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Ever Try Resistance Bands?

By Daniela Kowal, PT

Let’s consider resistance bands for a moment. These bands are rubber cords that offer ‘resistance’ when using them for exercises. They are very affordable compared to weights and they can be used in multiple ways. Most resistance bands come with a DVD that can lead you through several different types of exercises using the bands. They may not be as heavy as a dumbbell, but they do provide a great workout for your muscles and allow you to do different movements that you may not have been able to do with a weight machine.


Because resistance bands are portable, exercising with them is more practical than making a trip to the gym to lift weights and more economical than a monthly fitness membership. But they burn more calories, require more effort, and build your stamina more than simply sitting in your favorite chair.


So do resistance bands offer the single greatest workout ever? Well, no. But if you ask a dozen people what gives them the best workout, you’ll get a dozen different answers. However, when you are pressed for time or you want to add some variety to your workout regimen, resistance bands may be just what you need. Mix it up a little. It’s hard to imagine most people sticking with an all-resistance band workout plan. And sticking with an exercise program is key, even if you don’t exercise for long. Here’s why:

Exercise is an important component of any bariatric weight loss program. In order to get the maximum benefit out of exercise, it is important to continuously change up your routine. This causes the muscles to work harder and in different ways, which results in better results. Cardiovascular exercises are very important to help a person lose weight, but so are the often forgotten weight resistance exercises, like resistance bands.


Weight resistance exercises tone our bodies, build muscle and help strengthen our bones. It is important to have a good amount of lean body mass because muscle burns more calories than fat. If we can reduce the fat tissue in our bodies and retain muscle, it will lead to increased metabolism, which can help with weight loss.


Many people do not feel comfortable going to the gym and using the weight machines or free weight dumbbells. Resistance bands are an easy solution to this problem. Even though the bands are different than dumbbells, they can still give you a good workout. All of the same exercises can be done such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, squats, shoulder press, lunges, chest press, calf raises and many more. The bands may have a different feel, especially if you have been using dumbbells, because gravity does not play as big of a role with the bands. The resistance bands can give you a full body workout. And they are very versatile to reach almost every muscle group. Bands can be easily wrapped around stationary objects to increase the number of different types of exercises that can be done with them as well.


There are many different types of resistance bands to choose from on the market. You should try a few different brands to find a good match. The bands come in different weight sizes, from five pounds to thirty pounds. It is best to start with a lighter resistance band and work your way up to the heavier ones. Bands can even be combined with others to create even greater resistance than one could give alone.


A big benefit to using the bands is that they are very small and do not take up much room. If you travel a lot, the bands are easy to pack and they are a great way to make sure you still exercise. The bands are also great to take to a park or on a walking trail to incorporate weight resistance during your workout.


Resistance bands provide an excellent way for bariatric patients to begin a weight training program. The bands provide an affordable and easy way to do weight resistance in the comfort of your own home. Regular exercise is extremely important for you to reach your weight loss goal. Resistance bands continually challenge muscles. You’ll get the maximum benefit from a workout.


A Review of Resistance Bands:

Portable: Small, lightweight, and easily packed. Resistance bands are no problem at all to take with you when traveling.

Mimic Body Movements: They can be used to exercise muscles used in swinging a golf club or a tennis racquet in a manner that free or machine weights cannot. You can effectively train to improve the strength of your swing, or virtually any other movement using bands.

Different Movements: Most importantly, resistance bands make you work your muscles in slightly different ways, even while doing the same movement as with free or machine weights. This will challenge your muscles and continue to provide your body with the maximum benefits of strength training.


Resistance bands are an inexpensive but effective way to mix up your strength training workout so your muscles are continually challenged.