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How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts?

How Effective Are Resistance Band Workouts?

Resistance bands have taken the fitness world by storm in recent times, owing to their affordability and versatility. So, if you are a novice looking to get fit and healthy, resistance bands can prove effective in achieving your fitness goals. However, the question that arises is - how effective are resistance band workouts? Are they worth the effort and time?

In this article, we delve into the science behind resistance band workouts and explore their countless benefits. From building muscle strength to enhancing flexibility, and balance, and improving mobility, we will uncover the multiple ways in which resistance bands can help you achieve a healthier, fitter, and stronger lifestyle. So, pick up your resistance bands and begin your journey toward a healthier lifestyle.

1. What is a Resistance Band?

Resistance bands, also known as exercise bands, are stretchable elastic bands used for strength training, physical therapy, and general fitness.

2. How Does Resistance Band Work?

“In many ways, bands put more tension on your muscles and work them longer during movements.”
(Christopher Travers, Exercise Physiologist)

Resistance bands work on the principle of resistance training which involves applying an external force to a targeted muscle group during contraction. When using a resistance band, the elastic material of the band stretches as you pull or push against it. This provides resistance to your muscles to work and overcome that tension.

“The resistance level of the band depends on the elasticity and thickness of the specific band as well as the length of the band and the position of your body.”

By adjusting these factors, you can customize the level of resistance to target specific muscle groups and adjust the difficulty of the exercise.

Resistance bands work by providing constant tension throughout the entire range of motion, which is different from free weights where the resistance changes as you move through the exercise. This constant tension can help to activate more muscle fibers and create a deeper muscle burn, leading to greater muscle growth and strength gains over time.

3. Body Parts Involved in Resistance Band Exercise

Resistance band exercises are widely used to engage multiple muscle groups throughout the body that provides a comprehensive workout experience. However, specific techniques and variations of the band exercises make it possible to effectively target specific muscles of the body including hamstrings, shoulders, quadriceps, glutes, biceps, triceps, and abdominals.

4. Types of Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are adaptable and powerful equipment for strength training, physical treatment, and overall health maintenance. There are many varieties of resistance bands available on the market, each with its own set of advantages. However, it’s vital to know the features of each band for selecting the right fit to accomplish fitness goals.

4.1. Figure 8 Band

These tubular-shaped bands are like the number 8 and have plastic handles at both ends.

Uses

It is widely used to tone your buns and legs.

Targeted Areas

  • Upper Body
  • Arms

Exercises Perform By Figure 8 Bands

  • Shoulder Dresses
  • Bicep Curls
  • Leg Raises

4.2. Fit Tube Bands

Fit tube bands also known as tube bands have plastic handles and are longer in size than your feet.

Uses

Fit tube bands are used for burning body fat, and strengthening the muscles. 

Targeted Areas

Used for the workout of

  • Upper Body
  • Lower Body
  • Arm

Exercises Perform By Fit Tube Bands

  • Shoulder Presses
  • Curls
  • Black Rows
  • Chest Presses

4.3. Fit Loop Band

These are small, flat rubber bands that can be used for a variety of exercises.

Uses

Fit loop resistance bands are used to increase the muscle's strength, flexibility and also help in building new healthier muscles. It also helps in activating the glute, core, and hip muscles

Targeted Areas

They mostly target the smaller muscle group including shoulders, biceps, triceps, and calves

Exercises Perform By Fit Tube Bands

  • Leg Lifts
  • Glute Bridges
  • Hip Thrusts
  • Squats

4.4. Power Resistance Band

These are similar to tube bands but are thicker and wider, providing more resistance.

Uses

They are used for joint flexibility and mobility. Power resistance bands are also used in power and strength training.

Targeted Areas

  • Upper Body
  • Lower Body

4.5. Therapy Resistance Band

This type of resistance band has a flat surface and has no handles. They are made of soft and stretchy material.  

Uses

Helps in strengthening the muscles and toning the body. They are also used for the rehabilitation of injured people

Targeted Areas

Injured muscles of

  • Upper Body
  • Lower Body

4.6. Lateral Tube Band

Lateral tube bands are one-foot bands that have Velcro cuffs on both ends.

