Resistance Bands and are they effective?

Resistance bands all you need to know!  


Looking for a new and innovative way to workout that doesn’t involve long distance cardio or even going to the gym? Perhaps you just want the ability to workout from home, on the go or looking to take your workouts to the next level. Resistance bands offer an ‘all in one package’ that not only allows you to increase the intensity of your workouts but gives you the option of doing so from the comfort of your own home or at the gym. 

We are about to go through everything you need to know about resistances bands including that all important question, “Do resistance bands really work?”.

Contents 

1.) What are Resistance bands?

2.) What are they used for?

3.) The Benefits and why they are so popular

4.) Do resistance bands really work?


#1 Resistance bands

Resistances bands come in a variety of shapes and sizes and they all ultimately provide some sort of resistance. They can be used for a variety of different purposes, workouts and movements. A resistance band does `exactly what it says on the tin` it enables you to create different levels of resistance depending on the desired goal. The bands themselves are typically made out of Latex and sometimes TPE (a latex free alternative) and they are usually flat or tubular in nature. Bands of these sorts were originally used for rehabilitation purposes, but they are now widely accepted as a great piece of resistance training equipment and are growing in popularity. We would be surprised if before today you hadn’t heard of them or seen them being used at your local gym or on social media.  

Our Weight Locker Ultimate Resistance bands are tubular and come with a range of accessories to help provide versatility when working out. The handles and ankle straps allow you to perform a whole host of exercises, over 150 to be precise.  Our TPR foam anchor enables you to safely secure them for use around the house or on the go. They come with 5 different strength bands so you can increase the resistance all the way up to 125lbs.

#2 What are they used for?

Resistance bands aren’t just a beginner-level alternative to weight training. They are used by athletes all over the world in a variety of different sports like football, boxing, UFC, bodybuilding, powerlifting, gymnastics and athletics. You name it! And you can guarantee they are using it for one or more of the following reasons; to develop strength, speed, power, agility or to overall increase muscle mass. The ultimate goal is to provide your muscles with a stimulus in order for them to adapt. 

Resistance bands and free weights have a lot in common in that they not only both provide some level of resistance, but they also allow a free range of motion to be achieved at variable speeds, whilst also allowing progressive overload. All these factors are vital in ensuring an effective resistance-training workout.  We will delve more into the science behind resistance bands and muscle building in one of our future posts. 

#3 What are the benefits

There are many benefits to owning and training with resistance bands and we will cover this in more detail in our next post however some of the main ones are: 

  • Inexpensive 
  • Versatile 
  • Workout anywhere 
  • Whole Body Workout 
  • Portable 

These are just a few benefits of resistance bands, but you can check out our next post for more details on this, but I am sure by now you get the gist. 

#4 Do resistance bands really work

In short YES, however there are several different factors to take into consideration when thinking about this question. What are your goals? Do you want to burn fat? Do you want to gain muscle? Are you progressively overloading? What does your diet look like, are you eating too much or too little? There are many more crucial variables that influence this question and determine how and why you are using the resistance bands and the results that you will achieve. 

There are now multiple studies to support the fact that resistance bands are an effective form of resistance training and when used properly can increase both muscle strength and size as well as decrease body fat in a similar manner to free weight training. Of course, many factors come into play when discussing their effectiveness compared to traditional weightlifting but what is ultimately important here are the results that can be achieved when using resistance bands correctly. We all know that what you eat plays a large part in whether you gain muscle or lose fat and we will talk more about this in upcoming posts. 

Resistance bands don’t rely on gravity to provide resistance and this is a great advantage when working out as it allows you to increase resistance in horizontal movements easier than free weights. They also provide constant tension throughout the entire range of motion both all the way up through a contraction and on the way back down. This isn’t to say that they are better than free weights, these are just some of the advantages of using resistance bands. Free weights and resistance bands both play a key role in resistance training and both bring their own positives to the table. In fact, studies show that combining the two together has been shown to be more beneficial than either method used alone. 

So we have established there is a lot of evidence to suggest that resistance band training is effective for many different purposes. When you think about it in simple terms it makes sense, your muscles require a stimulus, resistance or a load to be placed on them to stimulate a change in order for them to adapt. Resistance bands are a great way to provide this in a similar way to free weights. At the end of the day your muscles don’t know the difference between resistance bands and free weights they just react and adapt to the stimulus provided but let’s not forget consistency and other factors are key! All in all, resistance bands are growing in popularity for a reason and are now becoming a stable part of any resistance training program whether that’s for warm ups, stretching, mobility for increasing intensity they are a great way to enhance your overall performance.

Thanks for reading along if you have any questions or want to add something feel free to send us an email and we will be happy to assist. (Author has a BSc Biological Sciences & MSc Biomedical Sciences however this is provided purely for information and entertainment purposes only. (See Disclaimer Below)



References 

Kraemer, W., Ratamess, N. & French, D. (2002) Resistance Training for Health and Performance. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 1 (3), . 

Lopes, J., Machado, A., Micheletti, J., de Almeida, A., Cavina, A. & Pastre, C. (2019) Effects of training with elastic resistance versus conventional resistance on muscular strength: A systematic review and meta-analysis. SAGE Open Medicine. 7.

Bellar, D. M., et al. The effects of combined elastic and free-weight tension versus free-weight tension on one-repetition maximum strength in the bench press. Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 25(2): 459-463, 2011.

Bergquist, R., Iversen, V., Mork, P. & Fimland, M. (2018) Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights. Journal of Human Kinetics. 61 (1), .