Resistance Bands Make an Excellent Addition to Home Fitness Equipment

banner of esistance Bands Make an Excellent Addition to Home Fitness Equipment

Exercise equipment comes in all shapes and sizes. Fitness accessories range from lightweight dumbbells to large, elaborate exercise machines.

There is one type of exercise equipment that is often overlooked. Resistance bands are handy for a number of reasons.

Resistance bands make an excellent addition to any home fitness setup. You may have heard resistance bands referred to by different names. They are commonly called exercise or workout bands. Large rubber band shaped versions are often called pull-up assistance bands.

Sometimes the term a Yoga band refers to resistance bands used to enhance stretching and flexibility. Resistance bands come in different shapes and designs as well. Let's start by explaining how resistance bands can vary.

How Resistance Bands Can Vary

You might be surprised when you discover how resistance bands vary. The most obvious is in the design. Resistance bands vary by color as well. The color difference, especially for single loop bands, is indicative of the tension or resistance. Resistance bands also vary in the specific type of exercise they are best suited to perform. Certain bands target stretching and physical therapy programs. Other band designs allow for various movements or a secure grip. Let's look at the most common types of resistance bands.

  • Light Therapy Resistance Bands - Therapy resistance bands are longer. They are usually six to seven feet. Sometimes they are complete loops, and other designs are long, thin, flat bands. Light therapy resistance bands are commonly used for injury rehabilitation and stretching exercises. This design of band is perfect for adding resistance to Yoga and Pilates type workout programs. These bands are an excellent choice for beginners to improve strength. Light therapy resistance bands help to improve mobility, plus are great for increasing your range of motion.
  • Tubular Resistance Bands with Handles - This type of design is the most common visual image of resistance bands. The stretchy part of the band is like a long, slender rubber tube. As most resistance bands, tubular resistance bands with handles come in different tensile strengths. Some have a single handle on one end with a loop on the other end. You can hook your foot inside this loop, or configure the loop to hook to a secure point. There are also resistance bands with handles at both ends. In addition to the longer designs with handles, there are also short tubular bands called figure 8 bands. Figure 8 bands are usually 12 to 18 inches in total length with handles at both ends. Frequently, Tubular resistance band sets with handles are stackable to increase tension.
  • Loop Resistance Bands - Our third type of resistance band is often referred to as pull-up assistance bands. The design is like an oversized rubber band. Being one complete circle, loop resistance bands offer the widest degree of exercise diversity of all the types. There are a number of reasons to include this resistance band design in your set. Number one is the amount of exercise variety they offer. There are certain resistance band exercises that are only practical with this type of band. Loop resistance bands are usually a standard overall length. However, they come in various thicknesses and tension strengths. The bands with less tension are excellent for stretching. There are also loop bands with tension strengths over 100 pounds that can help build muscle strength.

Choosing the Right Resistance Bands

With so many types and designs, how can you choose the right resistance bands for your needs? One useful suggestion is to include some variety. Loop or pull-up resistance bands, the large rubber band design, offer the best variety.

Owning at least a couple of light therapy resistance bands is an excellent choice, especially for beginners. Therapy resistance bands commonly come in lower tension strengths. Adding at least one set of tubular bands with handles adds a useful addition to your set.

Tubular resistance band sets that use detachable handles can be stacked. This will prove important, especially if your fitness goals include improved strength. Different exercises benefit from more or less tension, so this flexibility is extremely useful.

Once you have an option to use lighter, therapy resistance bands for stretching, plus tubular bands with handles, you would benefit from a full set of loop resistance bands. Sets commonly include attachable handles, plus a door anchor.

There are a number of advanced exercises, such as push-ups and pull-ups with resistance that require the loop design. You can even incorporate lighter tension strengths to replace therapy bands for warm-up and stretching.

Exercises Performed with Resistance Bands

If you include a variety of resistance band types, the number of exercises you can perform using resistance bands is extensive. With a door anchor and detachable handles, you can replicate just about any exercise or machine you can think of. Since resistance bands are more flexible than bars or machine arms and handles, the range of motion for any given exercise is dramatically more. Here's a quick list of a few basic exercises you can perform with resistance bands.

  • Standing Curls – Simple curl motion to target your biceps. You can use tubular bands with handles, or stand on one end of a loop resistance band.
  • Reverse Flies – This is a great resistance band exercise to improve range of motion and target the muscles across your upper back and shoulders. A figure 8 band works perfectly, but you can also do this exercise with loop or tubular exercise bands.
  • Push-ups with Resistance – The normal push-up is a tremendously effective full-body exercise. When you attach a large loop band over your back correctly, you magnify the effects of the workout.
  • Shoulder Shrugs – This is another extremely useful exercise that benefits from the flexibility of resistance bands. The primary technique is to stand on a large loop band and grab it at two points.
  • Bent Over Rows – Another great exercise to build back muscles and overall body strength is the bent over row. This move can be performed with tubular or loop resistance bands.

Being productive with the exercise equipment you own is priority number one. When you expand the diversity of your workouts, plus save space, it's a win-win situation. Resistance bands accomplish both. There are hundreds of challenging exercises you can do using resistance bands, and a complete set fits into a dresser drawer. If you're looking to add exercise equipment, resistance bands are more than just accessories.