Weightlifting is the backbone of any good fitness program. Resistance training builds muscle, strengthens bones, and improves overall endurance, speed, power, and agility.
Yet as every lifter knows, there comes a point where barbells, dumbbells, and machines seem to fall short. When that happens, it's time to change things up, even just for an occasional break in your routine.
Many fail to recognize the benefits of using bands in their training because these lightweight accessories seem too flimsy to build real strength. The truth is bands are a beneficial and versatile addition to almost any training program.
Bands provide dynamic resistance in multiple planes of motion, act as a safe assistance for challenging lifts, and provide the extra resistance to shock your muscles into growth. If that's not enough, here are a few more reasons why bands are so beneficial:
Benefits of Bands
- Provide dynamic resistance
- Add variety
- Build explosive speed/strength
- Easily modifiable for any fitness level
- Cost effective
- Can be used alone or in conjunction with weights
- Take up very little space
- Great for travel
- Can be used virtually anywhere
- Warm up muscles prior to training
- Help activate and target specific muscles
- Exhaust muscles at the end of training (burnout)
- Force your knees outward during squats, hip thrusters, etc.
- Add stability to unsteady movements
- Helpful for physical therapy and rehabilitative exercises
- Add safe resistance to plyometric movements
- Assist in stretching for better mobility
Not too shabby for some measly rubber tubing, huh?
Use bands on their own to warm up, stretch, help activate the muscle to fire better during exercise, or to exhaust a muscle as a finisher to your workout. Use bands on their own or add them to your favorite lifts for extra dynamic resistance.
Dynamic Strength with Bands
You already know switching up your training is essential to prevent adaption. Bands offer dynamic resistance throughout each movement, providing more and more resistance the farther they stretch. This is different from traditional weight training and offers a new stimulus for your muscles.
Using resistance bands may offer a break from the monotony of a steady weight-training program. Bands also add an element of functional training to your workouts. Free weights only provide resistance in one plane of motion—up and down. Bands provide resistance in virtually any direction, allowing you to add resistance to a variety of athletic and functional movements. Bands can also assist with many traditional exercises, or add an extra level of resistance to help you overcome your plateau.
I prefer to use bands during my glute days (yes, always trying to grow!) because they allow me to add resistance in a variety of directions to hit every angle of the muscle. I also use http://jyoto.info/store/sling-shot/grippy-hip-circle.htmlbands to assist me in my pull-ups, and as a finisher to burnout or to completely exhaust a muscle.