Are you interested in learning more about resistance band workouts? Since 2020, resistance band sales have gone through the absolute roof. As people were stuck indoors, resistance band workouts posed one of the best ways to ensure you continued to challenge yourself at home. They’re an affordable option for people that don’t have a home gym or can’t buy lots of weights.
The beauty of resistance bands is that you can use them in loads of different ways to push the limits of your bodyweight workouts. You can also bring them into a gym to enhance your current activities.
Today, we’ll look at all the key things before using resistance bands in your workout routine. This will include the different bands and how best to use them. So, let’s get started!
Different resistance bands
We’ll start by going over the four main types of resistance bands that you’ll see. Resistance bands are one of the most popular sports accessories out there, so there will be loads of options from different brands in each category. We will not tell you which brands are the best for you to decide. Instead, here are the variations you’ll see, along with how they differ.
Loop bands are a band in the shape of a loop. It’s one continuous piece that looks like a giant rubber band. They’re available in different sizes, with the bigger and thicker ones offering more resistance. As far as resistance bands go, loop bands are probably the most versatile, as you can use them in many ways.
First, you can use them as a substitute for weights, letting you do things like banded bicep curls, tricep extensions, squats, shoulder presses, and much more. You can also tie them around posts, bars, or door handles, letting you do even more exercises. For instance, the popular idea is to connect the band to a door handle and do woodchoppers for your abs.
Some of the heavier resistance bands are also superb for helping you do a workout that you’d struggle to do on your own. For example, you can tie one to the top of a pull-up bar and put your feet or knees in the band, letting you do pull-ups.
Loop bands also help you increase the difficulty in weighted exercises. For example, standing on a heavy band and wrapping it over your shoulders can make a weighted squat harder. Likewise, you can wrap one around your back and under your hands to make a press-up more challenging.
A mini band is like a loop band, only much smaller. They primarily designed them to fit around your legs. You’ll see them used for many glute exercises – such as bridges, kickbacks, and lying glute abductions. These resistance bands are fantastic for your glute and hip workout because they let you isolate the small muscles within this complex area of your body. For that reason, medical experts regularly use them in rehab routines for people with back pain, allowing them to strengthen their glutes.
You can do other rehabilitation exercises with mini bands around your arms, just below the elbow in the forearm region. However, most of you will buy mini bands for this – you can primarily use them for glute and hip work.
Next, we have tube bands, which can be good if you’re stuck doing home workouts. Tube bands are long tubes with handles at the end. You can attach the handles permanently or remove them. Removable ones are better because you can add the handles to the different bands when you want more resistance. Like loop bands, you can use these bands to replicate weighted exercises at home.
However, one key difference is that tube bands often come with a bit of dongle that you can fit between a door and the doorframe, giving you a point to loop the bands through. As a result, you can create a little cable machine at home. So, these bands are excellent at replicating any of the typical movements you’d do with a cable machine.
Unfortunately, in my experience, tube bands seem to be the ones that break the most, so be sure you pick the correct resistance for your exercises.
Last, you can find some therapy bands made of thin material. They do not come looped together, but you can tie them in a knot. Primarily, manufacturers designed these bands for physical therapy to help you get back from injuries. Unfortunately, the resistance is usually too light to use during actual workouts.
How to use resistance bands in a workout
You’ve already seen a few ways you can use resistance bands, but there are some other things you can do with them. So, here’s a list of possibilities:
- Try resistance bands for weightless workouts
- Use resistance bands with weights to make workouts harder
- Try resistance bands to assist you during bodyweight exercises – pull-ups and dips
- Use resistance bands to make specific bodyweight exercises harder – like press-ups
- Try resistance bands to train small muscles – like ones in your hip and upper back
- Use resistance bands to help with stretching and mobility
The key is understanding what bands to use in what scenarios. Earlier on, we explained some uses for the different bands. However, it would help if you also considered the resistance of the bands you use. It’s a bright idea to get a selection of bands at varying resistance levels, letting you use them for specific things.
The last word on resistance band workouts
As for which resistance bands you should buy, that’s totally up to you. We think everyone should have mini bands because they’re so good for your glutes and hips. Loop bands are also excellent because they’re versatile, and you can use them for stretching.
Resistance bands can also be helpful if you don’t have access to a cable machine. It all depends on your needs and gym situation – if you want bands for home workouts, get them all. However, mini bands and loop bands are probably the best if you want them to supplement your workouts in the gym.