Whether you’re new to working out, or a complete expert, resistance bands are a great piece of equipment to keep in your gym bag.
Rather than being another confusing piece of equipment, they’re actually pretty simple.
Resistance bands are used to create resistance in order to get full muscle fibre recruitment (i.e. work all the muscles). While you’re using them, they force the muscle fibres to contract which will help increase both muscular and bone strength.
The bands come in different colors, sizes, lengths, strengths. The thicker the band, the more resistance it provides and equally, the harder it is to use and you can add them to your training to fire up your muscles. Latex bands are perfect for upper body and full body workouts, whereas fabric booty bands are designed for lower body exercises.
If you’re still not convinced, here are 5 great reasons to use resistance bands in your next workout.
Most bands are made from latex so they can be looped round gym equipment such as a rack or a stand, or simply used on their own. They can also be knotted to make them smaller and you can also use your feet to stretch and anchor the band, to suit your height and ability.
Perfect for travel
When you’re away from home, it can be hard to fit in a workout or even find a gym. Throwing a couple of resistance bands into your suitcase means you can easily workout in a hotel room or outdoors without heavy equipment. They won’t weigh down your luggage, but will still give you an effective, full-body workout. Win-win.
They recruit stabilising muscles
Resistance bands can sometimes feel a little shaky and unsteady when you first start using them, but that just means you need to work doubly hard to maintain your form – which is a good thing! It means you’re targeting your stabilising muscles and building core strength.
Perfect for progression
Chances are that if you’re working out regularly, you want to progress. Resistance bands can help you progress in many ways but here are two main ways;
- Resistance bands come in a variety of resistance levels so as you get stronger you can increase your resistance.
- Not only do resistance bands work for progression by adding resistance… they can also add assistance to your workouts. So if you haven’t quite mastered your pull up then you can tie a resistance band to a bar overhead and use it as a makeshift step. The tension will enable you to pull your body weight up much easier than you would otherwise be able to, making for a smoother progression into a difficult exercise!
Resistance bands are a super affordable option and, unlike dumbbells and weight plates, they take up virtually no space, so you can put them in a drawer or tuck them under your bed after you’ve used them. You’re also a lot less likely to stub your toe on them!
Mistakes to avoid when using resistance bands
Even though resistance bands are a simple tool to use, it is important to ensure that every movement is controlled.
Always make sure that you use the right resistance level for the right exercise. Using a heavy band above the ankles for a leg raise will minimise a full range of movement. In some cases it’s better to go for a lighter resistance band so that you get a full range of movement, whilst still getting enough resistance to create the right amount of tension to fully contract the muscle.
Remember, if you are unsure of anything, want advice or just to share your progress I’m only an email away. You can get in touch with me at [email protected] and I will get back to you as soon as possible.