Resistance band strength training can yield measurable results when used alongside a consistent weekly exercise routine and a healthy diet. Strength training with resistance bands can complement lifting with weights or can replace weight training. Look to include at least two days per week of strength training with either resistance bands, weights or both to get optimal results.
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Benefits of Resistance Bands
Resistance bands have several benefits. The tension in both elastic and rubber latex bands is constant and prevents any cheating, according to the Department of Health & Science at Colorado State University. You’ll also find that resistance bands are inexpensive and easy to pack when traveling. Resistance bands allow multiple directions of movement giving an all-around workout. The core muscles must be activated when using resistance bands, which in turn improves posture and increases coordination.
With elastic resistance bands you’ll find two different types. Elastic bands are found in the form of cords or elastic strands that are covered with a stretchy fabric. Elastic bands tend to have handles for an added user-friendly feature. You can find elastic resistance bands in most sporting goods stores with several different levels of resistance. Latex rubber resistance bands are usually long, flat pieces of latex rubber that are rectangular in shape. This type of resistance band usually does not come with handles but does come in various levels of resistance. Latex rubber bands are usually on the cheaper side, but don’t offer much in the way of variety.
Choosing a Band
When choosing a resistance band, it’s important to first have some idea of how you plan on using it. Knowing what types of exercises you want to perform with the band may make it an easier choice. You’ll also need to choose resistance bands that have the right tension for your particular fitness level. Choose a variety of bands in order to create different levels of tension for several different muscles, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Most resistance bands are sold in colors that designate the tension. The light colored bands have less resistance and are easier. As bands get darker in color they have more resistance, making it harder to stretch. Comfort is another consideration when choosing the right band. Bands that have handles or interchangeable handles are more user-friendly.
It’s important to consider safety first when using resistance bands. Always check the resistance band you are using when it’s at rest and also when it’s stretched out to its usable length. Examine the band to make sure it’s flexible and smooth. Don’t use a band if it has signs of wear, such as worn endings or cracks. Also, make sure that any handles or interchangeable handles are in good condition and are attached properly to the band before using.