Resistance band exercises have exploded in popularity over the last few years. They’re a great alternative to traditional weightlifting and give bodyweight movements an extra punch of effectiveness.
You can use these bands to perform weight-bearing exercises without the joint stress that comes with using dumbbells, barbells, and weight machines. Even the teachers of classes like Pilates, barre, and boot camps have discovered how well these bands work and utilize them regularly to help their clients gain muscle, flexibility, and tone their bodies.
You can gain several benefits exclusively by using resistance bands, but there are several different band options, so it’s essential to know which one will suit your needs best. We’ll take you through each type of band and what they’re best used for so you can make the right choice.
Pull-Up Assist Bands
This resistance band has one particular purpose. The pull-up assist band, much like its name would suggest, is designed to help you build up to achieving a full bodyweight pull-up.
The band is a large loop made of strong material, like thick rubber or tightly woven fabric/elastic. The circle gets tied to a pull-up bar, so you can step into the band and have it bear part of your weight. The band assists so that you are only lifting a portion of your weight with your arms.
They come in varying resistances so that you can switch to lighter bands as you get stronger and eventually build your upper body strength to do full pull-ups unassisted!
Exercises for pull-up assist bands: Pull-ups
Booty Bands / Mini Bands
Booty bands, also called mini bands, are small, looped bands made of rubber or robust and flexible fabric that can comfortably perform various exercises. The booty band shines in the booty area – think resisted squats and lunges!
They’re called mini bands because they’re small, but don’t like their size fool you – they can get you sweating quickly. The band has a flat surface so that it is placed easily around thighs and legs. They come in various resistances so that you can adjust and make exercises more difficult as you become stronger.
They are fantastic for upper body exercises too, like rotator cuff and biceps/triceps workouts. They can be used to assist your body during stretching to relax into poses a little deeper. Learn more about hip circle to start reaping their benefits and build muscle quickly!
Bungee Cord Resistance Bands
The bungee cord resistance band is a long tube covered in fabric and attached to a belt wrapped around the trainee’s body.
These bands are used by athletes, like sprinters, to improve their running and jumping explosiveness. Using this bungee is a two-person job – the athlete runs, sprints, and jumps while someone else holds the band and provides some extra resistance. They may stay stationary or walk along with the athlete.
Exercises for bungee cord resistance bands: sprint training
Handle Tube Resistance Bands
Handle tube resistance bands are tubular, not flat, with a handle on each end of the band, making them great for exercises in which you need an extra firm grip. They make it easier to mimic the hold you’d use for traditional dumbbell and weight machine exercises.
They’re great for upper and lower body workouts, making them an incredibly versatile fitness tool to add to your arsenal.
Exercises for handle tube resistance bands: chest presses, back rows, shoulder presses, hammer curls,
Each resistance band has its pros and cons, so you need to consider the type of exercise you want to do to determine which one is the best fit for you.
If you’re looking for an all-around band to exercise most body parts, try the mini/booty band or handle tube.
For improving your pull-up game, you’ll want the pull-up assist band. And if you’re looking to increase your athletic endurance, speed, and agility, go with the bungee cord band.
For a full-on arsenal, grab a few types of resistance bands in differing strengths for an inexpensive home gym that can deliver the same, if not better, results than your local gym.