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They may feel like an 80’s throwback that should be used in line with legwarmers and a towelled sweatband around your head, but the truth is, resistance band training is much more than a fad. People often shy away from using them because they’re so versatile it can be difficult to know how to use them.
But once you understand the different types of resistance bands, their purpose, and how they can sculpt your body from head to glutes, then you’ll be wishing you’d got on the resistance band train years ago.
Resistance bands are also not just for lower body workouts, they can be incorporated into full body resistance workouts, strength training, weight lifting and compound exercises. So, though they’re like a magical potion for achieving a booty you could bounce a coin off, they also tone up everything else while they’re at it.
The key to understanding resistance bands is knowing the different types that are out there and how they’re used. Once you know this, you can identify which type will be suitable for your needs and purchase accordingly.
These are a thin tube like rubber band which usually have a clip or some form of attachment on each end that you can attach to triangular shaped handles with a foam grip.
PURPOSE: These bands are favoured by strength builders and those looking to build muscle definition. They can be a great replacement for dumbbells if you are inclined to homestyle workouts whenever you’ve got a spare half an hour between walking the dog and collecting the kids from school. They come in a variety of resistance levels and you can increase or decrease this further depending on how you stand on the band.
These bands have proved incredibly popular for building biceps and triceps by simply standing on the band and curling until you feel the burn. They’re much more cost effective than a dumbbell collection not to mention a great space saver. They’re easy to throw in a gym bag and take anywhere you like if you fancy some triceps sculpting al fresco.
These are often found in physiotherapy clinics and other such places where rehabilitation occurs. They often come on a long roll where the therapist will cut to size, or you can purchase to a specific length if you’re not getting them through your physio. They are quite wide (around 15cm/6inches) and flat to cover larger muscles if needed.
PURPOSE: As you’ve probably already guessed, these bands are ideal for muscle rehabilitation following an injury or if you’re prone to repetitive strains or niggles. They’re particularly beneficial for shoulder, hip and ankle pain. Pilates teachers often use them to aid in joint mobility and functional movement exercises. They can also be used to increase flexibility and for stretching as the resistance can be adjusted easily by wrapping the band further around your hand or foot to create more resistance. There’s also a closed loop version of these rubber bands which are narrower and used primarily around the legs and thighs for hamstring, glutes and other lower body workouts.
These bands have become revolutionary since they launched. Where rubber resistance loops are known for rolling, pinching and causing more hassle than they’re often worth during glutes exercises, these innovative new fabric bands take all the hassle out of booty sculpting as they don’t roll, pinch or slide.
PURPOSE: These bands are fundamental if you want buns of steel. They are not just for glute training though, they are fantastic to add to your workouts to help you engage your core, helping to cope with the additional resistance around your thighs. Basically, any lower body exercise you’re doing, throw one of these fabric bands around your legs and you’ll get twice the results, which, when you’re pressed for time, is nothing but welcome!
The fabric bands are also wider than the average flat resistance loops, meaning they’re much more comfortable to wear and they have a Velcro fastening so you can wear them in loop form around your legs for glutes training, or you can undo them and use them like you might a flat therapy resistance band for stretching and mobility work. They’re one of the most versatile resistance bands now available which is why we got on board with them and designed our own version.
These are a relatively thin, thick, flat band and they are the longest loops in the resistance band family that come in a wide variety of resistance levels.
PURPOSE: These are versatile bands which can be used for strength training, muscle building and joint mobility exercises. They can be used on their own, but often people use them to complement other resistance work in the gym by looping them around equipment or using them with dumbbells to increase the resistance. They also work as a pull up assistant if you’re not quite ready for the full thing.
If time and space is of the essence, then a solid collection of resistance bands can provide an all in one home gym that gives you a full body workout. Resistance bands don’t just target smaller muscle groups, they’re also surprisingly effective at targeting the bigger compound muscle groups and they will know all about it the next day.
Resistance bands can be used for strength training, joint mobility, flexibility, Pilates, glute strength and rehabilitation work for cranky muscles or joints making them one of the most versatile pieces of kit you can invest in.
Speaking of investment, a good collection of quality resistance bands and tubes will not set you back much financially. You can build up a collection that gives you a satisfying workout without breaking the bank. Not only that but they’re easy to store out of site and they’re so lightweight you can even take them on holiday with you.
We’ve all heard a strong core is the cornerstone of overall strength and stability. Simply adding a resistance band such as the fabric loops to your regular workout will enhance your need to stabilise yourself in each exercise. Adding resistance gives you a harder and more satisfying workout with better results.
Resistance band training is a safe and effective way to exercise. The ability to increase and decrease resistance easily means you never have to risk working beyond your ability and causing unnecessary injury. If you do have tight or painful areas, you can use them to enhance your recovery.
Working out with resistance bands is one of the easiest ways to get a quick and effective home workout in between a busy schedule. They may look innocent, but you’ll soon learn they provide a serious full body challenge as well as being the best option for targeted exercises for the legs, glutes, hamstrings, arms and for core stability.
Essentially, whether you exercise at the gym, at home, or a combination, resistance bands will give you an additional challenge that helps you to sculpt your body in a safe and effective way.
If you’re short on time and still not sure where to start then check out our 20 Minute Resistance Band Workout for a simple but tough routine that will leave your legs and glutes buzzing for the rest of the day. Trust us, that’s a good thing. It means they’re awake and hungry for more!