What comes to mind when you hear the word “resistance”? If you’re anything like me you may think “unwilling to change.” “Hesitant.”
In this context, resistance might keep you in your comfort zone. It is difficult for most of us to break through resistance and discover what happens when we step outside of the norm.
Most of the time, it’s during these moments of breakthrough when we discover how strong and capable we are. Emotionally, mentally AND physically. Physical resistance, in the form of strength training, can take place with body weight movements, dumbbells and resistance (elastic) bands.
Whether you are looking to begin a fitness program, break through a plateau or are ready for a new challenge, resistance bands can provide a solution. There are several reasons why you should consider introducing them to your routine.
- Improve your health. You can increase the strength of your muscles and your bone density with resistance training. This will lead to an increase of growth factors in your body, some of which promote the growth factors of neurons that will benefit your brain as well. Training with resistance bands can also increase stamina, flexibility and range of motion.
- Improve your stability. With elastic resistance, your body is able to perform more functional movements that mimic both daily activities and sport specific movements. Unlike free weights, elastic bands do not rely on gravity to provide resistance (Jim Stoppani, PhD).
- Lose fat. Strength training can increase your muscle mass, which can contribute to fat loss. Lean muscle, even at rest, burns more calories than body fat. Therefore, by increasing the amount of muscle you have, your body will become more efficient at decreasing body fat.
- Change your routine, change your body. Your body quickly adapts to routine movements. Resistance bands can be used alone or alternated with body weight or dumbbell movements for results that stimulate the body and prevent boredom. One advantage of resistance bands over free weights is linear variable resistance. Meaning, as the range of motion of the exercise increases, the resistance provided by the elastic band also increases (Jim Stoppani, PhD).
- You can complete a FULL BODY workout using resistance bands. The options are endless. Resistance bands can be done with body weight (think squats, lunges, arm curls, shoulder presses). And they can also be done when anchored to a wall or other object, allowing you to perform wood chop movements, incline chest presses, core rotations and more.
- Resistance bands are portable and affordable. Too busy to get to the gym? Prefer to workout outdoors? Whether you’re tied down by emails or kiddie carpools, the convenience of taking resistance bands with you means fewer excuses to skip your workout. Waiting for tee-ball practice to end? Set up stations in the field and complete a cardio-strength circuit using resistance bands. One of my favorite ways to train using resistance bands is with the XBAR. Learn more about the XBAR here and save 10% on your entire purchase with code MEGAN10. Shipping is free. There are several varieties of resistance loops, figure 8s and other bands here from Power Systems.
The XBAR Fitness system comes with three levels of resistance bands.
- Easy to store. Unlike that treadmill which has become a second closet, resistance bands require very little storage space. They are light weight and can easily be stashed in a suitcase, duffel bag or home gym.
- They accommodate all fitness levels. As you progress, so can the intensity of your resistance band workout. The thickness of a resistance band will determine how difficult it is to move through a given range of motion. The thicker the band, the more challenging it will be. You can also adjust the intensity by giving the band more or less slack (one foot on the band for arm curls can be intensified by standing on the band with two feet. From there, bring the feet wider for the most difficult option). You can even use more than one band at a time for increased challenge.
Keep in mind that the most successful fitness program is the one you can adhere to and enjoy doing. Experiment. Try new products. Try new routines. And if you need guidance, reach out to me. For more information about online and in-person training programs, click here or contact me at email@example.com. How do you implement resistance bands into your routine? Comment below and let me know.