Uses

Wraps around the ankles to increase the strength of thighs and mobility of hip muscles.

Targeted Areas

  • Lower Body

4.7. Pull-Up Bands

These bands are long and narrow and are designed to help with pull-ups and other bodyweight exercises.

Uses

Pull-up bands are typically used to enhance muscular endurance and strength

Targeted Areas

  • Back
  • Core
  • Shoulders
  • Forearms
  • Biceps

5. How One Should Choose an Appropriate Resistance Band?

The choice of the resistance band depends upon your need and expectations associated with band workouts. So, before choosing any band for your workout routine, you must consider the following criteria:

Difficulty Level: Beginner or Advanced. 

Targeted Areas: Lower body, Upper body, Rehabilitation, and Pull-ups.

6. Some Resistance Band Exercises For Improving Strength

As discussed above, resistance bands are an excellent tool to help you build strength, and improve flexibility, and endurance by adding value to your training. Here are some effective resistance band exercises that do wonders.

6.1. Chest Press by Resistance Band

Chest muscles, abs, arms, shoulders, biceps, and triceps are the primary targets of a resistance band chest workout. This exercise strengthens your chest and arm.

How To Perform Chest Press Exercise?

Video Credit: By Vive Health Youtube Video

  • Wrap a resistance band around a sturdy post or door handle.
  • Stand facing away from the post or door and hold the ends of the band in each hand at chest height.
  • Step forward to create tension in the band, then push your hands forward until your arms are fully stretched.
  • Slowly bring your hands back to your chest and repeat.

Pro Tip:

Remember, you must keep your abs tight and maintain a good posture all the way through the spine while performing resistance band chest press exercises. 

6.2. Seated Row Resistance Band Exercise

To strengthen your middle, back, and upper body, another top-tier exercise is a seated row through a resistance band. The muscles involved in this workout are the shoulder blades, neck, upper back, middle back, and front upper arm.  However, the rhomboids and lats (Latissimus dorsi) are primary targets of seated row exercises. Seated row exercise helps you maintain good posture.

How To Perform Seated Row Workout?

Video Credit: By Vive Health Youtube Video

  • Sit on the floor by extending your legs and looping the resistance band around your feet.
  • Hold the ends of the band with each hand and sit upright.
  • Pull the band towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do so.
  • Slowly release the band and repeat.

6.3. Resistance Band Glute Bridge Exercise

Band exercises are performed to increase the strength and flexibility of the glute and bridge. These are one of the most challenging yet effective resistance band exercises. The main target of this exercise is the glute and other secondary muscles including hip abductors, back muscles, hamstrings, and core muscles

How To Do Band Glute Exercise?

Video Credit: By Vive Health Youtube Video

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Engage your glutes and lift your hips off the floor, squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower back down and repeat.

6.4. Resistance Band Tricep Extension

Resistance bands are also used for upper body flexibility and strength. It provides strength and protects sore or injured muscles. The main target of this workout is the tricep muscles.  

How To Perform Band Tricep Extension Workout?

Video Credit: By Undersun Fitness Youtube Video

  • Hold one end of the resistance band in your left hand and place the other end under your left foot.
  • Bring your left elbow up and keep it close to your head.
  • Extend your left arm straight up towards the ceiling, keeping your elbow in place.
  • Slowly lower your arm back and down then repeat the process.

6.5. Leg Press Exercise By Resistance Band

Leg press is a workout for lower body strength and flexibilityThe glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads are the main targeted muscles in this workout.

How To Perform Band Leg Press Workout?

Video Credit: By Phillip S Youtube Video

  • Wrap the resistance band around a sturdy post or door handle.
  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and the band across the top of your feet.
  • Bend your knees and bring them towards your chest, creating tension in the band and resistance in the knees.
  • Push your legs out straight, extending them fully.
  • Slowly bend your knees back towards your chest and repeat the process.

So, Incorporating all these resistance band exercises into your workout routine can help you target and improve the different muscle groups and achieve your fitness goals.

