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Free Weights Versus Resistance Bands: The Advantages of Exercise Bands

Dec 6, 2021

Free Weights Versus Resistance Bands: The Advantages of Exercise Bands


For the longest time, free weights have been the gold standard of fitness, especially when it comes to muscle-building and strength training. However, resistance bands might be a more effective tool for most people, from beginners to experienced weightlifters.

While there is no denying the superiority of free weights for building muscle, resistance bands are a safer and somewhat equally effective tool for fitness. The bands are meant to strengthen and stretch muscles and are helpful in developing athletic performance, curating a muscular aesthetic, or contributing to physical therapy.

Reasons To Use Exercise Bands


Some fitness enthusiasts will never move away from free weights or admit to the benefits of fitness bands. Still, despite hesitation from the committed few, many fitness experts have embraced the rubbery, elastic fitness tools and praised their many benefits.

Reduced Risk of Injury


According to fitness researchers, elastic bands can provide greater muscle activity compared to weight training, or at least similar activity. The critical difference between resistance bands and free weights is the reduced force on the joints.

With reduced joint tension, elastic bands focus energy on the muscles, reducing the chances of injury. Because of the reduced chance of injury, bands allow for greater usability for people with existing injuries or health conditions, such as arthritis.

Muscle Stimulus


When only using free weights, your muscles are not receiving a workout for the full range of an activity. For instance, while the initial phase of a bicep curl forces the muscles to counteract the effects of gravity, the top or peak of the exercise does not, meaning your muscles face less resistance.

Using resistance bands ensures the full motion engages with the muscles. Therefore, muscles receive greater resistance through the movement, forcing engagement at the top of an exercise, stimulating more valuable strength adaptations.

Balance and Mobility


The constant tension experienced when using exercise bands means you are consistently engaging your core. The core muscles are essential to balance. While everyone can benefit from strengthening their core, it is particularly important to aging individuals.

Additionally, resistance bands aid in flexibility and mobility. The bands allow for a greater range of motion during stretches, and by wrapping them around sturdy objects, you can improve hip and ankle mobility and strength.

Who Should Use Resistance Bands


Resistance bands are excellent tools for older or aging adults because of the benefits mentioned above, but that does not mean the tool is exclusive to that age group. Exercise bands are quality tools for every person regardless of fitness level. They are approachable devices that offer a minimal risk of injury.

Whether you are looking to tone your muscles, get in better shape, or add something new to your tired routine, exercise bands have a lot to offer. While the tools might not seem like much at first glance, they do provide a significant challenge through varying resistance strengths.

Resistance bands will not eliminate the need for free weights. Free weights still provide superior muscle gains. However, for anyone who is not looking to compete in bodybuilding competitions, exercise bands offer a safe and effective way to build muscle and tone their physique.

What is your take on resistance bands? Will you try them or add them to your routine?

Category: health