Resistance band training has gained widespread popularity given its low-impact approach to full-body workout. A challenge for most people, when they start exercising, is difficulty to adapt with free weights. Unlike free weights, resistance bands do not put pressure on your joints, which lowers the risk of injury. There are numerous resistance band benefits for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced athlete, resistance bands offer a dynamic, versatile, and effective way to enhance your strength, flexibility, and overall physical performance. Here, we explore the diverse benefits of a resistance band for routine workouts.
10 Resistance band training benefits
1. Greater muscle stimulus
Resistance bands offer greater muscle engagement because they provide resistance throughout the range of motion when you are stretching the band and when you are releasing the tension. This is why the benefits of resistance band training are more efficient due to continuous tension for your muscles.
A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that resistance band exercises elicited significant muscle activation, particularly in the upper body. This suggests that using resistance bands for training leads to greater muscle stimulation.
2. Improved strength levels
One of the resistance bands benefits is improved strength levels. Muscle strength improvement is the end goal of every exercise, but some muscles, such as hamstrings and inner/outer thighs, can be harder to target using just free weights. With resistance bands, specific muscle groups can be easily targeted, helping you build strength in a controlled manner.
According to a Journal of Physical Therapy Science study, with resistance band training, muscle strength can be significantly improved. Powerlifters combine resistance training with traditional training for greater muscle strength.
3. Activates the core
One reason for the benefits of a resistance band is how these bands improve core stabilization. As mentioned, resistance bands offer continuous tension, which results in core muscle stabilization, which is essential to maintain form.
Core activation is one of the factors that make resistance bands highly effective for rehabilitation. When you don't allow muscles to snap back into place when unloading, it means greater stimulation. The full range of motion resistance bands enables your body to maximize the momentum. Check out resistance band exercises to activate your core here.
4. Improved stretching and mobility
Resistance bands are an excellent tool for improving stretching and mobility. These bands are great for warmups and stretching exercises, too. A combination of dynamic stretching and resistance allows resistance bands to offer controlled tension, which helps muscles lengthen gradually. It prevents injury risk and ensures your muscles are supported throughout the motion.
Also, the full range of motion that resistance bands offer is helpful to improve mobility during workouts. For instance, when anchored to a point, resistance bands improve ankle and hip mobility for squats.
5. Tone and strengthen muscles
The continuous tension offered throughout the range of motion by resistance bands contributes to muscle toning and strengthening. This is one of the resistance bands benefits that you are exercising your muscles when stretching as well as releasing the band.
As your muscles adapt to the resistance, they undergo hypertrophy and become more defined. Resistance band exercises result in higher muscle activation, particularly in upper-body muscles, making them excellent for muscle toning and strengthening.
6. Great for muscle pain & injury recovery
Resistance bands are actively used in rehabilitation programs to help individuals dealing with muscle pain or those in the process of recovering from injuries. The low-impact approach these bands take towards muscle strength training makes them great for muscle pain and injury recovery.
By offering more control on the resistance, bands allow gradual rehabilitation to slowly rebuild strength in injured or painful areas without risking further damage. Low-impact resistance band exercises significantly reduce the risk of exacerbating pain or causing additional injury.
Furthermore, with resistance bands, you can target specific muscle groups, which is crucial during recovery. With the ability to target isolated muscle groups, you can accelerate the recovery process.
7. Protects bones and joints
One of the resistance bands benefits is that it protects bones and joints. As mentioned, resistance bands do not put uncontrolled pressure and stress on bones or joints, protecting them against injury.
As long as you choose a resistance band that matches your fitness level, there is no risk of sudden and heavy loads that can stress joints, such as when using free weights. Resistance band exercises are generally lower in impact than heavy weights or high-impact aerobics.
Also, they involve controlled, joint-friendly movements. Due to the versatility of resistance bands, exercises can be tailored to avoid excessive strain on joints, making them suitable for individuals with joint issues.
8. Great for muscle rehab exercises
Resistance band training benefits for muscle rehab are clinically proven, which is why they are also known as therapy bands. There are several reasons why resistance bands are great for muscle rehab exercises.
First, the varying levels of resistance make it possible for therapists to customize the intensity of exercises to suit the patient's current strength and stage of recovery.
