Benefits of Resistance Bands | Which Type of Band Is Right For Me?

Benefits of Resistance Bands | Which Type of Band Is Right For Me?

Resistance bands have gained a lot of popularity in India in the past few years.

Resistance bands come in either flat or tubular shape and are majorly made from stretchable material like latex.  These strength training bands are elastic and help in making your muscles stronger using motion and tension.

Initially, these bands were made for rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Only in recent years, their use as exercise equipment has been discovered. They became popular in the fitness space due to their multiple benefits and versatility.
Resistance Bands for exercise are mainly used in place of free-weights or in complement with weights, usually during strength training. These exercise bands usually come in different pre-set tensions/resistance levels so that you can choose the bands depending on your strength and capacity.
Resistance Bands are an excellent tool for those who exercise at home and can also be easily carried around while traveling. But the usefulness of these bands does not end here. Apart from being easy to maintain and carry, they are not just simply a replacement for weights. When you fully realize their usage, you would know that they work out the entire body muscles quite effectively, are safe to use as well as cater to different levels of fitness from beginner to advanced. 

Benefits of Resistance Bands

Let us explore below some more on the Benefits of Resistance Bands:
1. Cost-effective
When it comes to workouts from home, people often rush to the conclusion that expensive products like treadmill or exercise bikes will be necessary. They can be a choice but not exactly a necessity. Resistance Bands are quite cheap compared to the bulkier and high-maintenance workout equipment. 
2. Portable
Another phenomenal quality of the bands is that they are an easy-to-carry exercise product. They barely occupy any space and, due to being elastic, can be kept or stashed in the smallest of spaces. Due to being light-weight, they are travel friendly and help you keep your fitness routine even when you are out on leisure trips or business trips.
3. Adaptable
Exercise bands come in multiple resistance levels. Usually, they come in light, medium and heavy resistances. You can use them according to the level of challenge you want or the level of endurance you have. 
4. Targets Full Body
Every resistance band workout targets some major muscle of your body. Using different types of these bands opens you to many possibilities of workouts. 
5. Easy to Learn
These bands are so versatile that many versions of exercises that you would have traditionally done with weights or other equipment can be done with them. They just add resistance to the workouts and make it more challenging—many exercise bands you purchase come with simple and easy to follow workout charts to guide you. 
6. Exercise on-the-go
Running out of time but need to squeeze in some workout? Resistance bands are the perfect tool for breaking a sweat quickly and still be able to maintain your shape. You can easily do a full-body toning routine with them in under 15 minutes. 
7. Combine With Other Equipment
You can combine resistance bands with other equipment like dumbbells or pull-up stands easily and add resistance and challenge to your usual workout.
8. Save Space
Due to being small and stackable, resistance bands are often highly recommended as the perfect home workout accessories. They are made up of latex so you can stash them wherever you like!
9. Multiple Fitness Goals
Whether you want to promote muscle-growth or simply lose weight, resistance bands are the single piece of equipment that makes it possible. Due to the resistance, they help you build endurance. 
10. Multi-purpose
Apart from using it for workouts in strength training and weight loss, they are widely used in rehabilitation training as well. In fact, before breaking out into the fitness space, they were first used as a rehabilitation and physiotherapy tool. 
Thus, resistance bands are small, versatile, easy to carry and use equipment that is a must for anyone with any type of fitness goal.

Different Types of Resistance Bands

There are various types of resistance bands available in the market. But which one is right for you? For this, it is important to understand the different shapes and types of bands that are available and which band targets what area of fitness. Let us explore this below:

1. Resistance Stretch Bands
These bands are long loop bands designed for stretching exercises and mobility. Mostly used in pre-workout and post-workout warm-up exercises, these bands can also be used for Pilates and Rehabilitation. 
Typically, one should not use these stretching bands for power-lifting or heavy resistance/ endurance training.
These bands usually have light resistance level and have long loops. 
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2. Powerlifting Bands / Pull-up Resistance Bands
Powerlifting bands are similar to stretching bands but with added resistance. They are long loop bands made from a stretchable rubber material. They are very thick, and contrary to stretching bands, these are used for heavyweight training and powerlifting. And therefore, they are usually of substantial resistance level.

Pull-up bands are best for assisting in pull-ups. With these bands, you will be able to do a higher number of pull-ups than without them.
They are a great tool for adding endurance to your usual exercises like push-ups, overhead squats, biceps curls, shoulder press, etc. 
3.Toning Tubes / Toning Resistance Bands
Contrary to loop resistance bands that are flat rubber band-shaped, toning tubes are tubular in shape and are not joined in a loop but rather have handles on each end. This different shape and design give the user access to a whole new range of workouts and movements that can be done with this yet another versatile piece. 
Toning tubes come in various resistance levels, such as light, medium, and heavy. You might also find additional extra-light and extra-heavy resistance toning tubes. 
Irrespective of your workout environment, whether indoor or outdoor, you can use these toning at ease and according to your exercise requirements.
These bands also come in sets that allow you to easily increase or decrease resistance level easily. 

They can be used for multiple exercises like cross fitness training, weight loss, muscle building, fat burning, Yoga, Pilates, and improving fitness levels in general.
4. Resistance Loop Bands/ Mini Bands
These bands are similar to stretch bands or power bands, but they have a much smaller loop size. They are mostly used to give additional endurance to the upper body and lower-body workouts. They are the best home workout equipment that activates your glutes and hip area.

Usually, these bands come in sets of 3 or 5, ranging from extra-light to extra-heavy, which are color-coded to distinguish the resistance. Once your resistance levels increase with these bands' continuous usage, you can combine two or even three bands to give yourself some extra challenge. 

Anyone, from beginner to advance level of fitness, can use these bands for working out the legs, ankles, hips, back, arms, shoulders, or glutes.

What to Look For While Purchasing One of the Above Bands: 

Now that you know about the most common and useful bands, let us have a look at the important factors you can additionally consider to make your purchase: 
  • Tension Level: The level of resistance in bands varies. Each type of band is equipped for a certain level of tension/ endurance. If you are starting out as a beginner with bands, you need to start with a lower resistance level and then gradually increase it. If you are already lifting heavy or regularly do endurance training, you may need bands with heavy resistance since your body is already used to some level of resistance. Most of the time, the bands are color-coded, indicating different resistance levels, so you need to check according to the specific brand about their color-coding. 
  • Length: All the bands mentioned above have different lengths, so apart from resistance, you also need to check if the length of the band is suitable for you. Sometimes people with taller height find it difficult to use certain bands due to them being too short. Most brands display the product length info on their product page, so it is important that you check those details thoroughly before making your purchase.
  • Shape/Style:  As mentioned above, different bands target different activity groups; hence you need to analyze which type of workouts you are most interested in and what are your fitness goals. Based on these factors, you can make the selection. The best thing to do is have a combination of 2 or more types of bands for more range of workouts.
Workout and fitness don’t require gym memberships. You can easily build your own home-gym for a total-body workout by simply adding a good combination of resistance bands. It will help you tone muscles, burn calories while keeping your joints free of the risk of injury.

Workout bands (resistance bands) come in a variety of lengths, resistance, and sizes to customize as per your individual needs.