When working out, all the big fitness nerds like to stress the supremacy of using straightforward weights. Resistance bands can be a great alternative though, with many advantages over dumbbells. They come in a couple different types with the simplest being similar to giant rubber bands. With resistance bands, you can do basically all the same exercises you would with dumbbells, without worrying about the managing the weight.
The Top Ten
It might seem like all resistance bands are equal. Really they’re just stretchy plastic, right? However, there is a range of quality. These are the top ten best to choose from.
Resistance Bands Basics
Resistance bands are simply stretchy plastic. To use them in an exercise, you pull and stretch the plastic, and the resistance of the band provides the workout. They can come in a few different varieties. A common type is tube bands with handles at either end. They also come in loops, like giant rubber bands. A type commonly used for physical therapy is a similar to a stretchy latex cloth.
Most often when weights are used for exercises, they are jerked up and then allowed to fall back to the resting position. Technically, the lift is the concentric motion of the exercises, and lowering is the eccentric motion. When you jerk the weight around, you’re shortchanging yourself on the concentric motion, and completely ignoring the eccentric motion. As a result, the exercise is only half as effective as it could be.
A resistance band is not a very effective piece of equipment when used in this way. It will actually offer very little resistance when jerked quickly, and it will feel like there is little work being done. It encourages you and requires you to move slowly while focusing on the specific muscle groups you’re exercising. It allows you to take advantage of both the concentric and eccentric motions of the exercise, working the muscles for the entire exercise. The bands come in a range of resistances to match the range of weights. These are usually color-coded so it’s easy to tell them apart.
Advantages Of A Good Resistance Band
Resistance bands have a number of advantages over other types of exercise equipment. Resistance bands are lightweight and are easily folded for storage or transport. Taking your dumbbells with you on a vacation or work trip would be difficult and probably not worth the effort. Resistance bands can fit in a suitcase with little trouble.
Another important thing to consider is cost. Dumbbells and other free weights are often priced based on weight. The heavier the dumbbell, the more expensive they will be, and putting together a complete set can be a major cost. A resistance band, in comparison, will be much less expensive, and a set of them is easy to come by.
Other advantages are more complex and have to do with the specifics of how the bands are used. Free weights are only able to provide resistance in the vertical plane. Weights depend on the force of gravity pulling them toward the ground to provide a workout. Resistance bands can be used in any plane. This allows exercises to be done, such as twisting or expanding, which are different from more traditional lifts. Exercises that are closer to movements that are actually done in real life, or in sports, can be done with different levels of resistance. Research has shown that using resistance bands to add resistance in different planes strengthen muscles to a greater extent than simply using free weights. Bands also offer increasing resistance the further they are stretched, which has also shown to be helpful for maximizing the effectiveness of a workout.
How to Find the Best Resistance Band For Me
When deciding which resistance band to get, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, the material is a good thing to be aware of. Many, particularly therapy bands, are made of latex. There are a number of options available for those with a latex allergy, however.
Some bands are a single loop. Others are tubes with handles at either end. Resistance tubes can also come with clips to attach it to a doorframe or something similar, and straps to attach to your ankles. Different exercises will be possible depending on which type you get.
As with weights, choosing your resistance level is going to be the determining factor when choosing which band or bands to buy. The bands do not have the same resistance throughout the stretch. Like with a rubber band, the resistance increases the further the band is stretched. The bands, therefore, have a range of resistance. For example, one band might have a resistance of 15 to 30 pounds, and the next one up might have a resistance of 30 to 60 pounds. Choose a band that you are going to be able to use effectively. The dumbbell weight you currently use can be a good guide for which band to buy. Getting two or three bands of different levels can also be a good idea, to give you a range of workout possibilities.
Bands are color-coded so users can tell the different resistance levels apart. The color-coding is generally consistent across brands though it is always a good idea to check and be sure whenever possible so you don’t end up with a band out of your range.
Resistance Bands Pricing
Resistance bands will vary in price depending on the resistance level. A higher level will mean a more expensive band. However, they will frequently be cheaper than all but the simplest dumbbells.
A single resistance band at the lowest resistance range, between 2 and 5 pounds, will usually cost between $5 and $10. A band with a little more resistance, between 15 and 30 pounds, can cost between $10 and $20. The bands with a greater resistance level, between 50 and 200 pounds, can cost around $40.
Bands will often come as a set, with several different bands of varying resistances. A set of resistance tubes will often come with handles, door attachments, and other accessories as well. The cost will vary depending on the resistance levels, but a basic set will usually cost around $25.
What Do Our Reviews Have To Say?
The pull-up bands are of the single loop type, like a big rubber band. They are marketed as being useful for assisted pull-ups, the band taking some of the strain off your arms. They work well for this purpose though some users say the bands are a little narrow. Otherwise, they can also be used for a variety of resistance band exercises.
These are pull up assist bands and are advertised as being used to assist in pull-ups. The band is wrapped around the bar, and then you step on it in order to take some of the weight off your arms. More or less durable and useful for their intended purpose. They are also useful for other resistance band training. Some people have complained of peeling plastic or small holes appearing in their bands after a short while, but on the whole they have a reputation for durability.
These are wide latex bands, similar to the type used in physical therapy. This set comes with three bands of low, medium, and high resistance along with a door anchor. The anchor is easy to use, but may require reseating frequently. The bands are great, and you can use several at a time to increase the resistance. Their durability varies greatly. Some people have reported that they break after only a month of regular use. Others have said they last quite a bit longer.
This is a set of six tube resistance bands. They come with plastic handles already attached, and a door anchor. The bands have a range of resistances, with lowest being 2 to 4 pounds of resistance, the greatest being 35 to 40 pounds. As with all resistance bands, a quick jerking motion is not as effective as a slow sustained one. Some people have reported that the bands do not last long with heavy use. The plastic handles can crack or completely shatter, and the bands can develop holes and tears after a short time.
These are pull-up assist and resistance bands. They are thicker and heavier than many other types of resistance bands, as they are meant to support your body weight and make pull-ups easier. They are thick and durable, and no one has reported having any problems with them degrading. They can also be used in any other resistance band exercise. When they first arrive, the latex may have an unpleasant odor, but this fades over time and after some use.