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Benefits of Using Resistance Bands and How They’re Effective
A lot of people don’t fully understand the benefits of using resistance bands.
There is a misconception that resistance bands are only used for basic stretching.
Some think that resistance bands are used by beginners, in lieu of actual weights.
Well, nothing could be farther from the truth.
But, if you think that is all resistance bands are good for, you are completely incorrect.
The truth is, resistance bands can get extremely heavy duty.
In that case, it might be good to include Dark Iron Fitness wrist wraps into your resistance training.
Then you can use extremely high resistance bands and take your lifting to a new level.
What Are Resistance and Strength Bands?
The Basic Construction
Essentially, a resistance band is any sort of band, whether closed loop or not, that is made out of elastic.
This elastic allows for the band to have enough stretch for resistance.
You’ve probably seen the standard set of resistance bands that are color-coded to indicate the resistance level.
Normally the colors represent resistance (green is less resistance than red), but this differentiates between brands.
Some bands are thick and flat, while others are thin and tubular.
Occasionally the bands will come equipped with padded handles or looped ends.
These added construction features create different uses for each resistance band.
One thing is for sure, high-quality bands will last longer and withstand more usage compared to lower quality bands.
Make sure the bands you use, or purchase, are strength and fitness bands (unless you are doing simple rehab).
The Common Use for Resistance Bands
Speaking of rehab — resistance bands were previously and most commonly (still for the most part) used for rehabilitation.
This is because they allow patients to add slight, variable resistance to their exercises.
Resistance bands are especially important in the use of rehabilitation for those that have just endured surgery.
For example, bilateral knee surgery requires extensive rehab to properly learn to walk again.
Implementing resistance bands at home, with your common leg stretches, will help expedite the recovery process.
Even though resistance bands are for rehabilitation, they are good for much more.
As with anything, we as humans always find a way to take something and make it better and more useful.
Now, resistance bands, or strength bands, are for fitness and strength training.
Benefits of Using Resistance Bands for Training
Lower Impact and Less Tension on Muscles and Joints
The beauty of using resistance bands for training is that they can help lower the impact of exercises and help lessen tension.
There’s a fine line between bodyweight squats and heavy barbell squats — resistance bands balance right on that line.
If bodyweight movements aren’t strenuous enough, adding resistance bands is the next step.
You can progressively make your workouts harder without even picking up a weight, a barbell, dumbbells or anything — just bands.
One of the benefits of using resistance bands is they help protect your joints and muscles.
When you start lifting heavy weight, you can also use other tools like the Dark Iron Fitness weightlifting belt, which will also let you train safely.
Adding resistance bands will be beneficial for high and low-intensity movements.
Variety of Workouts and Alternatives to Popular Exercises
Resistance bands can be used in a variety of different training routines.
Plus, there are many benefits of resistance band exercises.
Using the bands around your legs gives you several movements to do, without having to alter the band location.
Essentially you are super-setting your workouts with the bands and not constantly stopping.
You can also do basic stretching and then instantly switch to high-intensity exercises.
Furthermore, the way you can use resistance bands as alternatives to classic exercises is a huge bonus.
Besides doing alternatives for health reasons, sometimes you just want to change it up and try something new and different.
Resistance bands definitely target that audience that wants to experiment and keep their routines constantly varying.
Instead of barbell bench press or dumbbell bench press, try doing resistance band chest press.
You can even use resistance bands to do calf exercises — the possibilities are really endless.
Now let’s discuss the other bands on the market and their benefits.
Types of Resistance Bands and Their Uses
Lower Body Bands
There are certain resistance bands that are beneficial for lower body workouts.
These bands are developed to optimize leg exercises.
Lateral resistance bands have a hook and loop strap on the end, which can be strapped around your ankle.
This is good for leg workouts that require the band to be secured to your ankles.
You can also use a ring resistance band for your lower body workouts.
These bands have foam handles wrapped around the loop, which are great for extra padding.
Lastly, another lower body resistance band that is popular is the fit loop band.
A fit loop band is completely flat, but the width of the loop is fairly large.
For a fit loop band, you can step into the loop and do side-walks for your hips or lateral squats.
All of these work great for lower body and have different levels of resistance.
The benefits of using resistance bands over a cable attachment is the added freedom.
When you have the freedom to roam with resistance at all times, you can feel more of a burn.
Related: Correct Posture for Squats
Upper Body Bands
Using upper body bands are just as important as lower body bands.
If you want to initiate a resistance band training program, then understanding the bands available is crucial.
For upper body, figure 8 bands are popular.
Basically, the figure 8 band is exactly that — a figure 8 with handles on each end.
These are great bands for doing chest, arm, back, and shoulder workouts.
You can pull the handles apart, while laying down, and get awesome resistance for your chest.
The stretch, along with the resistance, can help build your muscle and strength.
Another great band used for the upper body is the compact resistance band.
With two plastic handles on each side, both upper and lower body movements are possible.
You can step on the center of the band, while holding both handles, and do curls, shoulder presses, etc.
Even jump squats are possible with resistance bands.
With the bands around a post, you can hold both handles and perform jump squats.
There are many ways to use these bands for upper body, both for stretching and for strength training.
Though all of the bands listed above can be used in different forms of rehabilitation, there are bands specifically made for therapy.
These therapy bands usually never have any handles or extra attachments on the band itself.
Therapy bands are often wide, thin elastic that is either a loop or just a long strip of elastic.
Many are found in PT offices, rehab centers or given to patients for at home therapy exercises.
The benefits of using resistance bands for therapy is also using them for fitness and exercise after.
Vice-versa, you can use the bands for training but also for basic stretching and mobility.
Related: The 5 Best Resistance Bands
Benefits of Using Resistance Bands — Conclusion
What Are the Overall Benefits of Using Resistance Bands?
So, as you can see, the benefits of using resistance bands are vast and vary depending on your intentions.
Whether you struggle with injuries, health problems, accidents or surgeries — resistance band therapy and training will be highly beneficial.
Also, resistance bands maximize healthy stretching, muscle building, and cardio-centric exercises.
Look into the different types of resistance bands and how they can help with your goals.
Experiment with all of them, focusing on lower body, upper body, and proper stretching.
You’ll notice they all target your muscles — as weights do — but with a more comfortable and controllable ease.
If you are implementing both resistance bands and heavy strength training, you should consider getting a Dark Iron Fitness genuine leather weightlifting belt, as a way to remain safe, both in form and in health.
It’s best to mix up your resistance training with as much as you can physically (and mentally) withstand; resistance bands, weight training, cardio, HIIT, etc.
Don’t let anything lead you astray from these resistance band benefits!