7. Tips For Resistance Band Training

Resistance bands have become increasingly popular in recent years as versatile and effective tools to level up your fitness. So, it's important to follow some tips and safety precautions before holding a resistance band. Here we’ll highlight some key suggestions for resistance band training to help you achieve the best results while minimizing the risk of injury.

7.1. Choose the Band with the Appropriate Resistance

When selecting a resistance band, it's important to choose the correct resistance level that suits your fitness goals and exercise requirements. The right resistance band will challenge you and allow you to perform the workouts safely.

However, a beginner must choose a band with low resistance to stay in the safe zone. If you are working on building strength, choose a resistance level that causes fatigue in the final few repetitions. As you get stronger, increase the resistance level or add more repetitions while progressing.

7.2. Pick Up the Crack Free Band

Any crack in the resistance band can cause danger while training. So, before starting the training, it's highly recommended to properly inspect your resistance band. Because cracks, tears, or other damage can cause the band to break or snap while working out, which can result in injury.

7.3. Use a Solid Keystone Point

If you are using a fixed point to anchor your resistance band, make sure it must be durable. For instance, a door can be used as a stable point for a band workout, but it's important to make sure that it must be opened away from you, so it may not open accidentally while training. Furthermore, a stable keystone point would provide you the confidence to perform your exercises safely and effectively.

7.4. Control Training

Over-extending the joints can cause severe damage and difficulty in snapping back. It’s important to perform control band training to get the desired results. However, it’s recommended to perform 20-30 minutes of band training three times a week. 

7.5. Double-Up Resistance

If you find that your resistance band isn't challenging and provides minimal resistance, then you should consider doubling up your band or going for a more challenging band.

7.6. Go Slowly

When performing resistance band exercises, it's important to properly control the band and avoid letting it pull you back sharply. This can result in poor form and increase the risk of injury. Slowly returning to the starting position helps in avoiding any sudden jerks or accidental movements.

By considering the above tips, you can perform these resistance band exercises and orient the desired result.

8. Effectiveness of Using Resistance Bands

8.1. Improved Strength and Muscle Tone

Bands exercises have the ability to increase resistance. Improved resistance assists your muscle flexibility and increases muscular strength and tone. The tension created by resistance band training is the main factor that contributes to improving resistance.

In addition, resistance band workouts also help in muscle activation and boosting fibers. This leads to increased strength gains and muscle growth.

8.2. Cost-Effective

Resistance bands are relatively inexpensive tools available to add up value to your fitness. So, try this cost-effective way to build more muscle mass and strength. 

8.3. Increased Flexibility and Range of Motion

Stretching of the resistance bands not only boosts muscle mass but also increases the range of motion. How do resistance bands help in increasing flexibility? While training, resistance bands help in stretching the targeted muscles, allowing for a greater stretch than traditional stretching or weightlifting exercises.

8.4. Portable and Convenient

Resistance bands are lightweight and easy to carry workout tools. The characteristic of resistance bands makes them a convenient and handy option. Resistance bands can be used anywhere, and a number of the exercises can be performed without the need for additional equipment.

8.5. Versatility

Resistance bands can be used to perform a wide range of exercises, including upper body, lower body, and core exercises. They can also be used to increase the intensity of traditional exercises such as squats, push-ups, and lunges. This versatility makes resistance bands a valuable addition to any workout routine.

8.6. Reduced Joint Stress

Using resistance bands can help in reducing the stress on the joints. The bands provide variable resistance throughout the movement, which reduces the stress on the joints at the beginning and end of the exercise. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with joint pain or arthritis.

9. Is Resistance Band Training Effective For Strengthening?

Strength is the main outcome of any fitness routine. The main target of resistance band workouts is to get healthy muscles. However, the studies indicate that resistance band workouts prove to be even more effective for building strength and muscle as other dumbbell or weightlifting exercises.

10. Last Words

Resistance bands are a versatile, portable, reliable, and effective option for strength training that can easily be used whether you are a sedentary or an advanced-level athlete. The main target of resistance band workouts is to provide a low-impact option for individuals looking to maintain their fitness. However, the improved strength and muscle tone minimize the risk of injury. Moreover, the convenience and portability of resistance bands make them an ideal option for individuals looking to exercise at home or on the go.

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