A resistance band might not look like much, but this handy tool can blast your muscle strength while easily fitting into your gym bag or pocket as you go for training.
If you are eager to find out more about resistance bands, this post is for you. Here, we discuss different types of resistance bands along with a buying guide that will help you choose the right resistance band for your fitness regime. Lastly, there is a series of workouts for resistance band users. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Resistance Band – Overview
A resistance band is a great workout tool that enhances muscle and bone strength by adding resistance. They are an excellent alternative to weights and depending upon how you use resistance bands, they can be great for both beginners and more advanced fitness enthusiasts.
While they were primarily used for rehabilitation and to restore muscle strength following surgery or muscle damage, today, resistance bands are used by anyone who intends to strengthen their muscles.
Types of Resistance Bands
There are several types of resistance bands available on the market, and they come in different colors, which indicate the amount of resistance they provide. So let’s take a closer look at each type and what different colors of resistance bands indicate.
Physical Therapy Resistance Bands
As the name indicates, a physical therapy resistance band is always used for physical rehabilitation. This type of resistance band comes without handles and offers less resistance, so they are gentle on the muscles. Moreover, they have a flat surface instead of a tubular structure, which facilitates therapy.
Often, this type of resistance band works for physical therapy and is great for mental rehabilitation as well.
Loop Resistance Bands
Loop resistance bands, also known as power resistance bands, are essentially giant-sized rubber bands with a flat structure. These resistance bands can be used for various workouts, including physical therapy, warm-ups, static stretching, strength training, and full-body workout.
Tube Resistance Bands
Tube resistance bands are tube-shaped bands with handles attached on each end and a longer than usual tube. Essentially, tube resistance bands closely resemble the function of a gym machine or a workout involving weights.
Tube resistance bands can be attached to a pole or door, and you can use them for training a variety of muscle groups, including your upper and lower body as well as the arms.
Mini Resistance Bands
Mini resistance bands are pretty much like therapy bands. However, they are shorter in length and are wider than therapy bands. Instead of a tube-like surface, mini resistance bands have a flat surface that can be great for adding strength and stability, especially for your lower body.
If you are a beginner working towards stabilizing your core and getting some extra strength in your lower body, this is the type of resistance band you need.
Figure 8 Resistance Bands
Exactly as the name suggests, figure 8 resistance bands are shaped like the figure “8”. There are soft handles at the top and bottom of the figure that you can use to tone and strengthen your upper and lower body.
If you look at the function of a figure 8 resistance band, it is a combination of mini resistance and tube resistance bands and offers the benefits of both.
Ring Resistance Bands
Ring resistance bands are made up of several rings with two handles attached on each side. These handles are soft, and the tubular structure of the band makes it an excellent choice for infinite workouts; however, it is particularly great for lower body workouts.
Pull-up Resistance Bands
Pull-up resistance bands are a special type of resistance band that are designed to facilitate pull-ups. Getting started with pull-ups is tough for most people, and even the most experienced fitness enthusiasts may experience a lot of trouble with this type of workout.
However, with a pull-up resistance band, you can strengthen the muscles and muscle groups that work out during such exercises and eventually move on to unassisted pull-ups.
What do Different Colors of Resistance Bands Mean?
While there are several different types of resistance bands, they also come in different colors. The colors of the band indicate the level of resistance they offer. It is due to varying resistance that some bands feel much heftier than others. The color code explained below typically applies to most resistance bands, regardless of the brand. However, it’s important to note that some brands may have their specialized color codes.
The Red Band
Regardless of the type of resistance band, a red band offers the least resistance and is the lightest, which makes it a great choice for beginners. However, even the most advanced fitness enthusiasts work with red resistance bands when targeting muscle groups that don’t need a lot of resistance for working, for example, your shoulder muscles.
The Black Band
Offering slightly more resistance than the red band, black bands provide a higher level of tension, making it a great choice for workout enthusiasts who want medium resistance for various muscle groups. So if your body is used to work out and you are targeting your biceps and triceps, you must go for the black band.
The Green Band
Need heavy resistance to tone up your body? Then, the green medium-to-heavy resistance band is the next level up from red and black bands. It is a great choice for fitness enthusiasts who already built up a lot of muscle tone and focus on large muscle groups instead of individual muscles. They offer a great workout for your legs, back, and core.
