Portable, lightweight and versatile, resistance bands are the perfect strength training accessory. No other fitness accessory helps you strengthen more muscle groups and keep your fitness on track—from anywhere. Here are a few easy tips for getting started:
Mix It Up
For the most effective strength-building results, be sure to have different resistance bands with varying resistance levels on hand. According to fitness expert Paige Waehner in Choosing and Using Resistance Bands, mixing up resistance levels helps beginners ease into more difficult routines and lets more experienced strength trainers leverage “muscle confusion” for maximum muscle toning and calorie burn.
Let Your Body Be Your Guide
Strength band beginners should start with lower levels of resistance and then work their way up as the exercises become easier to perform—or the resistance level becomes too easy over time. More experienced athletes should start with medium to heavy resistance bands. Most of all, base your choice of resistance level on the muscles being utilized. The band you choose should let you extend through the full range of motion, and not give so much resistance that it holds you back from completing the exercise.
Find What Fits
The basic tube-style of resistance band works well for arm exercises, as well as for workouts that target your core muscles and your chest. A good band to try is the SPRI Exertube Resistance Bands in five color-coded resistance levels with convenient handles.
Another popular strength band is the figure-8 style, which provides extra resistance and additional workout options, enabling full-body strengthening. Use figure-8 bands for arm, rowing, lunge, chest press and other exercises. Try SPRI Ultra Toner Resistance Bands in five levels of resistance: 3-5 lbs., 6-8 lbs., 8-10 lbs., 11-13 lbs., and 14-16 lbs.
Loop strength bands are perfect for wrapping around your thighs, calves or ankles during squats, leg lifts and other exercises that work the legs, hips or buttocks. Wrap them around your wrists for arm exercises. You’ll find many options with these versatile bands. The flat band style of durable Latex United Fitness Strength Bands provides comfort and a huge range of resistance options, including six color-coded resistance levels from our extra-extra light version, which provides 5-35 lbs. of resistance, up to our extra heavy band that offer 70-175 lbs.
As with any piece of exercise equipment, keep safety top of mind. According to SELF, you can avoid injury using resistance bands by always (a) securely planting yourself on stable flooring, and (b) constantly monitoring the condition of the bands for signs of wear and breakage.
Think resistance bands might give your workout the change of pace it needs? Get to Gym Source to see which strength style gets results for you.