Written By: Chloe Wilson, BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy
Reviewed by: KPE Medical Review Board
The benefits of resistance bands are making them an increasingly popular option for workouts, both at home and at the gym.
Useful for rehab programs, strength work and fitness training, resistance bands are extremely versatile, cheap and easy to use.
First developed towards the end of the 19th Century, the benefits of resistance bands became popular with physical therapists back in the 1960’s. By the 1980’s they were becoming increasingly popular for fitness and workout programs and their use has since skyrocketed.
Available in a range of strengths and styles, resistance bands can be used in a huge variety of ways to work on strength, flexibility, mobility and balance by working both power muscles and core muscles.
Here we will look at:
We’ve even snuck in a few celebrities and athletes who rave about the benefits of resistance bands so don't just take our word for it!
Resistance bands are specially designed elasticated bands used to provide resistance to muscles as they work.
As you pull on the band, the tension in the resistance band increases and your muscles have to work harder to pull against the band and continue the movement, similar to using weights.
The further a resistance band is stretched, the greater the resistance it provides and the harder the muscles have to work to pull against the increasing tension.
There are a few different styles of resistance bands to choose from depending on how you plan to use them:
Resistance bands also come in a range of tensions from light to very heavy. They are color coded with each color representing a different strength, thickness and weight.
Theraband is one of the original and most popular brands of resistance bands, but there are loads more out there to choose from.
Different brands color scales vary so you should always check the manufacturer’s resistance band color code chart. Typically lighter colors such as yellow provide lighter resistance while darker colors such as black provide stronger resistance.
The benefits of resistance bands are huge so it’s no surprise use that their use is becoming more and more prevalent in both gyms, fitness centers and in people’s home.
The main benefits of resistance bands are:
With all those benefits of resistance bands, they sure sound tempting, but how effective actually are they?
So we’ve looked at why people like them but the big question is, do resistance bands work? Are they really worth using and are they any better than other fitness equipment e.g. weights?
Well, the answer is a resounding yes, resistance bands do work!
It is widely acknowledged that the benefits of resistance bands include improved:
This explains why so many people are using them in their workouts including celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Kourtney Kardashian & Gerard Butler!
And they are really popular with Athletes too - Jessica Ennis-Hill, Olympic, World and European Heptathlon champion is a firm believer in the benefits of resistance bands.
One of the big benefits of resistance bands is their versatility – you can use resistance bands to work out so many muscle groups in so many ways.
To get started, you need to think about anchor points. Whether you are using a long flat band, a loop or tube resistance band, there will always be 2 anchor points which may be:
You may have one static and one dynamic anchor point or two dynamic anchor points. Let me give you examples of each.
This is the most common type of anchoring with resistance bands as it tends to be more stable.
Using two dynamic anchor points with resistance bands has the advantage of working 2 groups of muscles simultaneously but requires balanced force and strength on each side.
You can anchor bands to anything solid and stable. Table legs, door handles and chair legs (provided you or someone else is sat in the chair!) are common options as well as your hands, feet and ankles.
Raring to go, check out our awesome Resistance Band Exercises For Legs.
Most exercises that are done with free weights can be done with resistance bands. When it comes to choosing between resistance bands and weights there are pros and cons of each. Studies have shown similar strength gains from resistance training with bands or with weights.
We’ve written a whole article looking at resistance bands vs weights and how to pick the right one for you, but here’s a quick summary to get you going:
Benefits of Resistance Bands
Benefits of Weights
A lot comes down to personal preference and it doesn’t have to be an either or decision, you can use both and get the benefits of resistance bands and weights!
If you are still wondering are resistance bands good for you, then I would highly recommend giving them a try. They are a cheap, simple to use, effective and fun way to exercise, can almost certainly be used as part of your usual workout routine and the range of styles and strengths means you should be able to find one that is right for you.
Resistance bands are a great way to add variety to exercises which can really help with motivation and perseverance. We all know how easy it is to get bored of the same old exercises day after day, but by adding in the extra challenges of resistance bands old exercises suddenly take on new form which can really up motivation.
Don’t just take our word for it. There are loads of celebrities who see the benefits of resistance bands and are using them in their workout routines!
Celebrities who have discovered the benefits of resistance bands include:
There is almost no limit to what exercises you can do with resistance bands. They can be used for pretty much any exercise for any muscle group in loads of different ways.
Check out our article Theraband Exercises for Legs or if you looking to build up the strength around your shoulder, pop over to our sister site for our Resistance Band Shoulder Rehab program.
So get going today and find out for yourself all about the benefits of resistance bands.
Page Last Updated: 11/24/21
Next Review Due: 11/24/23
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