5 reasons why resistance bands will blow your mind!
As a health professional I’m going to go out and say that if you only ever purchase one piece of exercise equipment in your life, it should be a pack of resistance bands. I’m talking specifically about the ones known as mini bands.
I believe if they are used correctly with an exercise sheet to activate particular muscles they will work better than anything. I have a set at home and I keep a set at work. I take them with me every single time I travel, whether by car, plane, or train. They’re that good!
Yes, dumbbells, kettlebells, and other various free weights are great workout tools, and if you’re strategic, you can build a home gym, or do boot camps with them. But mini resistance bands take up practically no space and weigh next to nothing. You can literally keep them in your handbag or wallet (I don’t do this, just saying, hypothetically) and carry them with you wherever you go.
The best part about mini resistance bands?
You can use them to work every single part of your body!
One pack contains enough resistance options (5) to adjust your workouts according to your goals, all without lifting any actual weights, I am a big fan of lifting weights but I also believe depending on location and time available it may not be an option. What could be more convenient?
If you’re not sold yet, here’s a little more info on how mini resistance bands work, all of the things you can do with them, and ultimately, why it’s more than worth investing in a set.
HOW RESISTANCE BANDS WORK
Resistance bands work similarly to free weights, but there are a few key differences. Like dumbbells, barbells, or any other free weights, resistance bands provide external resistance that your muscles have to work against. When you’re pushing against a resistance band during an exercise, your muscles have to engage to fight the tension.
The biggest difference, though, is that resistance bands do not rely on gravity the way that free weights do.
Instead, you’re working against the force of just the band. That might sound easier, but what it means is that you’re working against resistance throughout the entire range of an exercise, not just during the portion where you’re moving against gravity.
For example, if you are doing a squat with a mini band around your quads (just above the knee), you have to press your legs against the band even when you’re standing in the starting position. You have to then press out when you’re lowering into a squat, and again when you’re standing back up, to keep your knees in line (not collapsing in toward each other).
Because of this, your muscles are often under tension for an extended period of time when bands are involved, which means they’re pretty much constantly working. If you’ve ever done glute bridges or lateral walks with a mini band looped around your legs, you know that the burning sensation sets in almost immediately that’s because you’re never really giving your muscles a solid break until you actually stop doing the exercise.
MINI BANDS ARE RIDICULOUSLY VERSATILE!
There are a ton of easy ways to use mini bands.
First, they’re great for warm-ups before a workout, and especially for activation.
A lot of mini band exercises make it easy to target your glute medius, a small hip abductor muscle on the outer side of each butt cheek. Its main job is to stabilize both the hip and the thigh as your leg rotates with every forward step. If you’re a runner, it’s crucial to keep this muscle strong so that your legs are properly stabilized and can move efficiently.
If you lack strength or mobility in the hip area, a bunch of muscle groups or joints can get overworked or unstable.
You may start to compensate with other muscles, or end up with an overuse injury like runner’s knee or ITB syndrome….
Jayden as a Myotherapist says he does mini band glute exercises with nearly all of his patients who are runners, elderly, children, Olympic athletes, AFL players, ATP Tennis players or in the gym for this reason.
I personally love to do a few mini band glute exercises before I exercise, I believe being able to feel or fire up the muscles before loading them heavily will reduce the chance of injury and overall feel like a better workout.
I also try to do mini band exercises a few times a week regardless of the activity I’m doing to stay in shape and feel good.
You can also use mini bands to warm up your upper body.
This can be specifically beneficial for an area like the shoulder, which is notoriously unstable and can benefit from a targeted activation before you nail it with a heavier weight.
Jayden uses mini bands every day to warm up various muscles in both his lower and upper body.
Depending what I feel like I need to work on more, I do a lot of serratus anterior activation, scapula slides, Internal/External Rotation from having poor/tight shoulder muscles from working as a Myotherapist for over 50 hours a week.
“I believe everyone should train in a way of self release first, (lacrosse ball or foam roller), activation second (resistance bands) and then weights or a heavier resistance last, If you can build a solid foundation the chance of injuries are so much lower” he says.
And you can even use mini bands as the main source of resistance for your workout. If you’re using mini bands for a workout, it’s easy to progress, meaning increase the resistance over time to keep challenging and strengthening your muscles by moving towards stronger bands as the workout starts to feel easier.
You can also use different bands for different muscle groups if you feel you need a slightly different level of resistance, which is why I love myoactive bands as they provide 5 different levels of resistance depending on what muscle group you would like to target.
Also, I want to be clear that mini bands aren’t just good for beginners. Regardless if you’re a beginner, intermediate or expert in the gym or sporting field, I believe everybody should be doing some kind of resistance band work.
“The stronger you are in your daily/postural muscles in the scapula, glutes, and hips, the better you can prevent injury.”
HOW TO ADD MINI BANDS TO YOUR ROUTINE:
- Begin your workout by finding out which muscles are the hardest to activate.
- Work your way up with resistance levels, with yellow being the lightest.
- Start with activating the bigger muscle groups to get a feel and understanding of it, glute bridges & clams are my favourite.
- Have a list of exercises you are familiar with so that you can travel and exercise at the same time!
- We love splitting our mini band workouts with lower & upper body exercises.
- Remember less is more with resistance, there is no rush to using the most resistance.
When you’re doing mini band exercises to warm up or just work on improving stability, Jayden suggests starting with a light resistance band and doing 15 – 20 repetitions of each exercise. You can then adjust from there if the band feels too light. It’s more important to use a lighter resistance and move through your full range of motion, he says, than use a heavier resistance that limits your ability to do the exercise fully.
As you become to love resistance-band workouts like me, you’ll start to get a good idea of how light and heavy you can go with the resistance for all of your favorite moves.
Interested in getting your hands on a set? Contact Us!