Benefits-of-resistance-bands

Elastic Band Workouts: 13 Progressive Routines for Beginners to Pros + Advantages

Resistance bands have evolved from rehabilitation aids in the 1920s to essential gear in today’s fitness routines

Their resurgence owes much to their incredible versatility and portability, making them ideal companions in both the gym and at home. 

Affordable and easy to use, they offer an effective workout for anyone, anytime. 

With the boom of home workouts in recent years, resistance bands have become a must-have for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.


10 Benefits of Resistance Band Training

Resistance bands, once less popular than weights and machines, have now gained recognition for their effectiveness. They’re not just adaptable for various workouts but also offer multiple health benefits.

These bands aid in enhancing flexibility, building strength, and preventing injuries.

Below, you’ll find 10 specific reasons why resistance bands are essential for maintaining and enhancing your physical fitness:

 

1. Increased Flexibility

The first major benefit offered by using resistance bands is undoubtedly an increase in flexibility. 

Unlike other training methods that can be rigid or limited, resistance bands allow for a progressive and controlled extension. 

From increasing a runner’s stride length to improving a dancer’s fluidity of movement, flexibility is a fundamental aspect in almost every form of physical exercise.

 

2. Muscle Strength Building

Unlike free weights that work muscles based on gravity, resistance bands provide constant resistance throughout the entire movement. 

This means that muscles remain active and under tension for the entire duration of the exercise, without moments of relaxation. 

Such continuous resistance leads to more intense and prolonged muscle activation, which translates into even strengthening and lasting strength increase. 

Moreover, the ability to vary the intensity simply by moving farther from or closer to the band’s anchor point makes the training extremely customizable and suitable for all fitness levels.

 

3. Improved Coordination

Regular resistance band training enhances neuromuscular coordination, training the nervous system to coordinate muscle movements with more efficiency and harmony.

The bands’ elasticity demands stabilization, fostering precise motor control and focus during exercises.

Over time, this results in improved complex movement execution, heightened agility, and better balance, leading to greater efficiency in both athletic performance and everyday activities.

 

4. Portability

Due to their reduced weight and minimal volume, resistance bands can be easily placed in a gym bag, a suitcase, or even an office drawer. 

This feature makes them particularly suitable for those who are always on the move or for those who wish to integrate physical activity into their daily routine without the need for bulky equipment.

 

5. Cost-Effectiveness

Compared to expensive machines and free weights, resistance bands represent a low-cost solution for anyone who wants to engage in a comprehensive fitness program. 

Despite their modest price, they allow the performance of a wide range of exercises that can involve every muscle group. 

This makes them a particularly advantageous option for those new to the fitness world who do not want to immediately commit substantial sums, but also for experienced athletes looking to enrich their equipment arsenal without straining the budget.

 

6. Functional Versatility

Whether the goal is strengthening, toning, increasing flexibility, or rehabilitation, resistance bands prove effective. 

They are also a valuable tool in a variety of disciplines, from functional training to cross-training, from Pilates to yoga. 

Their ability to be incorporated into different training regimes makes them a valuable ally for athletes of every level and discipline.


7. Adaptability to Fitness Level

Available in different tensions, resistance bands adapt to every fitness level, from beginners to professional athletes, allowing everyone to train with an intensity suitable for their level. 

This feature allows for the customization of exercises based on one’s strength, ability, and training goals. 

As the physical condition improves, one can switch to bands with greater resistance to continue stimulating progress.

 

8. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation

Resistance bands play a fundamental role in injury prevention and rehabilitation. 

In a therapeutic context, they provide a form of gentle yet effective resistance, particularly beneficial in strengthening weak muscles and recovering the range of motion in joints after an injury. 

Due to their low-impact nature, they allow for controlled and gradual movements, avoiding harmful overloads. 

This makes them particularly suitable for rehabilitation work, allowing for slow and safe progress towards full recovery. 

They are also effective in strengthening vulnerable areas of the body, thus helping to prevent future injuries and maintaining good musculoskeletal health.