The Blue Band
Blue resistance bands offer the most resistance. They are hard and do not stretch easily, so if you plan to use blue resistance bands, make sure you already have a lot of muscle strength. Given the resistance they offer, blue resistance bands are a great choice for partner workouts, where both you and your partner can pull against the band.
While the colors mentioned above represent different resistance levels, the color-coding is not universal. Usually, the levels range from light resistance to extra heavy resistance, so make sure you check the resistance your band offers before you make a choice.
How to Choose a Resistance Band
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a resistance band for your fitness regime. Apart from the color and type of the resistance band, you also need to consider the following factors.
The Length of the Resistance Band
Resistance bands come in varying lengths, ranging from a few inches to several feet. You will find resistance bands that are small and cannot stretch past a foot in length. On the other hand, you will also find resistance bands that can pull up and stretch quite extensively.
If you are a beginner and are unsure which length of the resistance band to go with, it is always best to go for longer options. Once you get started with workouts involving resistance bands and get an idea of the right length for yourself, you can always tie or wrap the longer bands to align them with your needs.
The Material of Your Resistance Band
While they all look alike, the material of the resistance band can vary greatly. You will find resistance bands made out of synthetic rubber, but you will also find resistance bands made from natural elastic materials, such as latex. Some are also made from fabric. However, depending upon the material and how you store it, a resistance band may overstretch or tear.
Therefore, it is best to go for a genuine rubber latex resistance band. Moreover, it is equally important to take necessary measures to protect your resistance band from external environmental conditions.
The Handles of Your Resistance Band
Another key consideration as you choose a resistance band for training is the handles of your resistance bands. You will find resistance bands that come with plastic handles, but you will also find resistance bands that come with soft handles. Since you will be doing many workouts that would require you to use your resistance bands as dumbbells, make sure you go for soft and grip-able handles.
Moreover, you will find resistance bands that come with interchangeable handles, which means you can use the handles with different types of bands.
If you are new to resistance bands, it’s always best to go for soft handles that allow for a comfortable workout session.
With these three primary considerations and keeping in mind the type and resistance you want from your resistance band, you are now in a better position to make a confident choice for the right resistance band for your workouts.
Resistance Band Accessories
As you invest in a resistance band, don’t forget that adding on the accessories will only make your strength training experience better. If you already have a pole or some other way to attach your band, you might still need a few accessories, including:
- Workout gloves
- A workout bench
- Ankle cuffs and some other accessories
Workouts involving resistance bands are often low-impact, but if you want to make your workouts more intense, you can add on resistance band accessories to give you the amount of challenge you need. To add more resistance, you can opt for:
- Wrist and ankle weights
Maintaining Your Resistance Band
Resistance bands are an amazing yet inexpensive workout tool. Still, as with any other fitness equipment, you need to take care of your resistance band so it can continue to function properly and serve you for a good amount of time. Some of the measures you will need to take to maintain your resistance band include
- Cleaning the resistance band with a damp cloth. Never use soap or other harsh cleaning chemicals to clean your band, as it can affect the stretch and strength of the band material.
- Do not store your resistance band near direct sunlight or other sources of heat. Moreover, do not store your bands outdoor or in a humid or cooler environment.
- Don’t forget to check the ends of the band that connect with the handle before use. This part of the band is often weak and more prone to damage.
Best Resistance Band Workout
You can try out several types of workouts using your resistance band. While most people think workout revolving around resistance bands is often gentle, you can add some real intensity to your workouts using resistance bands.
Here are some of the best resistance band workouts that you can try.
- Front Squats,
- Side to Side Lunges using resistance bands,
- Push-ups using resistance bands,
- Double leg jumps,
- Chest Press,
- Biceps rows and curls,
- Tricep extensions,
- Kneeling crunch and many others.
Final Words on Types of Resistance Bands
Your resistance band may be a piece of inexpensive fitness equipment, but it’s indeed a great addition to your workout gear. Given the wide variety of resistance bands available on the market, choosing the right one is definitely a tough decision. But now that you know so much more about different types of resistance bands and how you can choose one for yourself, you are better positioned to make a more confident choice. With a resistance band in your gym bag, you can look forward to a stronger and more toned body. Are you interested in reading about all the different Types of Jump Ropes?