More and more often in the gyms I come across piles of colored rubber ropes, hoops or bands with handles. Sometimes it hangs, sometimes it lies dusty in a box, sometimes I see it tied to rib stools, but I rarely see anyone practicing with these aids. Everyone takes the dumbbells into their hands without giving any chance to these “old-school” gadgets. Therefore, in this article I decided to introduce you different types of resistive bands available on the market and describe what they are used for.
Personally, I would not recommend building the training solely on the exercises with these expanders, but use them as a supplement to normal training and as a means of rehabilitation or for exercise during traveling. You can really only achieve optimal muscle load when training with added weight.
What are resistive bands and why do you need them?
Resistance bands are aids for exercise or rehabilitation, which, like weights, have a certain resistance (weight) that needs to be overcome to perform the exercise. This resistance is proportional to the thickness and material of which the rubber is made.
- Relatively low price
- Storage - great for travel, home exercise and easy to carry
- Versatile use - muscle activation, engaging band in heavy weight training, rehabilitation (balancing imbalances), improving mobility, beginner training ...
- Very low risk of injury
Types of resistance bands
Strengthening rubber bands
This type of strengthening rubber has the widest use. It is possible to practice practically every part of your body with it. They are very suitable especially for warming up muscles before strength training, because thanks to them you can imitate the exercises you plan to do and pre-engage these muscles and at the same time prevent injuries. Different resistances can be selected depending on the thickness of the band and are often sold in sets. The price is often very advantageous.
You all know the band hoops as a great tool for training pull ups. Based on their thickness, you only choose resistance (which will make you "lighter" and easier to attract) and with the right technique you learn to to pull ups. Gradually, you switch to less and less resistance until your muscles get stronger enough that you can pull up even without rubber. Band hoops are among the most expensive type of expander.
Bands with handles
This type of expander is best for strengthening the upper body, especially small muscle groups such as biceps and triceps. They can replace more or less all the exercises you would normally do with the pulleys.
This special strengthening aid is also one of the resistance bands. It is used to support complex exercises of the upper half of the body - bench, dips, handles. In the lower position, it provides support and allows you to lift even 10-15% more than without it, thus serving to develop the strength of a larger group of muscles. Original Slingshot can be ordered only from America and its price is higher, but it is worth it.
Hip circle / hip band / short strengthening hoop
And finally my favorite. A wide hoop made of either a mixture of fabric and rubber fibers or pure rubber. It is most often used to strengthen the lower half of the body. It can be used both before training to warm up the muscles and pre-engage them, as well as during strength training (for example during squats) or even at the end of the training to pump up and "burn" the muscles, for example after a leg day.
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