If you’re looking to kick your weight training up a notch, we have the perfect tool! Resistance bands are great because not only are they light and portable, but their versatility and ease of use allow us to add a different dimension to our training regimes – especially when we group resistance band training with weight training.
Resistance bands come in different levels of resistance, and you’ll need bands suited to your fitness and strength levels. And whether you opt for tube bands, thera-bands or looped bands, you’ll be able to customise your workouts to suit your fitness levels and goals.
You already know that weight training is one of the best exercise disciplines to help with weight loss, strength, fitness, aesthetics and general health. However, doing the same thing every day can easily become monotonous and boring, and your body can become used to the same kind of training and simply stop responding (known as a plateau).
If you find yourself in this space, there are a few things you can do to make your training more enjoyable, challenge yourself and most importantly, start seeing results again. Consider mixing your weight training with resistance band training. Why?
The Benefits of Resistance Bands
- It’s a cost-effective form of exercise.
- You can train anywhere, anytime.
- The risk of injury is minimal thanks to the type of stress imposed.
- It is ideal for beginners still earning proper exercise technique and form.
- It can be used in a variety of exercises to target the entire body.
- Use them together with weights to add an extra dimension to your training
- Continuous tension can be applied during both the eccentric and concentric phases of an exercise for better overall strength development and muscle recruitment.
Resistance Bands and Weight Training
Weight and resistance band training are two entirely different exercise methods; however, when combined, it could be the perfect training approach regardless of what your end goal is.
So why should you combine the two into your training regime?
Perfect your form
Resistance bands allow you to improve your movements or exercise techniques. We often tend to compromise our technique while weight training to complete an exercise. Resistance bands will enable us to practice and perfect our form (especially useful for beginners) before we start lifting heavier weights.
Better muscle activation
Resistance bands allow us to achieve better muscle recruitment. We target more of the muscle fibers, leading to complete muscle fatigue and a more effective workout, especially when combined with weight training.
Improve joint flexibility and mobility
You need to strengthen your joints to lift optimally and efficiently to reach your goals. Resistance bands help us improve our joint flexibility and mobility.
Improve overall health
Weight training, depending on your workout intensity, can help you lose fat, build muscle, improve your fitness and overall health. However, when combined with resistance training, you’ll also improve your flexibility. Core strength, mobility, balance, coordination, agility and speed.
Improve your strength and power
Adding resistance bands to your weight training sessions allows for better muscle activation, and the more muscle fibres you recruit, the more strength you build over time, leading to an increase in your overall strength and power.
Improve strength in range of motion
With weight training, we tend to be stronger in specific ranges of an exercise, usually the beginning and in the mid-range, but hardly ever at the end of a concentric movement; this is due to constant resistance being applied throughout the movement. With resistance bands, the resistance on the muscle increases as the range of motion increases and so, the muscle gets challenged throughout the entire movement instead of just at certain parts.
Warm up properly
Using resistance bands as a warmup tool has proven extremely effective in preparing the various muscles and joints for a high-intensity, full range of motion weight training session, ensuring you get the full benefit of each session.
If you want to improve and progress with your weight training, you might want to consider adding some resistance band work to your training routine. Not only will it enable you to train injury free and have your body working optimally with every session, but you’ll reap the rewards in your progress regardless of what your goal is.
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Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.