Fitness Articles

No Need to Stretch the Truth about Resistance Bands

Variation, Convenience, Affordability

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You can work every muscle in your body by using resistance bands. Moreover, you can easily use them anywhere. They’re lightweight and take up hardly any space, making them easy to travel with or use at home, or even behind your desk at work. You can wrap a band around a doorknob, pole, chair, your ankle (for leg exercises) or almost any stable object. Plus, you can adjust the amount of resistance in seconds, quickly moving from one exercise to the next.

If you are on a tight budget, but want to purchase a piece of equipment that you can use at home, resistance bands are a great buy. Since you control the resistance, you only need one, even as you get stronger. You can find bands, most of which come with an illustrated guide of exercises, almost anywhere from Wal-Mart, to sporting goods stores, to online sources, and they average $10-25. For such a versatile, long-lasting piece of equipment, that’s a bargain!

To learn more, take a group fitness class or try a video (see Related Content at the right of the page for an online SparkPeople workout) that uses resistance bands. Once you get the moves down, you’ll see how you can perform any exercise that normally uses dumbbells or machines with a band. By incorporating resistance bands into your strength-training routine, you’ll add variety (to stave off those plateaus) and convenience (for the days you can’t make it to the gym) at minimal cost.

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About The Author

Nicole Nichols Nicole Nichols
A certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with a bachelor's degree in health education, Nicole loves living a healthy and fit lifestyle and helping others do the same. Nicole was formerly SparkPeople's fitness expert and editor-in-chief, known on the site as "Coach Nicole." Make sure to explore more of her articles and blog posts.

Member Comments

  • Resistance bands are awesome until you accidentally get your hair caught in one. Be careful! - 2/11/2016 5:25:48 PM
  • I still personally prefer weights. I used to have a set of steel spring chest expanders but I only used those on addition to my weights (I used to train mostly with my barbell) . I wish I still kept up with it better I think I would have stayed fitter than abandoning it was an adult. - 1/12/2016 9:07:42 PM
  • Just bought some at Walmart....Came in 3 resistances....I guess I'm strong, because I need the hardest one to feel worked. No handles on these though....Have to just wrap them around my hands or knot the ends to use with a foot. - 8/4/2013 2:59:16 PM
  • Good article. I must get one for my hubby and me. - 5/10/2013 6:55:37 PM
  • are there any pictures of exercising with bands that do not have the handle. I'm trying to interest my friend but my bands don't have the handles. - 9/14/2012 2:27:54 PM
  • I wish to have one of these someday - 5/26/2012 4:20:37 PM
  • To say that resistance bands provide constant resistance throws me off a bit. At any level it always seems much less or weaker at the beginning of an exercise- say in the case of a curl, the first feet of travel have next to no resistance unless I have the heaviest band so shortened or doubled that I cannot even complete the range of motion.
    Maybe that's just me.... - 5/24/2012 10:16:26 AM
  • Resistance bands have helped me work my core muscles and they in turn are helping me have an awesome recovery from knee replacement surgery. - 5/17/2012 5:12:37 PM

  • I use a resestant band in the water - 5/16/2012 6:57:28 PM
  • I just borrowed a resistance band from my mom that was just laying around. I'm going to put it to good use. Thanks for the info! - 5/9/2012 9:44:42 AM
  • I love them for travelling. They don't weigh anything but it is like having dumbells in your suitcase! - 2/29/2012 4:10:25 PM
  • I love these for travel, even in an airport you can usually find an isolated unoccupied gate corner to get a few exercises in, which makes me feel so much better on the flight later. I almost always have them in my bag. Weightless weights until you stretch them - very handy! - 2/2/2012 3:10:25 PM
  • I just purchased a resistance band in the past week and now I'm uber excited to start using it! This was a nice intro article....I think I need to go look at the other articles and videos now! I'm hyped! - 1/16/2012 9:08:40 PM
    "When lifting weights, gravity plays a big part. You get more resistance during one part of the movement (lifting against gravity), but then gravity makes lowering the weight easier. When using bands, however, the resistance is constant, so you have to work harder. "

    I don't understand this at all. Compare, say, bicep curls with a bar/dumbbells and with resistance band. I've done it all those ways. Lifting is tough in both cases because you're working against the resistance of either the band or the weight of the dumbbells. Now, when you reach the top, you could let your arms snap back down but of course that wouldn't make a good exercise. So you lower them in a slow and controlled movement, once again working again the resistance of the band that is trying to pull your forearms back down, or against the weight of the dumbbells that, equally, is trying to pull your forearms down. The challenge is very similar.

    The only way the above quote makes sense is if when lifting weights, you swing down when gravity is on your side instead of lowering with a controlled, strong movement. And that's not the way I lift weights. - 11/12/2011 11:14:27 AM
  • My goodness I couldn't agree more. I think my husband and I have more varied strength resistance bands in our house than any other piece of equipment. I even have one in my purse to use at my desk at work! - 11/2/2011 10:00:28 AM

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