Of course we love going to the gym, we have seen fail videos of people training with resistance bands and some may think that resistance bands are only useful for assisting you doing pullups, but resistance bands can offer you a whole lot more! Let’s see why resistance bands are gaining popularity in the fitness industry.
What are resistance bands?
Resistance bands are also known as pullup bands, this is because the most popular way to use resistance bands is to ancher them in a pullup bar for assistance, this is typically done by the ones that do not have strength to do normal pullups or big 200+ bodybuilders that want to do hypertrophy work.
Types of resistance bands
There are 3 main types of resistance bands on the market. Resistance bands with a handle, resistance bands without a handle and “booty bands”.Out of the 3 the ones i like are the “normal” resistance bands, with that type of resistance bands you can mimic almost every exercise that you would find at the gym. I recommend you to buy a set with different types of resistance, the wider the band is, the heavier it is. They often look like this:
The ones with a tube handle, that are not my go to but they are okay look like this:
Here is an example of the “booty bands”
I prefer the loop style bands because you can alter the grip as you wish, and you have extra resistance since you do not have the tube handle in the way, you can also tie them anywhere very easily to mimic gym exercises, you can also use them very comfortable in exercises like pushups and pullups. All in one!
When to use resistance bands
Resistance bands can be used anytime and anywhere! This is the great thing about resistance bands that no one talks about, with a good set you will have a way to mimic almost every gym exercise. If you only workout with body weight, resistance bands are a MUST for you if you want to optimize your workouts. You can also take them to the gym and add them to traditional exercises such as the bench press and the squat.
Body weight assisted with resistance bands
A great way to stimulate muscle growth is to increase the tension of body weight movements with resistance bands. This will definitely give you a challenging workout, specially if you use the “heavier” bands or the widest bands. For example, push ups alone may not be very challenging to you, but when you add the tension of a heavy resistance band, this will challenge you! You can always use multiple bands for more and more resistance. You can stack bands just as you can stack weights. Resistance is resistance!
Here is a great video that demonstrates banded pushups:
Working out with resistance bands
As a gym lover i was a little hesitant to try resistance bands, let’s face it we love the iron, we love the sound of the plates while we press. But resistance bands are a great way to stimulate muscle growth. But i have to say that i actually like working out with them. They have a unique feel and we will talk a little more about some of the unique advantages that the bands can offer. You just need to keep an open mind to bands, i know that rubber may not look as hardcore as iron but you can also benefit from regular gym exercises with the bands.
Here is a great video that explains how to use bands in traditional lifts:
Why resistance bands are unique
Let’s talk about some important aspects of resistance band training that you want to know.
Replace a whole dumbbell rack (ideal for a home gym)
A common problem is the inability to get all the dumbbells you want for a home gym. This is usually due to cost so if you have a lot of money to spend there is absolutely no problem for you to purchase a whole dumbbell rack. I know that a lot of people will have a rack and a bar, but if you have a band set you will have access to a whole dumbbell rack! Bands can replace every dumbbell/cable exercises and they have a low cost!
Unique resistance path
Every piece of gym equipment has its own advantages. When it comes to free weights, the most difficult part is the start of the concentric motion and cables will give you a constant tension throughout the whole range of motion. When it comes to resistance bands, they will be harder at the end of the movement! This is also great if you want to strengthen that part of the range of motion for a lift. But the cool thing is that you will have great contractions with bands since it gets harder at the end and it will force you to really squeeze the movement.
Leave your ego at the door
It’s easy to think that you are not lifting enough weight when you see actual numbers. When it comes to resistance bands, you will have to go by feel. This will make you less likely to pick “weights” that you can’t perform. Bands are a great way to really focus on making the resistance harder for you instead of wanting to always lift heavier and heavier. I am not a form police type of guy, but some people will benefit from actually feeling the muscle work and paying attention to the contraction.
There are a lot of people that can afford a gym, but going to the gym will take a lot of time from their day, of course this is only true for really busy people. Some will also travel a lot and won’t have access to a gym everywhere they go. With resistance bands and knowing how to manipulate your body weight you can have a great workout anywhere! You could workout in the beach one day of the week, two, three or train home when you want to spend more time with your family. Of course this is only beneficial for some people since i understand we also love going to the gym and the training atmosphere, but working out anywhere is a great option if you are traveling a lot or your situation makes it difficult for you to access a gym.
Resistance bands cost
The cost of resistance bands can vary. If you are going to buy resistance bands i recommend a whole set with different levels of resistance, at least 4 different types of resistance. a band set can cost from 30-100$ and they can last at least a couple of years! Look for a high quality brand with good reputation.
I am not the type of guy that likes wearing gloves while lifting weights, but when it comes to bands i highly advise you to use gloves that cover your whole hand. This is due to the friction that the band makes in contact with your skin when it stretches out!
I love going to the gym and lifting iron. But i cannot deny the advantages and uniqueness when it comes to resistance bands. I would advise you to try resistance bands and use them in parts of your training. You can combine traditional weights with bands for a different muscle building stimulus and you could even gain more strength while doing so. I was hesitant to trying resistance bands at first but i can say to you that they are a great tool for working out.
Do you have experience with resistance bands? Any questions? Let me know in the comments!