Fitness bands (also known as resistance bands) are a way to exercise your muscles without using weights. Instead you use resistance to do the same exercise. The bands are made from rubber or latex with quite a bit of elastic tension built in. So when doing a traditional bicep curl, instead of holding onto a weight to workout the muscle, you hold the ends of the band in your hands, anchor the middle under your foot, and pull each side upwards in turn.
You will find that resistance bands produce a more natural look to your muscles. This is because when you exercise with a fitness band you don’t use gravity. When using weights, any downward movement is aided by gravity, but upward movements are against gravity, and this means some of the muscles develop faster than the others. You can always tell when someone has used weights because some of their muscles are over-developed (they bulge!). When exercising with bands all the muscles develop evenly, and you get a more natural toned effect. For women, this is important, because no woman wants to look like a wrestler. At the same time you build up strength in the muscles.
In addition, because weights depend on gravity, they only allow you to do resistance exercises in the vertical plane (if you use weights in a horizontal movement, there is no resistance and hence no benefit). A band on the other hand allows you to do exercise in any direction you want as there is always resistance in the tubing. If you are a sports person who needs to develop muscle action in the horizontal plane, for example a golfer or tennis player, then bands are more beneficial than weights.
Some Advantages of Fitness Bands
The first and most important is that they are cheap! You can get them for as little as twenty dollars.
They come in different colors, with each color signifying a different tension in the band, which allows you to exercise different muscles with the appropriate tension. Bands allow you to exercise the smaller muscles that weights don’t tackle. Some band sets come with a door anchor, so you can lateral pull-downs and other exercises. The best resistance bands have padded handles which are kind to the hands. Don’t get the ones with hard handles as exercising will become uncomfortable after a while.
In addition, they don’t take up much space nor are they heavy. You can pack them away in a small bag when finished, and you can take them with you when you travel. And because you can use them anywhere, you don’t need gym membership, you can workout at home.
Finally, they are easy for beginners to use. Start with a low tension band and do simple exercises. Slowly build up to the higher tension ones and more complicated manoeuvres. As you get more comfortable with using them, you will find you can do a wider variety of exercises with them than you could have with weights. If you want to see how fitness bands are used in practice, there are plenty of tutorial videos on Youtube.