Due to their versatility, the resistance bands can isolate specific muscle groups. This isolation is crucial in rehabilitation as it only impacts the injured area and not the surrounding muscles. Progressive overload is easy with resistance bands, allowing patients to increase resistance as their strength improves. Checkout shoulder rehab exercises with resistance bands here.
9. Improves muscle flexibility
Resistance bands benefits also include muscle flexibility enhancement. The controlled resistance of bands allows individuals to stretch their muscles gradually. With a regular controlled stretching routine, anyone can improve their muscle flexibility without injury.
Another reason resistance bands are more effective for improving muscle flexibility than other equipment is the increased range of motion. The wider range of motion allows increased joint mobility, making bands particularly useful for training for sports and activities requiring flexibility and agility.
Also, resistance band exercises stimulate blood flow to the stretched muscles, which helps reduce muscle tightness and post workout muscle soreness, further contributing to improved flexibility.
10. Helps build functional fitness
Building functional fitness means preparing your body for real-life movements and activities. Resistance band training is known for improving functional fitness because it mimics the natural movements of muscles.
By mimicking the everyday movements, resistance band exercises help build strength and coordination. These exercises also improve the strength of stabilizing muscles. This promotes better balance and stability. With improved functional fitness, you nurture muscle strength required for daily tasks like lifting, pushing, and pulling.
Benefits of resistance bands over free weights
We're sure these many benefits must have piqued your interest in resistance bands, but if you still need to be convinced of the advantages of a resistance band over free weights, here's a more comprehensive comparison.
Resistance bands are incredibly lightweight and compact, which makes them perfect to carry in your gym bag, suitcase, or keep in a small drawer at home. This makes them a highly portable fitness tool, unlike free weights, such as dumbbells and barbells. Free weights are bulkier and less portable, requiring dedicated storage space.
2. Variable resistance
Resistance bands provide variable resistance. The resistance increases as the band is stretched. Therefore, you can easily adjust the intensity of your exercises by changing the band's tension. However, there is no such flexibility with free weights as they offer only a fixed resistance.
3. Low cost
Compared to free weights, resistance bands are much more cost-effective. You can achieve a full-body workout with a single set of resistance bands, making them much cheaper than free weights or gym memberships.
Resistance bands are much safer for home workouts. There is no risk of damaging floors or walls when dropped. Also, free weights are tough on joints and can easily result in injury.
What are the factors to consider before selecting resistance bands for exercises?
The choice of resistance band is an important decision. You cannot be lenient with what type of resistance band you choose. It should match your fitness level and workout goals. Ensure the resistance level matches your current muscle strength.
Resistance bands are color-coded for resistance level for easy selection. The lighter the color, the less resistance it offers. Durability is another factor. A high-quality resistance can withstand frequent stretching and resistance. Look for bands made from robust materials and adequately tested. Some resistance bands come with handles or loops for better grip and stability; pick these resistance bands.
LIT AXIS is a smart resistance band system that frees you from making cumbersome choices. Offering variable resistance up to 200 lbs, it is ideal for beginners and advanced users.
Additionally, its built-in sensors track your real-time movements so you can measure the impact you are having on your body.
These resistance bands keep track of all metrics, including reps, pounds lifted, and time under tension, and detect and correct muscle imbalances. You can learn more about LIT AXIS here.
The benefits of resistance band training go beyond muscle strengthening and include functional fitness and improved stability. The versatility and convenience of resistance bands make them an ideal choice for individuals of all fitness levels.
Whether your end goal is increased muscle stimulation and strength or improved flexibility and injury recovery, resistance bands like LIT AXIS offer a monitored, guided, and scientific approach.
1. Who should use resistance bands?
Resistance bands are suitable for individuals of all fitness levels - beginners, intermediate, and advanced athletes – and anyone can benefit from resistance band training.
2. Are resistance bands good for prenatal exercises?
Yes, resistance band prenatal exercises can help maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility during pregnancy. However, consult your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program during pregnancy.
3. Are resistance bands suitable for advanced athletes?
Yes, resistance bands, combined with an advanced training regimen, provide resistance and variability to challenge muscles in new ways.
4. Can I replace weights with resistance bands?
While resistance bands offer numerous benefits, for well-rounded fitness, a combination of resistance bands and free weight exercises is best.