Introduction to Resistance Bands
Resistance bands not only offer safe and effective workouts but they provide muscle-building tension, and can be used almost anywhere. These bands are often recommended by physical therapists for rehabilitation purposes.
Resistance bands come in a variety of types, lengths and tensions. Some are flat in composition, while others consist of a tubular band that's often surrounded by a protective material. Hence, they are called resistance tubing and usually comes with handles for gripping. Depending on one person’s specific needs, these bands offer tensions anywhere from 5 lbs. to over 200 lbs. of resistance.
In some ways, resistance bands offer superior benefits compared to free weights, as resistance bands provide a force against which your muscles must work. This action causes muscles to contract, which stimulates bone as well as muscle growth because as you stretch the band, the tension increases. This is why they are one of the safest methods to increase bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis.
Moreover, these bands provide resistance to just about any motion, and can be especially helpful for athletes as contrast to free weights and weight machines found in the gym.
Most bands are color-coded according to tension level (e.g., light, medium, heavy, very heavy). It's best to have at least three—light, medium, and heavy—since different muscle groups will require different levels of resistance.
Tips for Getting Started
Should you opt to purchase the equipment you may want to consider the lowest weight if you had been inactive for any significant length of time. If you have been moderately active you can consider the second weight or resistance available.
Resistance bands come in different colors to represent different resistance—higher resistance is accomplished by making the rubber thicker—but since manufacturers use different color coding systems and typically provide no information about the level of resistance of each color, it's hard to know how they compare to dumbbells and machines in terms of weight.
But for the purpose of getting a grasp of what resistance level is right for you, here are some of the choices available:
Green band for extra light resistance (5lbs)
Blue band for light resistance (10lbs)
Yellow band for medium resistance (15lbs)
Red band for heavy resistance (20lbs)
Black band for extra heavy resistance (25lbs)
- Rick Kaselj