When you work a forty-hour week, commute, and endeavor to maintain some sort of social and family life, finding time to exercise can often feel like a challenge.
Resistance bands are a great way to put exercise back into your schedule without the need for bulkier, more expensive equipment or a gym membership, and can be used to perform many strength training exercises or to enhance cardio work.
They are also very simple to use, which makes them perfect if you’re just getting started with a fitness routine. But they still provide plenty of utility for hardcore fitness fanatics by adding more effort to their routines.
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What do resistance bands do? (How do resistance bands work?)
Resistance bands create tension or resistance as you pull or push them, working against your muscles and, in turn, forcing your muscles to work (or work harder).
Bands can be used to perform many of the same exercises as weight machines and free weights.
Resistance Bands Benefits
The benefits of resistance bands are similar to many other forms of strength training.
Some benefits of incorporating resistance bands into your workout if you develop (and stick to) a routine include:
- Improved strength
- Improved balance
- Improved agility
- Improved endurance
- Improved heart health (including lower blood pressure)
- Improved sleep
- Weight loss
- Increased lean muscle mass (better toning)
- Reduced inflammation
- Pain relief (over time, as the spine and muscles strengthen)
- Improvement in nervous system function, due to strengthening of the reticulospinal tract
- Better form while exercising (due to increased control over moves)
- Some moves provide full-body engagement
Resistance bands also have some advantages over other forms of strength-building, including portability and control.
Since resistance bands are small and easily coiled up, they can be taken anywhere, making them an all-in-one workout at home or on the go.
And, since the resistance in the bands comes entirely from your own movement, instead of actual weight, resistance bands provide safer, more controlled strength-building than traditional weightlifting. This is why resistance bands are commonly used for rehabilitation.
Are resistance bands good for beginners?
Resistance bands are not just good for beginners, they are great for beginners.
If you don’t already lift weights or do weight-bearing bodyweight exercises (or if you struggle with either), resistance bands are a great introduction to strength-training.
With resistance bands, you control the movement and the amount of effort, which makes it easy to make incremental changes (you don’t have to worry about moving up from a 5-pound weight to an 8-pound weight, for instance. Instead, there are many small increases in between).
Resistance bands are also safer than weights and easier than many bodyweight exercises, making them super beginner-friendly.
How often should you use resistance bands?
Despite their ease of use and ability to control, resistance bands do still build muscle.
If you are working your entire body during a workout, you should only use resistance bands two to three times a week, skipping a day between sessions.
Can I use resistance bands everyday?
If you are working your arms one day and your legs the next, then, yes, you can use resistance bands everyday.
If you are doing full-body workout, then, no, you shouldn’t use resistance bands everyday.
Take a rest day between.
Are resistance bands a good workout?
Resistance bands are like any other form of strength training.
They don’t provide much by way of cardio (at least on their own), but do help you tone and build muscle.
Are resistance bands good for losing weight?
Resistance bands are good for muscle-building and toning, which can greatly aid in weight loss.
When combined with calisthenics moves, resistance bands also engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, which means you burn more calories than you do lifting weights.
Many of these moves can be also be performed at a rapid enough pace to increase your heart rate and get you into fat-burn zone (as long as you can still maintain good form).
But when it comes to weight loss with resistance bands, it’s more about the exercises you do while using them than the bands themselves.
Do resistance bands burn fat?
They can. Again, it all depends on how you using them.
But they will help tone the muscles you already have, which can help you appear more trim.
Can you build muscle with resistance bands?
Every time your muscles face resistance, they must work.
The more resistance they face, the harder they must work.
Just like with weights, it is easy to increase the resistance against your muscles using resistance bands, essentially “upping the weight” by stretching the bands more or using heavier bands.
In this way, you can build your muscles exactly as you do in weightlifting.
Can you get big with resistance bands?
Yup. Just keep upping the resistance and make sure your muscles get plenty of rest and they’ll keep on growing.
How to Use Resistance Bands
How to use resistance bands differs slightly depending on what type of band (fit-tube, therapy, figure-eight, etc) you are using, but this difference is largely in the way you secure and grip the band.
Many of the same exercises can be done with bands of any type.
But some types of resistance bands do make it easier to do certain exercises.
If resistance bands are going to be your main form of strength training, you may want a variety of types to make it easier to incorporate different moves into your workout.
Here are five examples of how to incorporate resistance bands into your fitness routine that we like for beginners:
Resistance Band Exercise #1: Bicep Curls
Why we like it for beginners: Bicep curls mimic a move that anyone who has ever lifted weights knows well.
It’s a simple starting exercise the demonstrates how resistance bands (when they provide enough resistance) give a very similar feel to lifting weights, while also feeling somewhat different.
Resistance Band Exercise #2: Pull Apart
Why we like it for beginners: Perhaps the simplest move you can do with a resistance band (at its most basic, it’s just stretching the band across your chest), the resistance band pull apart also has about a million variations.
You can stretch it over your head. You can stretch it across your back. Or you can hold it apart and move with it like this badass.
Resistance Band Exercise #3: Single-Arm Lateral Raise
Why we like it for beginners: It’s super simple. You just hold one end of the band and raise your arm to the side (while anchoring the band at the other end).
That, by no means, means it’s easy.
This move is a perfect example of just how much effort a simple resistance move can take.
Why we like it for beginners: Another super simple resistance band exercise, banded leg Vs at last get your lower body in on the action.
It may not look like much, but trust us, you’ll feel it.
Resistance Band Exercise #5: Banded Leg Lifts
Why we like it for beginners: A great example of how to combine a resistance band with a calisthenics exercise, banded leg lifts make you both work against resistance and balance.
Soon enough, you’ll be adding resistance to all of your calisthenics exercises, like lunges and squats.
Best Resistance Bands for Beginners (2021)
If you’re ready to get started with resistance band training, and need a place to start, here are some products we recommend.
Resistance Bands for a Stronger Body
Whether you are just getting started with a strength training regimen or are looking for a way to upgrade your routine, resistance bands can add a level of difficulty to your workouts.
Resistance bands are also one of the safest, most effective forms of strength training, providing control you don’t get with weights or machines.
So, if you are recuperating from an injury, starting from a place of limited strength, or brand new to strength training, resistance bands are absolutely the best place to start.
Looking for some inspiration for your resistance bands workout? Check out Resistance Training Quotes for Inspiration.
Want more yuks with your resistance band content? Check out our Resistance Band Puns.