Tension is a good thing when it comes to one training tool that you’ll want to incorporate into your workout plan. Resistance bands are versatile, durable, inexpensive, safe to use, easy to store, and a must-have for any workout enthusiast. You can do any type of exercise with resistance bands, so you’ll have no trouble getting a full-body workout in with them.
Resistance bands are easy to use. Simply put a mini-band around your legs for squats, step on a longer band for bicep curls, tie a band around a post for chest presses, or put a foot or knee in a band to assist with pullups. Resistance bands provide low-impact training, so they are easy on the joints. They are great for rehabilitation from injuries and for stretching.
Your muscles work under tension throughout the entire exercise when you use resistance bands (for example, lowering into a squat and then rising back up). This will help with your technique, as you won’t be using your momentum in the same way you might if you weren’t using a band. For some exercises when resistance bands aren’t used, it isn’t uncommon for people once they have fatigued to use their momentum, instead of their muscles, to complete their reps.
Also, working under the tension of resistance bands will improve your strength. For squats, that means greater toning for your quads, glutes and hips. A lateral squat walk is another popular exercise using resistance bands. The wider you step out to the side, the more the band will stretch and the harder you’ll have to work.
Resistance bands come in varying degrees of strength, which make them great for an athlete’s progression. If you are new to resistance training, buy a pack of mini-bands and start with the band at the lowest strength (most stretch). You can work your way up to the stronger bands in the same way you work your way up to heavier weights in the gym.
The most common way to use mini-bands is to put them around your legs, but you can also put them around your arms. For example, if you want to increase the difficulty of your bicep curls but aren’t ready to move up in weight, adding a resistance band to the exercise will give you a greater challenge.
Resistance bands take up virtually no space at home, and they are easy to transport either to the gym or for travel. You can enjoy the benefits of strength training from anywhere without having to lug heavy equipment.