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Resistance Bands for the Home Gym: The Definitive Guide

November 28, 2020 10 min read

Resistance Bands for the Home Gym: The Definitive Guide

Many have avoided resistance band training because they are unfamiliar with how the band works or the benefits of resistance bands.

If you’re one of them or a fitness enthusiast wanting to learn more about resistance bands; this is the post for you.

By the time, we reach the end of the article; you’ll be familiar with the wonderful qualities of resistance bands.

Plus, you’ll be ready to add them to your workout routine.

Let’s get started.

What’s a Resistance Band?

A resistance band is a great exercise tool to achieve a wide range of fitness goals.

This is an inexpensive, versatile tool that can be used for weight loss, physical therapy, muscle building, and more.

The resistance band started as a tool for rehabilitation in the 20th century. Its effectiveness prompted inclusion in a wide range of training activities.

For some, bands can serve as an alternative to weights.

Plus, they can be a valuable addition to the weight training routine. You can even add the 2.1cm black resistance band to increase resistance while lifting weights.

The way bands work on the muscles is quite different from how weights do. Yet, experts believe muscles respond similarly to both training methods.

Resistance band training brings the desired effect by inducing muscle contraction.

When users pull against the band the contracting motion sets in. The gradual relaxation and contraction of the muscle fibers will build strength in the muscles.


Understanding the Different Levels of Resistance?

What started as a rehabilitation tool is now used in almost every training program.

The increase in scope has also resulted in the development of new types of bands with different tension levels, lengths, sizes, shapes, etc.

Here are the most common types of resistance bands:

Therapy Band: This is a gentle, rehabilitation band that normally doesn’t come with a handle. These bands are around 4-feet long with a flat surface. For rehabilitation, you could begin with the 0.64cm orange resistance band which has a resistance level of up to 10kg.

Compact Resistance Band: Also called the fit tube band, it’s longer than 4-feet with plastic handles. The tube-shaped band is suited to train arms, upper and lower body.  

Figure 8 Band: Figure 8s are short resistance bands best suited for upper body workouts. The band has two handles and a short tube in the middle which gives the band a figure 8 shape.

Fit Loop Band: This is a flat resistance band with a continuous loop. This type of band is best suited for lower body exercises. 

Lateral Resistance Band: This type of resistance band sometimes comes with Velcro at the ends. This band is around a foot long and is mostly used for strengthening the thighs and hips.

Ring Resistance Band: This tube-shaped band is around a foot long. It consists of a small ring with soft-plastic handles on either side. The ring resistance bands are mainly used for training the lower body.

Pull-Up Band: The pull-up band is mainly used by those just starting the pull-up training. People that lack enough strength for pull-up training can practice with the pull-up band without straining the muscles.

Benefits of Resistance Bands

The resistance band is one of the very few exercise tools that has universal appeal. Plus, there are no restrictions on who should and shouldn’t use the tool.

To the regular workout routine, resistance band training provides a unique addition.

Another reason for its popularity and widespread use is its cost. Although resistance bands are as effective as weights and other equipment in achieving certain fitness goals, you can get them at a fraction of the cost.

Resistance bands offer many benefits; here we have listed a few: 

Improves Heart Health and Promotes Weight Loss

Resistance training reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by addressing the underlying risk factors.

Similar to aerobic exercises, resistance training can decrease chronic inflammation, control cholesterol levels, and lower resting blood pressure. Plus, the training prevents type 2 diabetes (or keeps it in check) by improving insulin sensitivity.

Want to reduce weight? Make resistance training part of your workout regimen. Exercise with bands will help in two ways.

First, by boosting the metabolic rate, these exercises help the body burn more carbohydrates and fat.

Second, resistance training helps build muscle tone. At rest, the body with higher muscle tone will burn more carbs and fat than the body with a high-fat percentage.

Increases the Overall Fitness Level

Resistance training is good for your physical and mental health.

Even a moderate level of band exercises can strengthen your muscles and bones over time. The stronger they are; the lower are the risks of injury.

Almost all coronavirus tips we have read online stresses the importance of mental health during the pandemic crisis. Band workouts can also help with mental health.

Your brain releases a neurochemical called endorphin during a workout. The chemical boosts the mood and encourages you to carry on.

Moreover, regular exercise is known to improve sleep quality. Those who sleep better are less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Inexpensive Exercise Equipment

The budget-conscious exerciser won’t find a better exercise tool than the resistance band.