 

9. Preservation of Joint Integrity

Unlike traditional weight training, which can exert considerable stress on the joints, resistance bands provide a form of resistance that significantly reduces the load on these delicate structures. 

This aspect is particularly relevant for people suffering from chronic joint problems, such as arthritis. 

Training with resistance bands allows for complete and natural movements promoting safe and progressive strengthening that safeguards joint health.

 

10. Ease of Use and Setup

Resistance bands emerge as a practical and immediate solution in the fitness equipment landscape. 

Freed from the package, they are immediately ready for use, eliminating the need for complex assemblies characteristic of bulkier machinery. 

Their versatility makes them suitable for different types of anchoring: they can be fixed to a door, wrapped around a sturdy support, or simply held in hand or placed under the feet. 

Such flexibility ensures a quick start to training, allowing one to engage in physical exercise with total focus and without distractions.

 

Benefits of Resistance Bands in Alleviating Knee Pain

The present study investigates the impact of resistance exercises using bands on pain and functionality in patients with degenerative knee osteoarthritis. 

The intervention involved the use of bands to perform exercises aimed at reducing pain and improving joint mobility. 

The results highlighted a significant decline in pain and an increase in functional abilities in patients who regularly followed the exercise program with resistance bands, demonstrating the effectiveness of this type of training in managing degenerative knee osteoarthritis. (1*)

 


Choosing the Right Resistance Band: A Guide for Every Fitness Level

 

  • Flat Resistance Bands:
    • Simple bands made of latex or rubber. Ideal for beginners, stretching exercises, and rehabilitation.
  • Tube Bands with Handles:
    • These bands have handles at the ends and offer good resistance. Suitable for beginners and intermediates, great for strength and cardio exercises.
  • Loop Bands:
    • Also known as “mini bands,” these are small closed loops. They provide moderate resistance and are excellent for muscle activation and working on legs and glutes.
  • Power Loop Bands:
    • Larger and more robust versions of loop bands. Suitable for intermediate and advanced athletes, useful for adding resistance to squats, deadlifts, and other strength exercises.
  • Adjustable Resistance Bands:
    • These allow for varying resistance, ideal for all levels, especially for those who progress quickly and need to adjust the tension.
  • Therapy Bands:
    • Very light and highly elastic. Perfect for rehabilitation and the elderly or those recovering from injuries.
  • Pilates Bands:
    • Similar to flat resistance bands but usually longer, ideal for Pilates exercises, and for increasing flexibility and strength.

Selection Criteria:

  • Fitness Level: Beginners should start with light or moderate resistance bands. As strength increases, bands with higher resistance can be used.
  • Training Goals: For toning and muscle activation, light and moderate bands are ideal. For hypertrophy and strength increase, choose bands with greater resistance.
  • Type of Training: For Pilates and yoga, longer and more flexible bands are preferable. For bodybuilding or cross-training, sturdier bands with greater resistance are more suitable.

 


13. Resistance Band Exercises for Beginners 

 

  1. Squat:
    • Stand on the band with feet shoulder-width apart.
    • Hold the ends of the band at shoulder height.
    • Perform a full squat while keeping your back straight.
    • Stand up while maintaining tension in the band.
  1. Straight Leg Deadlift:
    • Step on the band with feet slightly bent.
    • Grasp the band with both hands and keep your back straight.
    • Stand up while keeping your legs semi-tense.
  1. Lateral Lunges:
    • Anchor the band under one foot and hold the other end with the opposite hand.
    • Step to the side and lunge down, keeping your back straight.
    • Return to the starting position.
  1. Chest Press:
    • Position the band behind your back at chest level.
    • Hold the ends with both hands.
    • Push forward as if you were performing a bench press.
  1. Rowing:
    • Anchor the band to a stable object or step on it.
    • Hold the ends with both hands.
    • Pull towards you, simulating a rowing motion.
  1. Shoulder Press:
    • Stand on the band and hold the ends with both hands at shoulder height.
    • Push upwards as if performing a dumbbell press.
  1. High Pulls:
    • Anchor the band above you or step on it.
    • Pull down, activating the shoulder and trapezius muscles.
  1. Bicep Curl:
    • Stand on the band and hold the ends with your hands.
    • Perform bicep curls, keeping elbows close to your body.
  1. Tricep Extension:
    • Anchor the band above you or step on it.
    • Hold the ends with your hands and extend your arms above your head.
  1. Crunch:
    • Lie down with your knees bent and anchor the band behind you.
    • Hold the ends with both hands near your temples.
    • Perform crunches while maintaining tension on the band.
  1. Russian Twist:
    • Sit with your legs slightly bent and anchor the band behind you.
    • Hold the band with both hands and rotate your torso from side to side.
  1. Leg Curl:
    • Anchor the band to a low object and wrap it around one ankle.
    • Bend your knee, bringing your heel towards your glutes.
  1. Calf Raises:
    • Stand on the band and hold the ends with your hands.
    • Lift onto your tiptoes and slowly return down.


