Looking to shake up your home strength work routine but don’t want to spend a ton of money? The answer is easy—resistance band workouts.
Resistance bands can amp up at-home workouts so you don’t have to go out and keep buying new weights as you progress. They’re definitely handy when it comes to strength and toning workouts.
“No workout routine is complete without some form of resistance training. Working your muscles against something else has numerous advantages for your body, and even some for your mind,” said Dominic Gordon, Certified Master Trainer.
The benefits of resistance band workouts
Resistance bands are one of the most cost-effective ways to get a complete workout. Many are priced at less than $10. Even higher quality, more expensive brands are usually less than $30. You can get a complete set of resistance bands for much less than you would pay for a weight machine while still engaging in many of the same exercises.
No matter how many you end up purchasing, you need almost no storage space for them. Each band can be rolled up and tucked away for maximum convenience.
Another great thing about resistance bands is that you can use them anywhere—not just in your home but also outside in a park or at a gym. They’re light and compact, so they don’t take up much space or add weight to whatever you tote it in.
Also, if you don’t have a ton of time, they make a great on-the-go workout.
What are the best brands or materials for resistance bands?
Coach Dom said that deciding which one(s) to buy comes down to overall comfort and body type.
“Fabric bands will typically provide more resistance than rubber or latex bands, and they also are more useful with individual with larger legs. Latex or rubber bands are cheaper and best used for workouts that involve your ankles and wrists. Fabric bands are best for exercises that require your hips,” Gordon said.
There are many different kinds to choose from: therapy bands, resistance bands/tube bands, mini bands/loop bands (rubber and fabric), figure 8 bands, and handle bands. Some of our favorites are:
- Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands: A classic set of five loop bands.
- CFX Resistance Bands for Hips and Glutes: A set of three heavier fabric loop bands for lower body work.
- Allvodes Exercise Bands: A set of five resistance bands without handles for a more natural grip.
- INTEY Pull up Assist Bands: A set of four pull up-assist bands, much longer than your traditional loop resistance bands.
- Letsfit Resistance Bands with Handles, Door Anchor and Ankle Straps: A set of five bands with detachable handles, a door anchor, and ankle straps for extra versatility in your workouts.
How to use resistance bands in lieu of lifting more weight
“You can achieve muscle growth and strength through weightlifting or the use of resistance bands due to the fact that both place your muscles under stress and tension resulting in muscle damage,” Dom said.
In the absence of adding weights, resistance bands can be very beneficial. You can purchase sets with as much as 200 pounds of resistance. This truly can take your training to the next level.
By shortening the band as little as an inch, you can increase the tension by several pounds. For example, if you are doing bicep curls with the band placed under your foot, simply moving your foot a few inches to the left or right will increase the tension and the difficulty of the exercise.
Even with only one or two bands, you can amplify your training by either combining them for greater resistance or shortening one by widening the band or bands.
Still need convincing?
If you already love the weights or machines you work with, you might feel a resistance band is unnecessary. However, adding variety is extremely helpful to your workout. Your muscles become accustomed to the same types of movements and adapt accordingly, so adding elements of variety can help you make sure you’re still challenging them.
“Even though resistance training won’t burn as many calories at once as aerobic exercise, it still has weight loss benefits,” Dom said. “When you build muscle tone, your body’s metabolism receives a significant boost. This is because muscle tone at rest burns many more calories than fat at rest. So, if your body has a lower fat percentage, it will burn a higher rate of resting calories.”