A single band, like the 1.3cm red resistance band costs just around $12. You can get an entire set for less than $100.

You don’t have to purchase expensive workout equipment from Rogue Fitness to stay healthy anymore.

Adds Variety to the Workout Regimen

In many ways, resistance bands are as effective as weights and exercise machines. Using resistance bands, you add resistance in multiple ways and new directions.

Muscles that are hard to develop with traditional exercises can be trained with bands. Also, users can combine weights and bands to augment the impact of their weight training.

Plus, you don’t need to go to a gym to train the vital muscles. Want to strengthen your back muscles? Resistance bands allow at home back workout no weights needed.

Travels well

Resistance bands are good travel companions. You don’t have to skip the workout because of travel.

They are small and weightless. Hence, they are easy to pack, carry, and store in a hotel room. Bands help you train muscles even when you don’t have access to weights or your usual exercise equipment.

Resistance Band Buying Tips

Buying the right resistance band is no ordinary decision. You’ll have to consider quite a few points before making the purchase decision.

We’re here to help you spend your money wisely. Here are some tips that’ll point you in the right direction:

Choose Comfortable and Easy to Handle Bands

The market is flooded with substandard products made of cheap material. Make sure the product you buy is made of 100% latex.

When it comes to resistance bands, comfort is as important as quality. Bands that are too hard or tight to pull might not be the ideal choice.

On the market, there are resistance bands exclusively for beginners. If you’re a novice, while this might suit you, it might not be the best product for more experienced people in the house.

Hence, look for resistance bands that fulfill the requirements of beginners and experts.

Select a Variety of Bands

Another crucial question faced by users is whether to get one elastic band or buy the whole set.

Resistance bands are categorized according to tension level and different colors are allotted for easy identification.

For home work out, you should have at least three bands of different tension levels. You need more than one to train different muscle groups.

So, go for the set. You’ll get 5-6 pieces in a resistance band set.

Keep It Simple

For beginners, the process of choosing the right resistance band for the home workout won’t be easy. The choices are plenty, which is a bane more than a boon for many.

Circular bands, double bands, figure 8’s, and much more are there for the pickings. If you’re a beginner, keep the buying process simple by opting for the basic resistance band.

Once you make visible progress with it, you can move on to others as per your requirement.

Best Exercises to Do With Resistance Bands

Regardless of your fitness goals, bear in mind, your exercise plan is incomplete without some form of resistance routine.

Let’s look at some of the best resistance band exercises for some common health goals.  

Exercises for Building Muscles

The resistance band is as effective as weights in building muscles. Like weights, bands create resistance but without the dead weight.

Those who want to drop dumbbell, barbell, or kettlebell for a brief period and adopt resistance band training; try the following workouts with bands: Squats, Oblique Twists, Abdominal Curl, Triceps Kick Backs, Bicep Circles, Rowing Sequence, and Leg Lunges, and Overhead Shoulder Presses.

Exercises for Body Resistance

A resistance band is an exercise tool like no other. You can train every part of the body and a wide range of muscles with band training. Buy the 1.9cm blue resistance band and you’re good to try any workout.

You can increase the impact of Arnold Schwarzenegger home workout program by adding resistance bands into the mix.

Here are some of the best body resistance exercises you can try at home: Press-up, Lateral Walk, Splitter Sets, Glute Bridge, Side-lying Hip Abduction, Frontal Squat, and One-Arm Bicep Curl.   

Exercises for Endurance

Band training can be incorporated into the regimen for improving endurance. Many of these exercises can be done with light or medium tension bands.

Some of the best endurance workouts you can try at home include Scarecrows, Hang string Curls, Band Walks, Shoulder Circuit, Hit Circuit, Lying Psoas, and Plank with a row.

Exercise for Seniors

Although the tremendous advances made in the medical field have increased the average life span of humans, we have seen very little improvement in the quality of life.

The American Heart Association has recommended at least 150 minutes of physical exercise every week for senior citizens. But, very few people in this age group do strength, endurance, and flexibility training.

For many senior citizens, operating exercise equipment is difficult. Resistance band exercises can improve quality of life by reducing pain, improving balance, maintaining muscle strength, boosting mood, etc.

Senior citizens can do band exercises at home. Plus, many of these workouts can be done in a seated position.

