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The origins of resistance band training or elastic resistance training can be traced back to more than 100 years ago.  Resistance bands can vary in size and shape, but they all have elastic properties and can be used to train muscles throughout your body. Typically, these bands are small enough to be carried, while also providing a significant amount of resistance, comparable to heavy exercise equipment.  

What kind of resistance is it?

Resistance band training is a type of variable resistance training. The amount of resistive force of the band (what you feel when pulling on it) depends on its elastic material, shape, thickness, and size. The amount of force you feel can also depend on how far you stretch the band. For example, if you were performing bicep curls, you may only feel 5 pounds of force when you start the exercise. As you go through the full range of motion, fully stretching the band, you may reach the maximum force equivalence of 20 pounds.

What are the benefits?

Resistance bands can benefit muscular performance when used independently or in conjunction with other resistance training equipment. Muscles need to stabilize the elastic force during resistance band exercise movements. This increase in stabilization provides a unique training variable that can increase overall muscular control of the body during exercises. Apart from the performance and stability benefits, resistance bands can be used like traditional dumbbells and barbells to increase your general strength, muscle size, and muscular endurance.

How do I use them?

When you are using a resistance band of any kind, resistance will increase the farther your stretch it. So, if you are new to resistance band training, take time to get comfortable with how your resistance band feels. If it is challenging for you to pull or push on the resistance band, and you cannot maintain good stable form during exercises, shorten the range of motion of your exercises until your strength and stability improves. Always perform slower pace repetitions to ensure that stability and form is maintained during each exercise.

If you are curious on what type of resistance band equipment may be a good fit for you, check out some of the products below that combine all the benefits of resistance band training, while also providing a great cardiovascular workout.