Resistance bands are a cheaper alternative when money is tight

Recently, I’ve been in the market for more dumbbells and weight plates for Outback Performance and two things struck me. One there’s not much in stock and two, what’s there is, is way too expensive.

I could sell my equipment now and do alright.

We’ve got COVID-19 and the rush to buy workout gear for limited stock and higher prices.  Like you, I have to be patient to ride out this huge wipeout wave that’s smacking us around.

Right now, your life has enough problems and what you need is more solutions.  When it comes to exercise, lack of equipment and gyms shutting down or with reduced capacity, the solution is rubber.

No not the kind of rubber you’re thinking of but resistance bands. If money is tight, you’re not going to the gym or you’re working out at home, resistance bands are the perfect tool for you. They are inexpensive, portable and take up little space.

What Are Resistance Bands?

It’s an elastic band either used for strength training, Physical Therapy or for stretching. Like a rubber band stretching, the further the resistance band stretches the harder it is to stretch. Which is great for strengthening the body out on the periphery, where you’re weaker.

They’ve been around since the early 20th century and were originally made from surgical tubing. Because even Doctors want to get ripped.

They were mainly used for muscle rehabilitation and now there in gyms everywhere.  Their flexibility in use, their light weight and their portability are few of their advantages.

The Benefits Of Bands
Versatility And Ease Of Use

It’s not like dumbbells, barbells and weight machines are hard to use but with resistance bands it’s easy to switch between exercises. You don’t have to wait around for a piece of equipment to be ready, you can grab a band and do a variety of  exercises.

If you’re a beginner and you’re slightly confused with all the wiz bang exercise equipment, resistance bands are easy and don’t require much experience to use.

Muscle Recruitment

The beauty of bands is they don’t rely on gravity for resistance, so they can perform a variety of exercises. You can anchor bands to something solid to hit your muscles from a variety of angles.

It’s not muscle confusion but if you’re easily bored, you’ll like the variety of exercises done with bands.

They’re Portable

Bands are small, light, and flexible, they can be tucked away anywhere including your travel or gym bag. I often take them travelling when I need to burn calories from all the stuff I shove in my mouth. Who am I kidding? I love training and can’t get away from it.

And I only eat healthy. 😊

Add Bands To What You already Have

If you have dumbbells, weight plates or a barbell, you can tie a looped resistance around them to add extra resistance to save you from buying more dumbbells and to keep making progress.

And you can add them to bodyweight exercises to make them harder or easier.  For example, 

The Main Exercises You Can do With Bands

Like dumbbells, there’s a ton of exercises done with bands. So here we’ll concentrate on the main ones, ones that will give you the best bang for your buck.

Before you get started, know this. Bands as versatile as they are, are best used for higher rep ranges to help keep you in shape, build muscle or lose the love handles.  Plus, they’ll help get you stronger, but they only come so heavy and stretch so far before they break.

If you’re looking to improve your top end strength, there are better tools than bands. But in this time of equipment being expensive, bands are a great way to add variety to your routine, keep you in shape, keep money in your wallet and reduce stress. Here are the main exercises:

Squats
Pushes
Pulls

Core

Lunges/Single Leg

Arms

You Add Them To Dumbbells

Like previously mentioned, adding resistance bands to dumbbells will increase the weight without having to buy new equipment. For this to work, you need looped bands (without handles) as these allow you to tie and attach the band to the dumbbell without it coming back to bite you.

Here are a few examples.

Rows
Squats
Split Squats
Sample Resistance Band Trainings

When training with bands, I like to take 3-5 exercises and do one after the other in a circuit type fashion. The transition between exercises when using the same band is easy and you’ll get a good pump and raise your heart rate too.

What reps you’ll do is up to you, but I suggest anywhere from 8-20 reps works well.  Here are some examples.

1A. Squat to row

1B. Single arm chest press

1C. Split stance pallof press

Watch Video here

1A. Assisted squats

1B. Single arm rows

1C. Single arm chest press

Watch Video here

1A. Pallof press

1B. Face pull

1C. Chest press

Watch Video here

1A. Assisted split squats

1B. Split stance row

1C. Split stance press

Watch Video here

1A. Front squats

1B. Shoulder presses

1C. Overhead triceps extensions

Watch Video here

1A. Front raises

1B. Reverse curls

1C. Pull a parts

Watch Video here

Using the exercises above, here are 5 exercise circuits that don’t require much time.

1A. Front Squats

1B. Alternating Chest Press

1C. Single Arm Row

1D. Overhead Triceps Extension

1E. Pallof Press

1A. Reverse Lunge

1B. Iso Chest Press

1C. Split Stance Row

1D. Reverse Curls

1E.  Pull A Parts

You can download these trainings here.

Wrapping Up

Bands are a fantastic tool to keep in shape, burn a few calories, add lean muscle and to reduce stress. They’re still relatively inexpensive in comparison with other exercise equipment and they’re easy to use and friendly to your joints.

Resistance bands will strengthen where you are weak to make you a stronger and more resilient human being. And that is something we all want

.If you need any help or advice getting started or continuing your exercise routine during this difficult time contact me here.

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