Why You Should Add Resistance Bands to Your Workout

I am a great believer in movement... and I truly feel that resistance bands give excellent brain-to-body feedback with clients that are not as body aware and have slightly weaker or ‘lazier’ areas within their musculoskeletal system. Resistance bands are a great way to get clients to really help focus on those areas again.

I use resistance bands a lot for my private clients, but those that are comfortable with them can also use them for my group ZOOM sessions. They are a safe, versatile, convenient and an effective way to train the whole body with a positive outcome. After all, it’s just one piece of inexpensive equipment that can be used anywhere you go!

When I purchase bands, I usually look for the bands used by physiotherapists as they tend to be of a good quality. Making sure it’s the rubber versions not fabric, as they are not as thick and I still want a client to be able to move and not have too much restriction in an exercise, just having the added resistance in the move to be of benefit to them.

Because I love using resistance bands and because they’re a great little addition to any workout, today I’ll answer some of the burning questions about them and hopefully, you’ll feel confident to try them in your next workout with me!

Why are resistance bands good to workout with?

Working with resistance bands over time and on a regular basis will improve muscular endurance, strength and cardio fitness and therefore tone your body .Working with these bands can also help focus a client on THAT particular area .Brain to body feedback is so important!

I would really recommend using the bands if a client has say; lazy glutes, dodgy knees, shoulder injuries or any areas where muscles have become slightly unstable and needs more activation and focus to function in daily life tasks.

Years of training, moving or being in a habitual state can switch off certain areas in our musculoskeletal system. We just need to wake things up sometimes!

Are resistance bands better for certain age groups?

My clients range from super fit young fitness enthusiasts to those in the older age group struggling through life changes like menopause or injury – and I make sure I introduce every single one of them to resistance bands – they are just that good!

The benefits for using resistance bands in your 50’s and 60’s is that they can help improve metabolic bio markers as we age. The resistance requires aerobic effort and muscular strength and power throughout the whole body. Therefore, beneficial in functional fitness, improving our strength in daily tasks and moves.

In particular, I use the bands for older clients suffering from osteoporosis or arthritis as they can be an effective and safe way to activate and strengthen muscles around a joint without putting too much stress or movement on the joints.

How exactly do resistance bands work?

Working with resistance bands improves strength and endurance, with an increase in muscle activation, therefore improving the power within the body. Physiotherapists have used resistance bands for many years to train the body back from injuries and to address weakened areas in the body.

Resistance bands are definitely a form of strength training, as there is a variety of bands from light to heavy resistance level. This can increase the challenge to the whole body through the level of resistance. The further you stretch the band the harder your muscles work to maintain the pull, especially at the end part of the movement. The band can also assist in activating areas of weakness in a muscle or stimulate a muscle group prior to the start of a workout.

The different types of bands are the levels of the resistance, light to heavy. In my experience going too heavy at the start can create unnecessary tension in a muscle and also poor technique.

I always recommend starting with the lower resistance and focusing on good posture and alignment during the move, with a strong focus on what muscles you are working.

There are bands for a lower body workout and for an upper body workout, making them very versatile and can be used to do multiple exercises giving your body a complete workout.

At what point during a workout will you use resistance bands?

I tend to use bands prior to a workout if a client needs to focus on activation of a certain muscle group, or if a client is recovering from a particular injury. By beginning the session with this focus that muscle group is already activated and prepared for the workout ahead.

I would also use upper body and lower body bands as part of a workout plan after doing the mobilising warm up. This is a great way to add challenge to the whole body and raise the heart rate, always making sure I’m not overloading or over tightening one particular area too long, as this can also create too much tension in a muscle group.

If you’re interested in a tailored workout plan or would like to incorporate using resistance bands into your regime, do get in touch and I’ll be happy to create a programme that suits your lifestyle and fitness goals (emm@eastwoodfit.com) – or join us LIVE via my three-times a week group session, available to purchase here.