Join the resistance

Find it hard to train on holidays? Sick of doing the same old exercises all the time? Want to stretch your imagination and try something new? Maybe you should join the resistance!

You may have seen what looks like large coloured rubber bands in the gym. No, these aren’t taken from the belt of a large vehicle or a giant slingshot, they are called resistance bands and they can be used in a variety of ways to train with.

Resistance bands are extremely versatile and are a great complementary tool to utilise in your workouts. They are super easy to transport and and can be packed away in your backpack, desk or cupboard so you can train just about anywhere! I’ve taken mine on holidays several times which has allowed me to train even when I’m in the jungle miles away from any gym!!! Another great thing about bands is that they come in different levels of resistance which is usually defined by the colour of the band. Like dumbbells, this allows you to choose the level of resistance that suits you the most for the particular exercise you are doing at the time, and when it is time to progress you can increase the resistance by standing further away from the point of contact, shortening the grip, doubling the band or simply going up to the next colour or level. You can even use them with dumbbells, kettle bells or barbells to provide extra resistance and make your workouts super tough!

It’s very easy to plateau in the gym by doing the same workouts week after week. The human body is a master of adaptation and if you perform the same movements with the same equipment eventually you will stop making progress and your fitness gains will stop. Resistance bands allow you to spice up your training by adding a new form of resistance for your body to work against. And because the tension in the band increases the further away it is from the anchor point, it feels completely different to use and can be extremely challenging.

Bands also allow you to functionally train with more range which makes them perfect to use with your functional movement patterns!

Different types of bands

There are 3 main types of resistance bands available:

  • Tube Bands
    These are long thin tubes which usually have a handle on each end which makes them very easy to use.
  • Therabands
    These are flat unlooped bands that you may have seen in your physiotherapists studio, and are very useful for strengthening and rehabilitation.
  • Resistance Loops
    These look more like a traditional rubber band, and can range from very thin (easy) to extremely thick (hard).

Ways you can use resistance bands

  • Increase Resistance
    To provide resistance in the same way that traditional weight lifting does.
    Eg: a standing bicep curl
  • Decrease Resistance
    To help one go through range by using the band to decrease the difficulty of the exercise
    Eg: an assisted pull-up
  • Stretch With
    To use as a tool to aid in a stretch
    Eg: a hamstring stretch
  • Rehabilitation
    Bands have been shown to be very effective for rehab exercises as prescribed by doctors and physiotherapists.
    Eg: an external shoulder rotation

5 great resistance band exercises

  • Standing Row
  • Standing Push-up
  • Band Squat
  • Standing Leg Abduction
  • Valgus Force Lunge

So now you know a bit more about resistance bands, don’t be scared to use them. For anyone who wants more information on the above exercises and equipment, or to get familiar with your band workout before you go in holidays, come and speak to one of qualified and experienced personal trainers or exercise physiologists today!

See you in the gym,

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