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Is your goal is to burn fat and build lean muscle but you can’t get access to any free weights at the moment? Fret no longer because working out with resistance bands along with following a healthy nutritious diet can help you do just that! Read on to learn the benefits of using resistance bands and why so many people love working out with them…
What Are Resistance Bands?
There’s certainly nothing new about resistance bands as a variation made of surgical tubing were first used in the early 20th century for rehabilitation exercises. They had their first comeback in the mid 1990’s into the fitness industry. Though again were mostly used by physiotherapists with their clients for rehabilitation work from fitness injuries.
They really started to become popular for workouts around 2008 and this popularity has been increasing over the last few years. The companies producing them are constantly improving their products in order to get a slice of the increasing demand for them. Now more and more people are using them on a regular basis for effective home workouts.
Resistance bands are now generally made of heavy duty latex. They come in different shapes such as strips, tubes and loops. Along with all sorts of accessories such as handles, ankle straps and door anchors. There are a variety of different colours that correlate to the different resistance levels.
Reasons Why You Will Love Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are safe for everyone to use no matter your fitness level. They are flexible as you can manipulate the direction of resistance that they offer. This means that they can be used for a wide variety of exercises and offer the same benefits of weight training if used correctly on a regular basis.
They are inexpensive and unlike dumbbells, resistance band sets are actually widely available to buy at the moment. Also they are lightweight and take up very little space unlike conventional weight training equipment. This makes them the perfect piece of kit to use for workouts at home or anywhere you want.
They Can Improve The Quality of Your Workout
Focusing on good form during an exercise is a lot more important than the amount of weight you can lift or the amount of repetitions than you can do. The better your form is the less likely you are to injure yourself and the better results you will get.
One of the great advantages of using resistance bands is that they make you focus on your form and how you control the resistance throughout every exercise in the entire workout.
You can’t cheat with resistance bands and use momentum when the exercise starts to get harder like you can with dumbbells. Which means your muscles are getting the maximum benefits from your workout efforts.
Also in order to maintain your balance throughout a lot of exercises you will need to constantly keep your core muscles activated so your abs are constantly getting a great workout too.
Resistance bands also put less stress on your joints than weights do, so you can work-out without the risk of injury. And they are also still ideal for rehabilitation exercises if you are currently recovering from an injury.
Great for Warm-ups & Mobility Work
Doing some form of exercise to get your heart rate elevated and warm up your muscles prior to resistance training can easily be done with resistance bands. They are also ideal for general mobility exercises and improving flexibility in problem areas such as your hamstrings. Watch the short video below to see an easy full body mobility warm up using resistance bands.
Full Body Mobility Band Warm-up
You Can Build Muscle with Them
To build lean muscle you need to apply progressive resistance to your muscles. Resistance is resistance whether you are using dumbbells or resistance bands and studies have shown that resistance bands are a good alternative to lifting weights. (1) (2)
If you were training with free weights you would lift heavier weights. Whereas if you have a set of resistance bands they can be stacked to add up to a total of 150 lbs which is more than enough to be able to get great results.
They Improve Your Focus
Another advantage of resistance bands is their linear variable resistance which basically means; the more that you stretch a resistance band the greater the resistance it gives. This tension makes the band heavier at the end of the range of motion, therefore making the exercise harder. So you really need to focus on controlling the muscles you are using to apply more force to the band so that it stays taut.
Build Your Mind Muscle Connection with Resistance Bands
The ‘mind muscle connection’ is simply being able to be focus on or to visualise the main muscle you are working as you contract it and studies have shown that the mastering the mind-muscle connection can lead to greater gains when training to increase muscle.
As the bands resistance increases at the end of the range of motion you have to really focus to get a good squeeze and this helps you to build your mind muscle connection.
If you are dedicated and can develop the self-discipline you can get great results from resistance bands that are comparable to using free weights.