Resistance Band Exercises are a great way to workout at home, in the gym or when you’re on vacation. They are inexpensive, don’t take up any room in your suitcase or home and can be used in any room in your house, office or hotel. In some ways resistance bands can be more effective than free weights or machines for creating the optimal amount of resistance which is why I use them at the gym all the time instead of the more expensive popular equipment.
What makes the bands more effective then other forms of resistance to achieve a specific goal has to do with the properties of the elastic band. When the bands are stretched or elongated they produce more resistance. In other words, when you pull on them the longer they get the more resistance they provide. Obviously, when they are fully stretched they will not produce any more additional resistance but no one trains with them fully elongated.
How to make resistance band exercises more effective:
One way the resistance band can be more effective are exercises where you are weaker at a point in the movement where the bands are not stretched and stronger at a point where the bands are elongated. An example of this would be the squat. You may have seen people in the gym squatting with metal chains hanging from the bar. They are doing this because when you squat down to 90 degrees in your hips and knees (the bottom of the movement) you are at your weakest point in the exercise. As you lift your body up you become stronger. By putting chains on the bar; therefore, the bar gets heavier as more chain lifts off the ground. The chains put more weight on the bar when you are stronger and less weight when you are weaker. Resistance bands can be used the same way as chains in the squatting example. You can hold the resistance band next to your shoulders and stand on the band and add some resistance where you want it during your squat workout while at home or on vacation without having to deal with free weights for added resistance.
The biggest advantage to the bands is that they are so versatile. You can create resistance from just about any angle. They can be attached to any high, middle or low point in a doorway and one can perform an endless amount of exercises. They work great for slow controlled movements as well as explosive exercises.
The types of resistance bands I use most in my gym are made by SPRI. They have been around for a long time and they make quality bands for $10 to $15 a piece. The thicker the band the more resistance it provides. As such, the manufacturers sell them in different colors based on thickness.
Next time you’re at the gym pick up some resistance bands and play around with them. You will be surprised at how effective they can be. If you need some help with specific exercises you can do with the bands leave a comment and I will try to make a few videos.
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Best – Mike Cola