Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Intro To Resistance Bands

A good workout is made up of so many different parts.  I've used resistance bands in the past but not recently, due to the package I'm working through.  Instead of using resistance bands, it relies on weights to provide the resistance but I have done workouts that used these bands.  Resistance bands come in so many different styles and shapes that it can be confusing but they are easy to use and take anywhere with you.

Resistance bands are also known as workout bands or exercise bands and are used both in general fitness and in physical therapy.  In general, a resistance band is made of a type of elastic that causes muscles to contract during use. It is this contracting motion that helps strength as a person pulls against the band. In addition resistance bands can take the place of bulky exercise machines because the force needed to use the bands is almost the same as using free weights or machines.

As far as resistance bands go, you have a choice of six different types which is why it can sometimes be difficult as you want to select the proper one.  The first type is the therapy band which is used in physical therapy.  These are flat bands, about four feet long but do not have handles of any sort. Next is the compact resistance band or tube which is around four feet long, with plastic handles on each end and might be labeled as "fit tubes".  These are better for training both the upper and lower body and arms.

Next, we have the fit loop bands or mini bands that have a flat rather than tubular surface but are found in a loop.  They range from 4 inches up to two feet long and are best used on the lower body.  Don't forget the figure eight bands which have two plastic handles connected by the elastic surface in a figure eight. These are best to help develop the upper body, especially the arms.  They are usually around twenty inches long.

Then there is the ring resistance bands which consist of a small single ring with two handles and is about a foot long.  This one is best for working the lower body but are done with a different set of exercises than other resistance bands.  The final type is the lateral resistance band which has velcro cuffs at each end so you can fasten them around your ankles because they are designed to help your lower body, specifically your hips and thighs.

To add to the mix, resistance bands come in different colors and each color designates the level of resistance.  Although some companies have their own color scheme, most share a common listing. In general, the lightest colors have the least resistance and as the colors darken, the amount of resistance increases so yellow, red, green, blue, purple, black is often least to most resistance but always read the accompanying description to make sure.

I tend to use the flat ones without any handles because I can adjust them, tie them to create a loop, or wrap the ends around my hands so that I can shorten them.  These are also great if you are traveling and do not have time to visit the local gym.  They fold up and you can tuck at least one into a small pocket in your backpack, or bag. I'll talk about actual exercises using the resistance bands later.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.

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