How To Use Resistance Bands- Fitness Equipment Reviews

When it comes to working out, most people think that cardio is the most important type of exercise. That opinion makes a lot of sense because cardio works your heart, and your heart is arguably the most important muscle in your body. After all, it’s the one pumping blood around your body and keeping you alive while you read this article!

However, strength training is every bit as important as cardio. That’s because your muscles power every movement you make, from walking to getting out of a chair to carrying groceries. Weak muscles will make many of the tasks you take for granted much harder, if not impossible.

Walking, jogging, group exercise classes, cycling, and swimming are all great cardio workouts, but how do you keep your muscles in good shape?

It turns out there are lots of different strength workouts you can do, using a range of training equipment. Your options include bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, resistance machines, and even old-fashioned sandbags.

In this article, we explore how to use resistance bands to strengthen your muscles and provide you with a sample workout to follow.

How To Use Resistance Bands

What Are Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are available in a range of types, lengths, strengths, and materials.

However, whatever type you use, the concept is the same – they’re hard to stretch.

When you lift weights, your muscles have to work against gravity to raise the load.

With resistance bands, it’s the elasticity of the material you have to overcome. Gravity is not an issue.

Type of resistance bands include:

Ultimately, you can use any type of band to increase muscle strength and general fitness, and they are cheap enough that you can buy a few, so you’ve got plenty of workout options.

The Benefits of Resistance Bands

Working out with resistance bands might seem a bit low-tech, but it’s actually a very effective way to exercise. The advantages and benefits of resistance bands include:

Cost – compared to joining a gym or buying freeweights, resistance bands are very cheap. If you want to get fit on a budget, resistance bands are an excellent choice.

Portability – resistance bands are light and compact, so you can take them anywhere. If you want to take your gym with you wherever you go, get some resistance bands. If you work out at home and don’t have a lot of storage space, bands are ideal, and you can pop them in a drawer between workouts.

Versatile – you can use resistance bands to replicate almost any machine or freeweight strength training exercise. You can use them for bodybuilding-type workouts, for high-intensity interval training and circuit workouts, and for fat burning too.

Safety (1) – if you drop a barbell or dumbbell, you could end up injured, damage the weight, or make a mess of your floor. There are no such concerns when you work out with resistance bands.

How Do I Start Using Resistance Bands?

To benefit from any type of workout, you need to do it regularly.

So, to start using resistance bands, you need to plan to work out at least three times a week, and preferably on non-consecutive days, i.e., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

This provides a good balance between exercise and recovery.

As a resistance band beginner, you should stick to full-body workouts, which means you’ll do 1-2 exercises for each major muscle group every time you train.

You can start at the top of your body and work down or start at your feet and work up.

There are plenty of workouts online to follow, and we’ve provided one below.

Exercise takes time to work its magic, so you need to plan on being consistent. It’ll take a month or two before you start seeing results, and the longer you continue to exercise, the better your progress will be.

Finally, make sure you start each workout with a short warm-up to prepare your muscles and joints for what you are about to do. A few minutes of easy cardio, such as jogging or jumping rope, will suffice.

Resistance Band Workout

Armed with your resistance bands, you have everything you need to work out at home, in a hotel room, or anywhere you’ve got a few square yards of space. This simple workout trains all your major muscles and is ideal for most beginners.

Exercise Descriptions

There are two ways to do any exercise; the right way and the wrong way. The right way is safer and more effective. Get the most from your workout by doing each exercise the right way.

Squats work all your major leg muscles, especially your quadriceps and your glutes.

How to do it:

2. Chest Press

Chest presses work your pectoralis major, better known as your pecs. This exercise simulated doing push-ups or bench presses but using a resistance band instead.

How to do it:

3. Seated Row

Seated rows work your upper back and biceps. As such, this exercise is good for your posture.

How to do it:

4. Romanian Deadlift

This exercise works your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, collectively called your posterior chain. Like seated rows, this is another useful posture exercise.

How to do it:

5. Shoulder Press

As its name implies, this exercise works your shoulders and also your triceps. It can be done in two ways – kneeling (easier) or standing (harder).

How to do it:

6. Lat Pulldown

Lat pulldowns work your upper back and biceps and replicates doing pull-ups or chin-ups.

How to do it:

7. Kneeling Band Crunches

While there is nothing to stop you from combining bodyweight abs exercises with your resistance band workout, this exercise uses the same set-up as you just used for lat pulldowns, so it makes sense to include it.

How to do it:

8. Triceps Pushdowns

Your triceps are the muscles on the back of your arms. You’ve already worked your triceps during chest presses and shoulder presses, but this exercise trains them in isolation.

How to do it:

9. Biceps Curls

Your final exercise works your biceps, which are the muscles on the front of your upper arms. You’ve worked your biceps indirectly during seated rows and lat pulldowns, but this exercise trains them in isolation.

How to do it:

Bottom Line

A lot of people think that to get fit, lose weight, build muscle, or burn fat, you have to go to a gym. Those same people also believe that you need lots of expensive equipment to achieve your workout goals.

This simply isn’t true!

Armed with nothing more than a few resistance bands, you can meet almost any fitness goal, even from the comfort of your own home.

Your body is amazing and is made up of over 200 muscles, 600 bones, dozens of organs, and miles of blood vessels and nerves. But, despite this complexity, it can’t tell the difference between doing lat pulldowns on a $20,000 state-of-the-art machine and a $20 resistance band.

Working out with resistance bands is cost-effective, convenient, and may even be safer than lifting “real” weights. Also, you can train on your own without worrying about getting pinned by a heavy barbell during exercises like squats or bench presses. You can use resistance bands to replicate almost any gym-based exercise.

Resistance bands are also ideal for people who travel and need a workout they can take wherever they go. For home exercisers, resistance bands take up very little storage space and are all but silent in use. This is one workout that won’t upset your family or neighbors.

Cardio IS important, but so too is strength training, and resistance bands are a very effective way to strengthen and develop all your major muscles.

References

Patrick

Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine and owner and lecturer for a fitness qualifications company. In addition to training prospective personal trainers, Patrick has also authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos.

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