reasons’ resistance bands are not supposed to replace weight training exercises, but instead be used along side or in other forms of training as they are still an effective piece of equipment to use.

 

Overall, resistance bands are a good piece of equipment to keep in your gym bag as they can be used for pretty much everything and cost near to nothing. These are also quick and easy with no set up time required, making them great for modern day life as schedules can quickly get busy and you may find yourself with no time to go to the gym. Also, if you are stuck at home the bands also come in handy as you can do a workout anywhere. With all this being said many people would conclude that the bands are worth using and having as they offer many benefits with little drawbacks.