For a long time Resistance Bands were associated with women in their 50â€™s and trips to the physio. Not anymore. The creation of thin cylindrical latex-dipped bands with a 99% non-snap guarantee has finally made the resistance band a credible rival to the free weight.
Constant Tension = Full Workout
Imagine you are holding a traditional dumbbell in your hand and you are performing a traditional bicep curl. The bicep muscle is only engaged on the concentric stage of the movement but it isnâ€™t engaged on the eccentric stage of the movement. Essentially, you are getting half the workout.
Performing the same bicep curl using a resistance band, whether anchored at the door, or under your foot, will stress the muscle on both the concentric and the eccentric parts of the movement. Using resistance bands gives you a full workout. Your muscles will be stronger, denser and less prone to injury as you advance to a greater and greater resistance.
If you are new to muscle-building exercises, resistance bands will give you tension throughout the full plane of motion. This is extremely important during the initial stages of muscle-building because the entire muscle is stimulated.
Yes, You Can Perform Compound Lifts
There is a long-held myth that compound lifts â€“ for example, the squat â€“ canâ€™t be performed using resistance bands. Compound lifts are an important part of working out because the engage multiple muscle groups, forcing the body to work under a higher stress level than itâ€™s used to, thus, getting fitter, stronger and hopefully a little leaner too.
Compound lifts can be performed correctly using resistance bands. Letâ€™s take the squat: by standing on the resistance band and holding your hands at shoulder height â€“ the same stance you would have if you were about the squat with a barbell â€“ youâ€™re ready to perform a squat. Squat as you normally would.
Other compound lifts may require you to anchor the resistance band in the door.
Letâ€™s look at the Romanian, or Stiff-Leg Deadlift: Anchor your resistance band at about shin height and stand with your back to the door. Step forward to a point where you feel resistance on the band. Keeping your hands just in front as if you were holding a barbell, perform the Romanian Deadlift movement.
Big compound exercises are possible with resistance bands. If you donâ€™t know how to do these exercises properly, there are plenty of examples on Youtube. Itâ€™s vital to learn good form so that you donâ€™t stress your joints or injure your muscles, particularly in the lower back.
For some people, going on vacation is a sure-fire routine killer â€“ of course, thatâ€™s what itâ€™s for â€“ but it can also kill your workout habit. A set of resistance bands can pack down to about the size of a pair of shoes, fitting easily into your luggage, so working out while you are away from home is easy.
A set consisting of door anchor, handles, ankle straps, a carry bag and around eight bands of between 100 lbs and 200 lbs or total resistance will cost approximately $30 on Amazon. Thatâ€™s a great deal!