Dumbbells + Band = Twice the Results!

By , SparkPeople Blogger
I'm all about home workouts using inexpensive equipment. When you have resistance bands, dumbbells and a ball, for example, you've got endless exercise options and combinations for a pretty small investment. But as you get stronger and fitter, your once-challenging dumbbells can become obsolete. Well here's a tip that will help you extend the useful life of your dumbbells and DOUBLE your workout results at the same time!

By using a resistance band and dumbbells at the same time, you'll add challenge and variety to your exercises and keep seeing results without buying heavier set of weights. Even if your current weights are still challenging, adding a band can help you build even more lean muscle. One study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that exercisers who used dumbbells and resistance bands simultaneously gained twice the upper and lower body strength as participants who used free weights alone. I don't think we need researchers to tell us that when you combine two forms of strength training into one, you're adding challenge (resistance) and therefore likely to see better results. But it's sure is good to know that your hunch is right!

Why try this technique? Besides adding challenging to less-than-challenging dumbbell exercises, you can speed through your workouts faster when you use heavier resistance. Instead of doing, for example, 20 reps using a band or dumbbell alone, you can combine the two and reach fatigue in far fewer reps, which means less time spent working out. Or if you're looking to prevent or overcome a plateau, a new technique like this could be just the thing you need to "shock" your body back into action. Lastly, fitness fanatics like me just like to try new exercises and techniques, and this is a fun and interesting one to try that gives you more workout options.

So how do you do it? Combining your resistance band with free weights isn't rocket science, but it's very individual. Most people can hold onto the handles of a resistance and small dumbbells at the same time without sacrificing form or safety. If your bands are the "Pilates" style ones that are flat and don't have handles, you can usually wrap them around the dumbbell handle. But if you find these options too uncomfortable, you can probably rig your band to your dumbbells in whatever way suits you best—just make sure it's secure, you can grip the dumbbell without risk of dropping it, and you aren't sacrificing form to try this technique. Be creative when it comes to exercises. You could add dumbbells to nearly every exercise that uses a resistance band, or the other way around.

I have to say, I'm a fan of this technique and I use it occasionally myself—at home, at the gym, and even when teaching fitness classes. Why not shake things up a bit and give it a try? Doubling the results of my workouts is incentive enough for me to use bands with dumbbells more regularly. How about you?

Do you ever combine resistance bands with free weights? Will you try this technique?

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METAFUKARI 5/28/2021
great idea Report
KOHINOOR2 3/8/2021
Great Idea! Thanks! Report
PIZZA5152 2/24/2021
Good article Report
FRAN0426 1/31/2021
I will need to give this a try Report
HWNHMMBRD 12/16/2020
I've actually seen a couple of guys do something similar with the cable cross machine at the gym using velcro straps to secure the cables. Report
CKEYES1 11/20/2020
Will give it a try Report
BONNIE1552 11/4/2020
Love using both but haven't tried them together yet. Report
I wear wrist weights when I work with resistance bands. I also have ankle weights that I can wear when doing lower body work with resistance bands. Report
Great idea! Report
I’d try it in a class but never on my own to start Report
Sounds good!!! Report
I love this idea! Report
Thank you. Report
I'm going to try this. I appreciate that is a tested and published technique. Report
Please consider doing an exercise video showing this technique. I would love to try it but I am not very innovative in my exercises - I need to see how it's done in order to do it! Report
Interesting, but I would have liked pictures showing what type of exercises & how to do it ! Report
Great article! Report
Why not show us some examples? Report
Sounds great but would love to see this in action. Report
thanks Report
Thank you Report
I wish you had given us examples of specific exercises using the dumbells and bands. Report
Great idea - more than happy to give this a try. Thank you. Report
Thank you. Will definitely give it a try. Report
Good plan. Thanks Report
I'm going to keep an open mind and try this idea, but it just seems awkward. Report
Interesting Report
Interesting article Report
Will definitely give this one a try. Report
Makes sense. I wish there had been illustrations. Report
Going to give this a try. Thanks. Report
This is really nothing new- Eugene Sandow had a pair of steel standpulling cables with dumbbells for handles. Having said that I personally would rather do one or the other as they are 2 different types of resistance., Report
will give it a try Report
This sounds like just what I need to get out of my plateau! Awesome and looking so forward to this tonight! :-) Report
Super! I love it! I was going to buy heavier weights yesterday, but didn't, so this will work even better!!! Thank you, SP! Report
I love this idea, I just posted an ad on facebook for heavier dumbbells, so maybe I won't need them! Report
I thought I needed new dumbbells, but now I don't! This sounds great, and I will give it a try. Report
I have dumbbells and bands so this is a great idea for me. I had hoped that there might be a photo or video showing how to combine them so I know how to keep proper form. Report
What a great idea. I have neither the budget or space for many weights. Thanks for such an efficient solution! Report
wow ! I learned something new today that I will try this afternoon. Thank you. Report
This is a great tip and will save me from buying heavier weights. Report
Hmm, I have both but had never thought to use them together. I will have to try this out. I wish there was an accompanying video that did a quick demo to make sure I've got it right! Report
I LIKE it! Will encorporate this in my workout this afternoon! Report
I can't wait to try this!!! I've been stressing about getting some new dumbells (mine just aren't heavy enough anymore), but I've got bands too! I'll try this tomorrow for my next strength training day. Great idea. Thanks! Report
I'll try it today at the gym. It sounds a bit awkward but I'm very curious to give it a try! Report
Why didn't I think of that? What a great idea. Now I know what my workout will be tonight! Report
I have bands and free weights, but I've never thought about combining them. Have to try! Report
This is a great idea. I'm looking forward to giving it a try. Report
I do have both, and will definitely try this! Thank you. Report
Not ready yet, but sounds like a good challenge. Report