Resistance bands are great pieces of exercise equipment. They can be used for a comprehensive, full-body workout that challenges virtually every major muscle group in your body.
Previously dismissed as little dainty pieces of rubber that middle-aged ladies use in their weekly aerobic workouts, they have come a long way since. Nowadays resistance bands are gaining popularity with fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes alike.
Benefits Of Using Resistant Bands
Resistance bands are small in size and take up little space to store or use. This means that they are great to bring along on vacation or if you only have limited training area for your workouts.
Resistance bands come in a variety of resistance (light, medium, heavy). You can also use multiple bands at once to increase the resistance levels. This makes resistance bands highly adaptable for different fitness levels.
Resistance bands are cheaper to own than free weights. If you know the right exercises to do with your resistance bands, you can even skip the gym. It is definitely an affordable and value-for-money piece of exercise equipment to own.
Resistance bands are so versatile that you can even use them along with free weights, allowing you to get the benefits of two types of exercises at once.
Factors Determining Which Are The Best Resistance Bands
With such an array of brands and models available in the market (with varying price ranges as well), you may wonder how to find the best resistance bands to suit your needs. You may want to consider the following factors.
In the market, there are many brands for resistance bands. The prices range from a low $30 to hundreds of dollars.
While the more well known brands generally do charge higher prices (well it’s called brand value in marketing), there are other factors as well.
Some resistance bands are made of materials of a higher quality. While this mean your bands are likely to last longer and stand up more to abuse, it also means that they are likely to cost much more.
Some retailers also sell their resistance bands together with other accessories (such as hooks, rings etc) as part of an overall resistance bands workout system. These types of package systems are likely to cost more than just standalone resistance bands.
It is recommended that you first decide on your budget and then narrow your choices to resistance bands within your budget.
Resistance bands come in different levels of resistance. In choosing the best resistance bands, you should select the bands with the appropriate resistance levels that are required for your workouts. Consider the following questions:
- How do you want to incorporate resistance bands into training?
- What type of workouts are you going to use with your resistance bands?
- Flexibility, strength, speed, agility or are you using them for general fitness or weight loss?
Certain workouts require higher levels of resistance. For example if you work a single joint stabilizing muscle such as the rotator, you should choose a lower level of resistance. For large muscle groups, you may want to use 2 resistance bands of higher levels.
In short, get the appropriate tool for your purpose. There’s no need to use a saw when you just need to slice an apple.
Frequency of usage
How frequent are you going to use your resistance bands? Daily? Weekly? Once in a blue moon?
Are your resistance bands going to be the main focus of your workouts? Or are they going to be used only from time to time?
If your resistance bands are likely to see lots of action regularly, then you may want to invest in getting better quality ones. More details here!
Current fitness level
As mentioned earlier, resistance bands come with different levels of resistance.
Besides matching the appropriate level of resistance to the resistance bands workouts, you also want to make sure the resistance level is suitable for your own fitness level.
Choosing a band with resistance below your existing strength will mean that you hardly work out your muscles at all. It will not result in you gaining strength or see any improvement at all.
Choosing a resistance band with resistance level way beyond your existing strength will mean that you might not be able to execute the workout properly. It will greatly reduce the effectiveness of your training.
The key thing to remember that is that you want a resistance level that is adequate to challenge you so that your muscles can grow. Not so low that your muscles perform the workout with 101% ease or so high that your muscles can’t even perform the workout at all.
Do you have Latex Allergies?
As you probably can guess, resistance bands are usually made of latex. And there are people who are allergic to latex (about 5%-10% of the population).
If you are allergic to latex, it does not mean that you can never use resistance bands.
Admittedly you will find that many resistance bands brands will immediately be within your choices any longer. But not to worry, there are still resistance bands, which are latex-free. But take heed that latex-free bands are as not as durable as the regular resistance bands.
Previous Experience with Resistance Band Training
If you are new to training with resistance bands or are just simply exploring whether they are suitable for your exercise regime, then you might want to start off with basic models.