Did you know that it's possible to build muscle with anything, even resistance bands? In this post, let's discuss whether resistance bands are as good as free weights:
The first thing to understand about muscle growth is that whether you're using free weights or resistance bands, the same general principles apply. For one, you need sufficient rest between sets. That way, you’re limited only by the strength of your muscles instead of your cardiovascular fitness. If your workout is a long circuit designed to leave you winded, that’s no longer hypertrophy training but cardio. You can still use free weights and resistance bands; you just use them differently.
Whether you are using free weights or resistance bands, you still want to focus on the big compound lifts, then add in some isolation lifts. You should also lift with a large range of motion, take your sets close to muscular failure, and perform enough of those challenging sets every week. So let’s go over these principles and how they apply to resistance bands:
Resistance bands are not as versatile as free weights. With resistance bands, you have to stay within the limits of the band’s strength. For example, a typical high-power resistance band is rated at 200 pounds. You can buy heavier resistance bands, but you will have to be very careful with them. If you’re doing dumbbell bench presses, you can use the same amount of weight you would normally use, but the resistance band will limit you to a smaller range of motion.
For most resistance-band workouts, you only have one exercise to pick from. You might get lucky and find one that is similar in form to a free weight exercise, such as a dumbbell chest press. This tends to be the case with pushups.
If you want to get a bigger range of motion, you might have to stack the bands or try using two different bands.
Limited range of motion is one of the drawbacks of resistance bands.
With resistance bands, you always have to consider whether it’s enough weight to stimulate growth or not. For example, if you’re using bands that max out at 200 pounds, you can’t do a heavy one-legged squat, which is an excellent exercise for the glutes, or a heavy incline press, which is a great exercise for the upper and lower pecs.
You can buy heavier resistance bands and stack them, but remember that you’re not limited to just one exercise.
You still want to lift with a large range of motion, as you want to keep getting as much work as possible through the entire muscle.
When it comes to resistance bands, the best ones come in the form of a cable. While you need to be careful with them and take the time to learn how to use them properly, they’re the best way to get a great workout with a resistance band.
Are resistance bands good for building muscle? Yes.
If you are looking to add a little resistance to your exercises or want to get a little more out of your workout, they’re a great addition to your program. For example, you can use resistance bands after your lifting routine to isolate certain muscles and give them a good burn.
However, if you’re looking to build muscle, you need to use heavy free weights, too.
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