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You might walk right by the rack of resistance bands at the gym as you make your way to the free weight room. However, these nifty fitness devices deserve more than a passing glance. They offer multiple advantages that can help you get a great workout and maintain your activity level wherever you go.
Why should every gym rat out there consider investing in a set? Here are seven benefits of resistance band training.
Let’s cut to the chase: resistance bands are among the least expensive fitness gadgets you can buy. You can find entire sets for less than $100, including kits with multiple handles and add-ons to work every muscle in your body.
Compare that to the cost of a gym membership, which will set you back as much as several hundred smackers every single month, although many small local clubs have more reasonable prices. Conversely, a quality set of resistance bands lasts for years.
Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about whether or not the last user disinfected the equipment when you have a personal set of bands. That may not seem like a big deal to some, but it’s huge for folks with autoimmune disorders or other health conditions who can still fall severely ill with COVID-19, despite vaccines.
What happens to your workout when you go on the road? If you’re a dedicated gym rat, you might take extra steps to ensure your hotel has a workout facility — although these vary widely in quality. Many lodging establishments toss a treadmill and a stationary bike in an unused linen closet and call it good. Needless to say, this approach leaves a bit to be desired.
More likely, you’re like many who use travel as an excuse to cut back on your daily routine and kick it poolside. However, this approach can damage your fitness over time if you jet off to conferences every other week.
However, a quality set of resistance bands lets you take fitness on the road. They weigh next to nothing and won’t take up excess room in your suitcase. Better yet, they won’t trigger security concerns, meaning you can cruise right through that check.
3. Work Various Muscle Groups
Can you work every muscle in your body with resistance bands? Yes! Try on these moves to rock your legs, upper body and core.
- Squats: Place the bands under your feet and hold the handles in either hand. Sink to 90° or just below, then rise back to standing with resistance. You can add more oomph by adjusting your hand position to grab the bands lower.
- Bench Presses: Lie on a bench or the floor with the band around your back and a handle in either hand. Press forward as you contract your chest muscles.
- Pull-Aparts: Hold one end of the band in either hand. Extend your arms straight in front of you and then open them to the side as if performing a standing dumbbell fly.
- Seated Rows: Sit on the floor and wrap the band around your feet. Keeping your back straight and tall, pull one arm back and then the other. You can also do double-arm rows for extra resistance.
- Bicycle Crunches: Lie on the floor and wrap the bands around your feet. Bring your right knee to your chest, extend the opposite leg and switch. You can hold the band at your shoulder and twist from side to side to work your obliques.
4. Employ Complementary Muscle Groups
Another benefit of resistance band training is that these devices share more in common with free weights than with most machines. What are the advantages of that? You burn more calories by working complementary muscle groups to keep your body in the correct alignment while you perform each move. They also work your balance and help with stabilization.
Want a tougher balance challenge? Try moves like biceps curls on one leg instead of two. Instead of wrapping the band around both feet, elevate one, perhaps adjusting your resistance for the extra bit of slack.
5. Train Alone or With a Partner
Resistance band workouts don’t have to be a solo affair. You might get more bang for your buck — or at least more variety to your routine — when you include a friend.
For example, adding a buddy to a resistance band chest press helps you increase workout toughness without adding extra “weight.” This method can help you push through plateaus, providing that extra oomph that gets you to the next level. Band jumps are a must if you play basketball and want to improve your hops.
6. Add Nearly Unlimited Resistance
Even if you train solo, you can find heavy enough bands to get an effective workout. You might not find what you need among the lighter straps at the gym. However, many sets intended for home use let you add more attachments and resistance until you get the necessary intensity.
If you are using the bands at the gym, grabbing more than one is okay. It might be a bit awkward fitting both handles in your hand — try holding them down lower, below the plastic.
7. Enjoy a Full Home Gym
What gym rat doesn’t dream of a home facility where they can train at leisure? However, outfitting one can be costly.
It doesn’t have to be, though. One of the many benefits of resistance band training is that you can find sets that give you complete fitness in the privacy of your home.
Benefits of Resistance Band Training
Do you want an affordable, portable workout option? Those are only two of the benefits of resistance band training.
These devices can help you power through plateaus and work every muscle. Consider the above benefits of resistance band training and invest in your set today.
Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche.