Resistance Band versus Free Weight
Resistance bands or resistance tubes are great workout tools that can serve as substitute for their heavier, free-weight counterparts. When you are looking to build strength, certain exercises need to be performed either with a pair of dumbbells, a curl bar, or a barbell. However, not everyone has the luxury of affording such equipment, especially as they come in variable weights (i.e 2.5lbs, 5lbs, 7.5lbs, 10 lbs, etc). Each weight category is an extra expense, and suffices to say that your budget needs to be quite accommodative to afford all the options.
A Look at the Resistance Band
This brings us to the use of the resistance band. It is basically an elastic band that varies in weight (strength/resistance). Depending on your fitness level, you can get a bigger or thinner one. One of the qualities of the resistance band is that it can be adjusted to accommodate your strength. For example, if you are doing a biceps curl exercise with the resistance band, and it seems too loose, you can step further away from the center of the band to make the workout more challenging. If it is too tight, position closer to the center of the band. This is not the case for free weights. For example if you are curling a pair of 15-pound dumbbells and they are uncomfortably too heavy for you, the only option you have is to switch pairs. And unless you purchase every weight option, you may not be able to find your perfect size.
Where to Use the Resistance Band
Because it is so affordable, a resistance band is a great piece of equipment to use at home. Not only is it easy to carry around, it also doesn’t present any hazard, especially if you have kids in the house. A heavy weighted plate can fall down and hurt someone. This is by no means an attempt to downplay to the importance and effectiveness of free weights. Free weights are actually excellent equipment, compared to gym machines; however, they are tough to carry around. On the other hand, you can easily travel with a resistance band and keep up with your strength-training or plyometric workout while on vacation.
Two Resistance Band Exercises
The video below features two exercises you can do to tone up your biceps and strengthen your shoulder. Each exercise demonstrates a resistance band version as well as a free-weight alternative. As a tip, to increase the tightness of the resistance band, open your legs wider. To loosen up the band, stand with both feet close to each other. Alternatively, you can lock the band underneath something low enough to perform these routines. If such is the case, the further you step away from the center of band, the tighter it will become, and the harder the exercise. The closer you get to the center of the tube, the looser it get, and the easier the routine.
Learn to familiarize yourself with the resistance band as it’s an excellent fitness tool to own!