For example, like dumbbells, resistance bands provide a level of resistance to help muscles tear and strengthen. Unlike dumbbells, however, resistance bands maintain a constant tension in the muscles throughout the movement of an exercise and thus create greater muscle growth, Zocchi said. Although they are not necessarily as heavy as free weights, the bands still create tension and resistance in the muscles. So yes, over time, they help strengthen muscles, especially if you are developing beginner-level strength.
Resistance bands are much safer to use than free weights. Gravity can be a very dangerous beast. Physical therapists love resistance bands, Mundinger said. Resistance band exercises tend to create longer, leaner-looking muscles.
On the other hand, free weights are better for building large muscle mass in specific muscle groups. So, while both are great for building muscle, one of them is better for toning and the other for bulking up. With resistance bands, you can anchor the band in a way that allows it to produce rotational force or resist rotation. Choose some resistance bands to maintain muscle mass if you don't have access to weights and shouldn't have any real problems.
A great way to use resistance bands and free weights in a workout is to super-set heavy free-weight exercises with lightweight resistance band exercises. In addition, by making the eccentric part of the movement, the band will also have the same resistance trajectory. Because of this, resistance bands can provide resistance in both horizontal and vertical planes, and in any direction and at any angle. But do resistance band workouts really work? Who should use them? And what is the best way to exercise with a resistance band? For answers, we turned to the orthopedic clinical specialist and physiotherapist Erika Mundinger.
Resistance bands are versatile, so you can do a lot of things with them, from warm-up to training and recovery. The dumbbells, although they take up space at home, are ideal for increasing the size of muscles and also for progressive overload, which is much more difficult to achieve with resistance bands. Resistance bands are available in fairly limited resistances compared to free weights, the weight you can lift with a barbell is virtually unlimited, so there is an upper limit to how much weight you can use. This means that the muscle is receiving greater resistance at its strongest point in the range of motion and is therefore receiving more adequate resistance to better stimulate strength adaptations.
Chris adds that this difficulty in increasing the size of muscles with resistance bands is mainly due to the fact that even higher level resistance bands cannot match heavier dumbbells. In addition, a program that uses the resistance of elastic tubes can also provide benefits not offered by free weight resistance programs, such as increased functional strength, better injury prevention, greater ability to change muscle emphasis during exercises, greater development of power muscle and easier use. If you think about different free weight exercises, you can imagine how you could do the same exercise with resistance bands in a vertical and horizontal plane. The main difference between resistance bands and dumbbells or other free weights is their type of resistance.