13-Exercise Intermediate Resistance Band Routine

 

  1. Squat with Overhead Press:
    • Stand on the band with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the ends at shoulder height.
    • Perform a squat, then stand up and push your hands upwards in a fluid motion.
  1. Sumo Deadlift:
    • Step on the band wider than shoulder-width.
    • Grasp the band with both hands between your legs and stand up, keeping your back straight.
  1. Walking Lunges:
    • Anchor the band under one foot and hold the other end at shoulder height.
    • Step forward into a lunge, then alternate legs as you move.
  1. Chest Fly:
    • Anchor the band behind you at chest level.
    • Hold the ends and open your arms to the sides, then return to the starting position.
  1. Reverse Fly:
    • Anchor the band in front of you at chest level.
    • Hold the band with both hands and open your arms backward, activating the back muscles.
  1. Upright Row:
    • Stand on the band and hold the ends with your hands.
    • Lift your hands toward your chin, keeping your elbows high.
  1. Lat Pull Down:
    • Anchor the band above you.
    • Pull the band down with both hands, activating the back muscles.
  1. Hammer Curl:
    • Stand on the band and hold the ends with your hands.
    • Perform bicep curls with palms facing your body.
  1. Tricep Kickback:
    • Anchor the band to a low object.
    • Hold the band with one hand and extend your arm backward, keeping your elbow steady.
  1. Plank:
    • In a plank position, place the band around the lower back and anchor the ends under your hands.
    • Maintain the position, feeling the added resistance from the band.
  1. Oblique Twist:
    • Sit with crossed legs and anchor the band to an object to one side.
    • Hold the band with both hands and rotate your torso from side to side.
  1. Hip Bridge:
    • Lie down with your knees bent and place the band over your thighs, holding it down with your hands.
    • Lift your hips upwards to form a bridge, then lower them.
  1. Single-Leg Calf Raises:
    • Stand on the band with one foot and hold the ends with your hands.
    • Lift onto the toes of that foot and slowly lower down.


13 Advanced Resistance Band Exercises

 

