There are lots of terms floating around in the fitness and workout world. Resistance training is one of them. So what is resistance training exactly? The true meaning of resistance training is working out in such a way as to force your muscles to contract against a resistance that is external.
Resistance workouts can be performed with weight machines, free weights, your own body weight, or with bands or tubing. This article is going to focus primarily on resistance band training.
Band training is using stretchy bands, or tubing, as the resistance for building up your muscles. Instead of using weights, or machines, the workouts are performed with the bands. Although this system sounds deceptively easy, the resistance and results are still there. Bands can be easily bought at any fitness store.
Benefits of resistance training.
There are so many health benefits to be gained from resistance training in general that the American College of Sports Medicine now recommends that all American adults should be incorporating this type of activity into their workouts two to three times weekly.
* Resistance, or strength training not only tones up your muscles, making them appear toned and taut, it will improve your muscle mass.
* Increased strength.
* Band training not only burns calories at the time of the workout, but will lead to a higher metabolic rate. In other words, your metabolism will start to run faster and more efficiently which is a great benefit for weight management.
* Improved balance for the elderly.
* Improved bone mass, which helps alleviate osteoporosis.
Advantages of bands (or tubing).
* Cost effective. Tubing or bands are much less expensive than weights and machines. Generally, you should be able to purchase a set of 4 for about $20.
* Color coded. Bands and tubes come in different colors, which denote different thicknesses, and strengths, which in turn will result in varied resistances.
* Light weight. Bands weigh next to nothing, make them easy to use for the elderly, and any one with joint problems or lacking in a lot of strength.
* Portable. One of the best things about bands is that you can throw them in your suitcase when you are traveling and continue on with your workouts while you are away.
* Adjust to size. No matter whether you are 7 foot tall or 4 foot 10, unlike some machines, which only cater to specific heights, bands will still be effective.
* Easy to store. Tubing and bands take up no room whatsoever. You do not need a dedicated room or garage for your home gym exercise equipment. You can use these pretty much anywhere in the house.
* Won’t damage anyone or anything if dropped. Whereas, free weights and dumbbells can cause significant injuries and damage if dropped on toes, feet, or the floor.
* Don’t require a lot of coordination to use them effectively. While some weights and machines may require some dexterity to change plates and pins etc, bands are pretty simple to use.
* Don’t need to be strong to use them. Free weights and dumbbells require some initial strength to be able to set everything up and get started, with bands you don’t need any strength at all to get cracking.
* Versatile. There are many exercises that you can perform with the one set of bands. You can exercise all the major muscle groups of your body.
Disadvantages of bands.
* Tubes can be damaged with sharp edges or rough surfaces.
* Tubing or bands will eventually need replacing as they lose their stretch and resistance.
* Over time they may start to perish, like any rubber product.
Who can use them.
One of the best features of bands for training is that anyone can use them. Even the wheelchair bound can use the bands to work out their arms. No matter your age, size, or strength, there will be plenty of workouts that you will be able to utilize. Those with injuries can also selectively use the tubing to keep the strength in their other non injured muscle groups.
Resistance band training has many health benefits when performed 2-3 times per week. Working out with tubing or bands is suitable for just about everybody no matter size, age, or strength.