Many people believe that resistance bands are only used in physical therapy. In actuality, resistance bands have the capability of further enhancing a strength-training routine as well as providing additional benefits that standard dumbbells or barbells cannot. In this article, Larry Greenfield – a New York-based fitness trainer – discusses five benefits that resistance bands offer over normal weights.
Improved Stimulus of Muscles
Resistance bands enable a full range of motion on many exercises. In comparison to free weight exercises, such as a bicep curl, there are points in the exercise at which the muscles aren’t performing at their potential due to the gravity of the position. Dumbbells traditionally don’t hold tension to their full potential, at the top of a range of motion. When using a resistance band, muscles receive resistance at all points in a range of motion, therefore your muscles are in a better position for overall stimulation. Bands allow for you to focus on completing exercises in correct form and for achieving the full contraction throughout. Most weighted exercises are fixed movements, while resistance bands create an instability that requires incorporating additional muscles that you wouldn’t otherwise use to complete a movement.
Reduced Risk for Injury
One of the biggest benefits of using resistance bands is that they provide a lower amount of force on joints, which reduces the overall risk for injury during a workout. For individuals that deal with joint pain or are working through injuries, resistance bands offer a great alternative that won’t worsen a condition. Additionally, resistance bands can be used safely alone whereas weights often require a spotter for assistance. By reducing the pressure on joints, resistance bands can be used in all stages of life, whether you are a professional athlete or a retiree looking to find a safe and sustainable way to workout.
Better Core Function and Stabilization
Weights often give individuals a way to cheat on exercises by using the momentum of certain movements to propel through the exercise. Resistance bands do not offer that cheat. Instead, they provide tension that must be controlled in order to prevent bands from snapping. By controlling the bands, most exercises involve using your core for balance to stabilize the movement. As a result, your body is exerting more control and is focusing on building strength through a full range of motion, not just part of it.
Ideal for Traveling
For the business traveler or athlete that is always on the go, weights can quickly weigh you down if you are packing a bag. Resistance bands are small and lightweight and can easily fit into a bag or even a purse. You can realistically take them anywhere with you and they can provide a great workout in any location. Whether you tuck them away into a drawer at work or carry them with you to a park, they can be used while sitting down or standing up and provide infinite options for exercise.
About Larry Greenfield
Larry Greenfield is a certified fitness coach from New York, NY, who specializes in helping men and women over 40 get into the best shape of their life. Through years of experience, he’s discovered that personalizing his approach to fit each client’s needs and aiming for long-term results is the best path to improve his clients’ lifestyle. When he is not working, Larry enjoys fitness, art, traveling, and outdoor activities with his family.