There's a widespread misconception that resistance bands are only good for rehabilitation and gentle exercises. In reality, resistance bands are a reliable piece of equipment that bring variety to your workouts and enhance overall performance. Interest piqued? Freeletics Training Expert, Florian, is here to explain why you should consider incorporating resistances bands into your training routine.
Gear on the go
Whether you use your own bodyweight, weights or resistance bands, your muscles need some stress and progressive overload to get stronger. Resistance bands effectively allow for this process; bands come in different widths, each of which offers a different level of resistance, just as different sized weights in the gym might.
Resistance bands offer the same benefits as free weights and bodyweight training. From thin and light to wide and tough, you can use them in a large variety of movements. They also allow you to move freely in all direction forcing you to engage your core and your stabilisers.
The unique benefits of resistance bands
Adding external resistance to your workouts when you don't have access to a gym can be difficult. Resistance bands, however, are small, cheap and easy to use.
When training with bodyweight or free weights, you're working against gravity, meaning that there is only one plane of resistance. Depending on the anchor point, resistance bands offer resistance in all planes. Upward, downward and horizontal, they stretch in all three dimensions
While your body and free weights provide the same resistance during the whole range of motion, resistance bands stretch and give a progressive resistance. It uses the length-tension relationship of your muscles. This feature therefore offers a unique way in which to train for explosive power and speed.
What many people don’t realize is that resistance bands actually help improve coordination; this is because the tension in the band is exerted throughout the entire movement and your body has to learn how to stabilize itself throughout the movement.
Lighter resistance bands work well during your warm-up, allowing you to perform exercises with a complete range of motion and activating all muscle fibers without any risk of injury.
During the main body of your workout, bands can add resistance to bodyweight movements such as Squats or Pushups or offer assistance in Pullups. They can also be used in place of free weights and cables in exercises such as deadlifts or pulldowns. Finally, you can seriously level up your resistance training by adding elastic bands to barbells and dumbbells when performing compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses.
Not had enough of your resistance band yet? At the end of your session or during rest-days, resistance bands are also remarkable tools for stretching, stability and working on your mobility.
Let’s be real: resistance bands are not a magical tool that will make you instantly stronger; unfortunately, this piece of equipment doesn’t yet exist. Results only come with dedication and commitments. Elastic bands are simply another great option for adding resistance to your workouts.