Health

Resistance bands are more portable, cheaper, and versatile than dumbbells — here’s which you should buy

  Summary List Placement Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky If you've spent any amount of time researching the best home gym equipment, you've likely come across the predicament of what to do about dumbbells. On the one hand, they're an excellent tool for building and maintaining muscle but on the other, they can be an expensive, space-consuming headache. Thankfully, there's a solution hiding in plain sight: resistance bands.  Resistance bands are a highly underrated piece of workout equipment and something everyone should consider. And the reasons why are many. First, resistance bands are a more versatile piece of workout gear capable of providing tension throughout...

 
Summary List Placement

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Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

If you’ve spent any amount of time researching the best home gym equipment, you’ve likely come across the predicament of what to do about dumbbells. On the one hand, they’re an excellent tool for building and maintaining muscle but on the other, they can be an expensive, space-consuming headache.

Thankfully, there’s a solution hiding in plain sight: resistance bands

Resistance bands are a highly underrated piece of workout equipment and something everyone should consider. And the reasons why are many. First, resistance bands are a more versatile piece of workout gear capable of providing tension throughout the entirety of whatever routine or lift you’re doing (something a set of dumbbells can’t do). They’re also excellent at working your core.

What are resistance bands?

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If you’re new to the fitness space, resistance bands are exactly what they sound like: Elastic bands that add resistance to your workouts and various lifts. They come in a range of sizes and differ in weight based on their thickness and length, explained Brianna Bernard, a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and Isopure ambassador.

When used correctly, resistance bands help improve muscle strength and balance, promote flexibility, and help you achieve better posture and tone your muscles. They’re also incredibly convenient, able to be stored just about anywhere while also taking up a relatively small footprint.

Best resistance band exercises

According to Centr trainer, Luke Zocchi, resistance bands are one of, if not the most versatile piece of exercise equipment.

“[Resistance bands] can be used to add resistance to any bodyweight exercises, especially upper body workouts like bicep curls or lateral raises, and lower body/glute moves like squats, glute bridges, etc.,” Zocchi told Insider. “They’re also a great rehab tool for people coming back from an injury who need to focus on rebuilding strength.”

Resistance bands can be used to enhance cardio training, as well. Brianna Bernard recommends adding them to squat jumps, rear-delt jacks, or for boxing moves like jabs and crosses as a way to add weight to those already dynamic movements.

How resistance bands can replace dumbbells

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While resistance bands can be used to warm up your muscles prior to weightlifting, they can also replace your need for dumbbells entirely. Not only are dumbbells bulky and difficult to transport but they take up a lot of space in your home.

Resistance bands are the polar opposite: They’re lightweight, travel-friendly, and barely require much storage space. And when it comes time to work out, resistance bands can do everything dumbbells can, while also offering their own unique variety and benefit.

For example, like dumbbells, resistance bands provide a level of resistance to help your muscles tear and become stronger. However, unlike dumbbells, resistance bands maintain constant tension on the muscles throughout the entire movement of an exercise and therefore create greater muscle growth, Zocchi said. And because resistance bands naturally limit your range of motion, overextension of the joints is also less likely.

From a budget perspective, resistance bands are also far more affordable than a set of dumbbells and have proven to be more widely available, too.

Best resistance bands for your home gym

TheraBand Resistance Bands Set

TheraBand caters to all fitness levels, so whether you’re a beginner or a fitness fanatic, these bands can be beneficial to your goals. Available in latex and non-latex materials, each three-pack features bands measuring 5 feet long and 4 inches wide. The bands are color-coded by resistance level, in which blue bands are 5.8 – 8.5lbs., black bands are-7.3-10.2lbs., and silver is 10.2-15.3lbs.

If you’re looking to do intense strength training, you may opt for a set that provides more resistance than what TheraBand offers but these bands are also great to have on hand for times when rehabilitation is necessary.

Resistance Bands Set (small)

TB12 At-Home Looped Band Kit

The TB12 At-Home Looped Band Kit is an excellent starter pack for anyone purchasing their first set of resistance bands and who wants a variety of tensions right away. The kit comes with one short light band rated from 7 to 33 lbs., two long light bands rated from 4 to 19 lbs., two long medium bands rated from 7 to 32 lbs., a door anchor, and a carabiner.

I’ve used this set for most of 2020 and can’t speak enough about its versatility. No matter if I needed to do curls, standing row, banded push-ups, or even mock dead-lifts, these were all I needed. I’ve been able to keep my workouts varied and even just the combination of the light and medium bands has proven to be effective. The kit is a touch steep at $95 but when compared to dumbbells, it’s well worth the investment.

At-Home Looped Band Kit (small)

Perform Better Mini Exercise Bands

If you’re constantly on the go but don’t want your travel plans interfering with your fitness routine, toss this set of resistance bands in your carry-on. Perform Better’s miniature bands measure 9 inches by 2 inches, meaning they’ll take up minimal space in your suitcase, gym bag, or home gym. You could even stash an extra set in the glove compartment of your car, just in case.

Packs include sets of either four or 10 bands and they’re great for both rehabilitation purposes or workouts.

Mini Exercise Bands (10-pack) (small)

Dynapro Exercise Resistance Bands

Not only are these resistance bands high-quality and highly functional but they also make for an aesthetically pleasing addition to your stockpile. The brand’s patent-pending design includes an adjustable connection for consistent tension, meaning you can adjust the length of your bands to meet your individual needs.

They also come in a range of colors that are coded by resistance level: Yellow bands are 5-10lbs, green are 15-20lbs, red is 20-25lbs, blue are 25-30lbs, and black are 35-50lbs.

Kit purchases even come with a workout guide that gets emailed to you once your order ships. So, not only are you getting a reliable and effective set of resistance bands, but you’re also getting an exercise program to get the most out of your new equipment.

Exercise Resistance Bands (small)

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