Resistance Bands

What are they? What are the benefits? How can we apply them to our workouts?

Resistance bands come in various sizes, tensions, and colours but they are generally either flat bands or tubular bands/ropes. The first recorded ‘resistant band’ was invented in 1895 Switzerland by Gustav Gossweiler – he later patented his resistance band in the USA in June 1896, branding his invention an ‘exercise device’.

THE APPLICATION OF GOSSWEILER’S BAND MIRRORS THE WAY WE USE THEM TODAY


From 1960s physiotherapists began using resistance band application in physical therapy. By the 1980s the general public had taken up the mantel, incorporating resistance band training into their personal fitness regimes and thus, the resistance band as we see it today on 100s of Instagram videos was born!

THE BENEFITS OF RESITANCE BAND TRAINING

  • They are portable and inexpensive


Easy to hold or sling in your gym bag, resistance bands can be used anywhere from the gym, the park to home. You can pick up a decent set of resistance bands on Amazon for less than £25 (around 31 USD).

  • They are versatile

Resistance bands can be used standalone or to compliment your free-weights training to incrementally increase resistance and  level up your 1RM.

You can complete a full body workout using just resistance bands, so if you have limited equipment they’re a great piece to add to your arsenal – ESPECAILLY if your gym is closed / booked up due to Covid.

  • Strength Training

Resistance bands are generally colour-coded depending on their resistance level. Usually they go from light (in colour and resistance) to heavy (and dark), but this can go either way. The different tensions place different intensities on your muscles when stretched.

  • They can focus your muscle control

When you’re using resistance bands you are forced to focus even more on eccentric movement (the portion of a movement where your muscle lengthens), rather than concentric movement focus (muscle shortening) that free weights can lean towards.

When you apply free weights and resistance bands at the same time, you increase your muscles’ time under tension in both directions, improving the overall intensity and quality of your workout.

  • They can make exercise development easier and more achievable

Take pull ups and chin ups for an example. If you can’t do them, you probably think you need to spend a lot of time on free weights and body weight exercises to sufficiently build your upper body muscles before you can grab that bar and hoick yourself up, right?

Wrong! Loop a resistance band around the pull up bar, leaving a loop for your foot to go into, or loop them horizontally along the J hooks if you’re on a rig, to get a boost! We recommend starting with an XX-Heavy band and, over time, lessening the resistance of the bands as your upper body muscles build.

If you’re a member of our Facebook Group, head over to watch the Resistance Band Workout video, where we demonstrate a huge range of full-body resistance band exercises for you to apply to your own workouts!

If you’re not a member of our Facebook group…WHY NOT? For full, free access to all our video resources, join our ladies-only Facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/womenweightswellbeing/

PLEASE just remember to be careful when using resistance bands – they can flick up and hit you if you’re not holding them securely! If you’ve anchored a resistance band to a surface like a pole, please make sure it is fully secure before attempting an exercise.

REMEMBER: REPEAT THE REPS ON EACH SIDE. If you do 10 reps on one arm, make sure to complete a further 10 on the other

SAMPLE UPPER BODY WORKOUT
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Stretch310
Jacket Press (version 1 or 2310
Lateral Extensions310
Lat Pulls310
Across Chest Pulls310
Tricep Kickbacks 3 10
Bent Rows 3 10
Front Raises 3 10
Cuff Rotators 3 10
Bow and Arrows 3 10
SAMPLE LOWER BODY WORKOUT
ExerciseSetsReps
Squats310
Monster Walks310
Lateral Monster Walks310
Glute Bridges310
Abductors310
Donkey Kicks310
Fire Hydrants 310 
Leg Raises 310 
Lateral Leg Raises 310 
Kickbacks10 
Mountain Climbers10 
Clamshells10 
SAMPLE CORE WORKOUT
ExerciseSetsReps
Assisted Oblique Leg Twists310
Sit Ups310
Assisted V Sit Rows310

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