The only equipment needed is a resistance band and a bench. Resistance band workout program for seniors must include Marching Hip Flexion, Seated Hip Abduction, Seated Knee Extension, Shovel Exercise, Bicep Curls, and Seated Row.

Safety Tips While Using Resistance Bands

Compared to weights and other fitness equipment, the resistance bands are safe and less dangerous.

That said you need to practice caution to avoid exercise injury. Taking a few precautions can help users avoid injury and achieve fitness goals faster.

Align the Body

The posture or position that you may feel comfortable with might not be the right position for the exercise.

When practicing any exercise, ensure the body is in proper alignment. Avoid locking the knees and don’t hunch over.

During resistance band exercises, try to maintain the natural curve of the spine, keep the hip and shoulders lined up, and slightly bend the knees during the workout.

Breathe Properly

Often, during weight or resistance exercises, people are tempted to hold their breath. Everyone has done this at some point or the other, especially the beginners.

So, it’s time to revisit ‘Workout 101’; relax and breathe easily and normally, and resist the urge to hold in the air. We can’t stress this enough.

Breathing properly during a workout is vital to prevent an increase in pressure in the blood vessels, hernias, and back pain. Plus, proper breathing also relaxes the muscles.

Don’t Lock the Joints

Again, we’re revisiting our advice about not locking the joints.

If your joints lock during the workout, it might be because you’re using too much resistance. Using too much resistance might over-extend the muscles, leading to muscle injuries.

Don’t Release a Stretched Resistance Band

As kids, we were warned not to release an extended rubber band. The resistance band is nothing but a special, giant rubber band.

Releasing mid exercise or when the band is fully stretched, the band will snap back towards you. You might suffer muscle injury if you’re unlucky, or a smack, at the very least.

Hence, never let the resistance band go without releasing the tension.

Store the Bands Properly

In the subsequent section, we’ll see how to clean/wash the resistance band.

That said wipe the handle area with a clean cloth after every workout. The moisture on the band due to sweat can become the breeding ground for bacteria.

Whether you’re buying a single band – a 3.2cm purple resistance band – or an entire set, it’s important to store the workout tool properly. Keeping the band in a clean and dry place will also increase its longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions About Resistance Band

How Many Bands Do I Need?

The number of resistance bands you need depends on the fitness goals. Make a list of your objectives, the ideal exercises to achieve these objectives, and the different resistance bands needed for these exercises.

Outlining your goals, exercises, and appropriate bands will help you make an informed decision. Also, you’ll be adding more goals and exercises to your routine in the future.

For example, if you going to try the Pamela Reif home workout plan, which involves several exercises, you’ll need an entire set of resistance bands to tone multiple muscle groups. 

How to Clean the Bands?

The resistance bands are made of 100% latex. Hence, cleaning them is effortless and uncomplicated.

Under a running faucet or is a basin of fresh clean water, immerse the bands. Apply mild soap on the band, and with your hand, spread the soap along the length and breadth of the resistance band.

Rinse the band in freshwater. Repeat the process with the other resistance bands. Spread the bands on the floor or lay them on a chair and let them dry at room temperature.

Later, you can apply baby powder or talcum to remove any remaining moisture and prevent the bands from sticking.

How Much Can I Stretch the Bands?

Although this differs from band to band, ideally, it’s not advisable to stretch them beyond 1.7 times the resting/normal length.

Stretching the resistance bands beyond the specified length will increase the risk of breakage and make you highly susceptible to injury.

How to Attach the Bands for an Exercise?

Any mishap during the workout can cause you to lose balance and/or result in internal injury.

Hence, attach the band to a secure, non-movable object. Furthermore, ensure the band is firmly fixed before you start the workout.

The door anchor is the best place to attach the resistance band. Avoid using the doorknob or the open/close side of a door.

If you’re a member of a gym, attach the band at the base of the power rack to increase the impact of the weight training.

When to Replace the Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands don’t last forever. The wear and tear the bands suffer will depend on the extent of use.

Bands used in therapy sessions should be replaced every 2 months. Bands like the 4.5cm green resistance band can be used longer, up to 6 months. 

Check for any breakage or damage before each use. Connection points are more susceptible to abrasions and small tears.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s your home fitness plan, Orange theory home workout program, or any other, a resistance band must be part of your exercise toolset.

If you haven’t used a resistance band yet, now is the time to start!


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