By Aemilia Cooper.
It’s common belief that the ultimate strength building tools are weights but behold, resistance bands offer an alternative method of strength training. You can do just about any type of strength exercise without the need for heavyweights.
Like free weights or weight machines, resistance bands provide a force against which your muscles must work. However, where they differ to weights is that they hit the full range of motion, working many parts of a muscle often underworked when using free weights.
The common problem with using free weights goes down to technique. The working muscle shortens during the lifting phase of a movement and lengthens during the lowering phase of a movement. Very often the lowering phase of an exercise is rushed so the muscle is not fully activated during the whole of the movement. For example, while most lifters are performing a standard barbell curl, they often lift the weight up explosively and lower it back down at an incredibly fast rate. However, with the use of resistance bands, the muscle is provided with constant tension and both phases of the movement are more controlled. Anything that puts your muscles under tension causes them to adapt and transform. Therefore, with more of the muscle under tension during resistance band exercises, the more defined the muscle growth.
Resistance bands come in a variety of tensions, depending on your needs you can use a band that offers tensions anywhere from 15lbs to over 200lbs. This makes them suitable for beginners and the more advanced lifters. Now, we are not saying to ditch the weights, but consider throwing in a few resistance band exercises in your workout to work your muscles to their full capacity.
Here are a few exercises to try and see for yourself!
Pectoral fly: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Upright row: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Biceps curl: 3 sets, 12-15 reps
Shoulder press: 3 sets, 10-12 reps