Resistance Band Leg Workouts: Are They Worth The Hype?
They’ve been all over social media but are resistance bands, and the workouts they give you, worth the hype? In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about resistance bands and the potential benefits you could take from them.
What Are Resistance Bands?
Like a giant elastic band, and usually made from a synthetic fibre like latex or rubber, resistance bands can be looped around your legs or arms to create more tension while you exercise. This tension makes it more challenging to move and engages more muscles, which it’s said will help you build strength and muscle.
Why Are Resistance Bands Beneficial?
Strength training is important – especially with age. This is mainly because building strength can slow muscle deterioration while increasing muscle mass can also increase metabolism. Even though you can build strength through bodyweight-only exercises like squats or lunges, creating extra resistance allows for greater strength building.
This is often done using weights or weight machines. But in recent years resistance band exercises for legs have become a popular way of creating resistance to build strength. Part of the reason resistance bands have become more popular is that they allow you to get the benefits of extra strength, without needing to go to the gym to lift weights.
Different bands also have different levels of resistance which work your muscles with different degrees of difficulty, making them suitable for all fitness levels.
Research shows that strength gains from leg exercises with bands are similar to training with dumbbells or weight machines; it’s thought that they also increase stabiliser muscles to a greater extent than weight training. This muscle group is crucial as it supports our larger muscles and joints during movement and stops us from getting injured.
Resistance bands can also improve balance, flexibility and body composition (less body fat and more muscle) and additional research also highlights the added benefits of using resistance bands for bodyweight leg exercises on a regular basis.
Joining The Band? The Pros & Cons
- Cheap and accessible, resistance bands are a good option if you’re starting out on a new exercise regime. Studies have revealed that around half of those who start weight training using conventional weights give up within a year because of the logical difficulties and financial costs.
- Resistance bands present an easier way to build strength and may encourage people to take them up long-term.
- You can combine resistance bands with free weights to maximise strength gains with fixed and varied resistance.
- There are drawbacks, however. You only reach the maximum resistance when the band is extended as far as it can go, while with free weights resistance is consistent throughout the movement.
- You can also easily add more resistance (by lifting a heavier weight) or remove resistance (decreasing the weight you’re lifting). Though you can use a band that has greater resistance to get more strength gains, they may not be as great as with weights.
- So in spite of their limitations, resistance bands are accessible and easy to pick up, and they’re an effective way to build strength for everyone without needing to be at a gym lifting weights. If you’re looking for a brand new workout tool, resistance bands may be the perfect choice for you.