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February 24, 2022 2 min read

Resistance bands are a popular at-home workout, and for a good reason: they’re inexpensive, easy to store, and simple to use at home or anywhere for that matter. However, do resistance band workouts work? Who should use them? Are there different ways to work out with a resistance band?

The Difference Between Resistance Bands and Weights

A resistance band works when you pull it. This is the same movement you use when attempting to lift a weight. It’s just that because the band is stretching, it requires you to use more force. In other words, it’s easier to move a chair than a grand piano.

If you want to lift a heavier weight, you simply add more bands or get a thicker band. The opposite is true: you use less resistance if you want to lift a lighter weight.

Resistance bands and weights both have pros and cons, but resistance bands aren’t for everyone.

Resistance Bands and Dumbbells for Strength Training

Resistance bands are not just for muscle building. They can also be helpful for strength training workouts. By pulling against the resistance band, you’re able to build strength in your wrist, forearm, and bicep.

Resistance bands are beneficial for anyone wanting to build strength in their wrist, forearm, or bicep, such as golfers, tennis players, and baseball players.

Resistance bands are also beneficial for arthritis because they don’t stress the joints as traditional weights. The tension created by the band is spread out like a rope. For example, a ten-pound dumbbell will feel like a five-pound dumbbell when using a resistance band.

Pros and Cons of Training with Resistance Bands

Pros

  • Unlike dumbbells, bands are very portable and easy to store
  • You can buy them in a large variety of strengths
  • Because they’re elastic, they can be used to add resistance regardless of strength level
  • They don’t require weights to be added or removed as strength levels change
  • The bands are light so that you can use them for a wide range of exercises
  • Because the band stretches, your muscles have to work harder
  • The bands are great for people with joint problems

Cons

  • They’re not as strong as dumbbells
  • They don’t work your muscles as intensely as dumbbells, so you won’t gain as much strength
  • You don’t get the same kind of core training with band exercises
  • They don’t provide as much weight training as dumbbells
  • Because you can use them for a wide range of workouts, you may not get a full-body workout
  • If a band snaps, you risk getting seriously injured

Conclusion

Resistance bands can be great for strength training workouts, but not everyone will benefit from using them. If you want to build strength and muscle or are recovering from an injury and want to get back into working out, resistance bands can be an excellent choice. If you want to build up strength and muscle, build a strong core, or do the heavy lifting and explosive workouts, you may go with traditional weights.

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