  1. Pistol Squat:
    • Anchor the band high, hold it with both hands and extend one arm upwards.
    • Lift one leg in front of you and lower into a squat on the other leg, keeping your arm straight.
    • Rise and repeat.
  1. Single-Leg Deadlift:
    • Anchor the band under your foot and hold it with both hands.
    • Lean your torso forward, keeping your back straight, while simultaneously lifting the free leg behind you.
    • Return to the starting position and repeat.
  1. Lateral Lunge Jumps:
    • Place the band around your ankles.
    • Perform a lateral lunge to one side, then quickly push yourself up, jumping and switching sides.
    • Repeat fluidly and continuously.
  1. Push-up:
    • Place the band around your back and under your armpits, holding it with your hands.
    • Perform a push-up, resisting the band’s tension as you push back up.
  1. Pull-up:
    • Anchor the band on a bar and place a foot or knee inside it.
    • Perform the pull-up, using the band’s resistance to increase intensity.
  1. Standing Military Press:
    • Anchor the band under your feet and hold it with both hands at shoulder height.
    • Push your hands upwards, fully extending your arms, then return to the starting position.
  1. Suspended Rowing:
    • Anchor the band at a medium height.
    • Grab both ends, lean back, and pull the band towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body.
  1. Suspended Bicep Curl:
    • Similar to rowing, but with palms facing up.
    • Pull the band towards you, bending only at the elbows.
  1. Tricep French Press:
    • Anchor the band behind you and hold it above your head with both hands.
    • Bend your elbows to lower the band behind your head, then extend your arms to return to the starting position.
  1. Russian Twist:
    • Sit with legs raised off the ground, band anchored in front of you.
    • Rotate your torso from side to side, maintaining tension on the band.
  1. Pallof Press:
    • Anchor the band at a medium height.
    • Grab the band with both hands and bring it to your chest.
    • Push your hands forward, then pull back to your chest, resisting the twist.
  1. Crunch:
    • Anchor the band behind you at a low height.
    • Lie down with the band over your head, then perform a crunch pulling the band towards your bent knees.
  1. Squat Jump:
    • Anchor the band under your feet and hold it with your hands at shoulder height.
    • Perform a squat, then propel yourself up in a jump, resisting the band’s tension.

 


The Use of Resistance Band Exercises in Physiotherapy

A study published in “Exercise Rehabilitation” in 2021 explored the effectiveness of resistance band exercises as a physiotherapy intervention to improve shoulder function in the elderly.

Through a detailed review of existing research, the authors investigated various resistance band exercise programs, assessing their impact on strength, mobility, and shoulder pain.

The results highlighted that regular use of resistance band exercises can significantly improve shoulder function in the elderly, making them a useful tool for physiotherapy.

The progressive resistance provided by the bands was particularly effective in strengthening shoulder muscles, improving mobility, and reducing pain.

In summary, this study supports the use of resistance bands as an effective and accessible method to improve shoulder health in the elderly, suggesting a potential positive impact on their quality of life. (2*)

 

Elastic Resistance vs. Traditional Weights: Which Wins for Muscle Strength?

To grow muscles, it’s necessary to stimulate muscle fibers through a process called hypertrophy. 

This primarily occurs through lifting loads, causing small injuries (microtrauma) in the muscle fibers. 

In response, the body repairs and strengthens these fibers, making them larger and stronger; this process is supported by proper nutrition and rest.

Resistance bands can contribute to muscle mass increase through the resistance they provide. 

While free weights offer gravitational resistance (resistance is maximum in the hardest part of the movement and decreases in the easier parts), resistance bands offer consistent resistance throughout the entire movement. 

This means that muscles remain under tension for the entire duration of the exercise, effectively stimulating muscle fibers and promoting hypertrophy.

An interesting study from 2019 compared the efficacy of training with resistance bands versus traditional weights, focusing on the increase in muscle strength. 

Through a careful meta-analysis, combining and evaluating the results of several studies, the researchers highlighted how training with resistance bands can rival the use of traditional weights in increasing muscle strength.

This suggests that resistance bands could be a good alternative to weights, especially for people who do not have access to a gym or prefer to work out at home. (3*)


Resistance Bands for the Elderly: Wellness and Blood Pressure Control

This study focuses on the beneficial effects that resistance band exercises can have on the physical health of the elderly. 

The authors monitored a group of healthy elderly individuals while they followed a resistance band exercise program, noting significant improvements in their functional fitness, which includes aspects such as balance, strength, and mobility. 

Additionally, a positive response was observed in terms of blood pressure regulation. 

These findings indicate that resistance band exercises not only contribute to maintaining good physical condition but can also have a positive impact on cardiovascular health, making them a particularly advantageous training option for the elderly population (4*)

 

 

Final Thoughts

Resistance bands prove to be exceptionally effective and convenient tools for physical training

Whether you’re looking to tone, strengthen, or recover from an injury, resistance bands are flexible allies that adapt to any need. 

With their ease of use and portability, they represent an ideal training solution for anyone, anywhere. 

Start integrating resistance band exercises into your routine today and watch as your body transforms, becoming stronger, more flexible, and healthier.

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