Resistance band exercises are common, but are they effective?

July 5, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, resistance-band exercises have been widely discussed on social media. If you are unfamiliar with them, resistance bands resemble elastic bands and are typically constructed from synthetic materials like latex or rubber. For example, you can loop them around your arms or legs to increase the strain you feel when exercising. Some people believe that this stress, which makes it harder to move and utilizes more muscles, can help you gain strength and muscle.

We all understand how crucial strength training is. In addition to aiding in strength development, it can also prevent muscular degradation as we age. Increasing muscle mass can also speed up metabolism. While bodyweight-only exercises like squats and lunges can help you gain some strength, the secret to gaining more strength is often to create resistance. This is frequently done with weights or weight machines. But resistance bands have recently gained popularity as a technique to enhance this resilience and strength, particularly during the height of the pandemic. This means you can gain the advantages of increased strength without having to spend hours lifting weights in the gym.

Resistance bands are widely utilized for a variety of reasons, including their affordability, portability, and ease of usage at home. They can be used by people of various fitness levels because different bands contain varied levels of resistance, such as light or heavy, which engage your muscles at varying degrees of effort.

Athletes as well as the general public can acquire strength with elastic resistance bands, according to research, which is comparable to training with dumbbells or weight machines. Even more so than weight training, resistance band exercise can improve the stabilizer muscles. This muscle group is crucial because it protects us from injury and supports our larger muscles and joints during movement. Resistance bands are frequently utilized in rehabilitation since bolstering them can enhance movement and stability.

When utilizing free weights is not always feasible, such as when an elderly person cannot easily access to a gym, using resistance bands might be beneficial. Resistance band exercise is not only risk-free for older persons, but it can also lessen frailty. Additionally, resistance bands help enhance flexibility, balance, and body composition (less body fat and more muscle).

Pros and cons

According to estimates, around half of people who begin weight training with conventional weights quit within a year because of the logistical challenges and monetary burdens. Resistance bands can make it simpler to gain strength and might motivate users to stick with them over time.

They do, however, have some shortcomings. Only after fully extending the band will you experience its greatest resistance. The resistance, however, remains constant while using free weights. Additionally, you may easily increase resistance by lifting a greater weight or decrease resistance by lifting less weight. Although you can use a band with additional resistance to acquire more strength, these improvements might not be as significant as those you would receive from utilizing weights.

Since you can work against bigger resistances with free weights, you will in this case build greater strength even though the strength gains from performing workouts with resistance bands are equivalent to those from using conventional methods, such as free weights. Resistance bands and free weights can be used in combination to increase strength gains because of the fixed resistance provided by the free weight and the variable resistance provided by the resistance band.

Although it's crucial to be aware of these restrictions when using resistance bands, they can still be a useful tool for gaining strength and muscle. They might be a fantastic option for folks just starting out in exercise or who don't want to pay for a gym membership because they're affordable and simple to access. This indicates that practically anyone can benefit from strength training without having to move big objects.

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