How to Choose the Best Elastic Bands

How to Choose the Best Elastic Bands

Aug 04, 20220 comments

People use elastic bands for strength and resistance training, physical therapy, and much more. These versatile bands can help you improve muscle health, boost your flexibility, and get your strength back in an area that has suffered an injury. In order to use elastic bands properly in your exercise, however, you need to choose the right products to match the exercises you intend to use. This guide will help you find the ideal elastic bands to match your fitness routine.

Why Do You Need Elastic Bands?

Elastic resistance bands provide several essential benefits to people who use them to exercise. They increase coordination, provide many of the same strength benefits as weights without requiring as much storage space, and have the flexibility to be repurposed for many different exercises. Elastic bands are also easy to bring with you on the go so you can travel effectively with them. Finally, they can be used by both beginners and advanced trainers. All told, these fitness bands provide a versatile and flexible workout that anybody can take advantage of. The only question is what kind of elastic bands are right for you and how you should utilize them to benefit you as an individual.

Types of Elastic Bands

Elastic fitness bands come in several varieties. Those who use them for physical therapy often get therapy bands that provide low levels of resistance but offer benefits over long sessions of repeated use. These bands are ideal for building up strength in an area where the muscle has grown weaker due to injury or where tendons and ligaments have tightened up enough to reduce your normal level of mobility. For those who are not in physical therapy but who want to use elastic bands as part of their normal exercise routine, strength bands and resistance tubes are both excellent options. The choice you make between these two varieties likely depends on how intensive a workout you desire.

Strength bands are largely the same as the therapy bands used in physical therapy exercises. They come in varying degrees of thickness and resistance, and tend to require more of a pull in order to stretch them to their maximum length. These bands can provide resistance training and can mimic the benefits of certain types of weight training. They require very little in the way of space—in fact, you can keep multiple sets of strength bands in a single drawer. The biggest drawback of strength bands is that they can tear if pulled too hard. Before you begin exercises with these elastic bands, do a visual inspection to make sure that the material doesn’t show stress marks or tears.

Resistance tubes function very similarly to strength bands, but use a tougher material to prevent snapping. These tubes look similar to jump ropes, but are made of strong, stretchy rubber that can allow you to perform all the exercises associated with elastic bands. Handles provide less slippage, and the resilient materials used in the tubes prevent overstretching. Resistance tubes are excellent options for strong individuals or those who are ready to move to more advanced strength training. However, the tubes represent a narrower surface area that can leave marks after intensive exercise, which leads some people to prefer the broader and flatter nature of elastic bands instead.

Purchasing a Variety of Bands

Because the cost of elastic fitness bands is relatively small compared to the price of gym equipment and other exercise essentials, you can purchase multiple sets of bands at one time. You should consider buying one set of bands for each level of resistance you need, and buying a second set of bands as a back-up is a good idea as well. Most exercise bands indicate their tension level. Start with lighter tension if you are new to your workout routine and then build up until you find a level with which you are comfortable. Colour code your bands so you know which ones are at the same tension level on sight. By finding one brand you like and sticking with it, you can make sure that all the bands at a given tension level are the same colour and design.

Choosing Your Exercise Routine

Once you have found a brand you like for your elastic bands, consider your exercise routine and how you intend to use the bands. You should do this before making your final purchase, as the type of exercises you do will influence the size and tension level of the bands you need. If you want to strengthen one particular area over others, such as building your arms up while only doing minimal work on your legs, you will need thicker bands for arm exercises and longer, thinner bands or tubes for your legs. Your planned exercise routine will also play a part in further decisions discussed below, such as the comfort level of your bands and whether you need to purchase additional accessories with the elastic bands.

Buying for Comfort

The elastic bands you purchase should make for comfortable exercise experience. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t sweat and feel the soreness that sometimes comes with a good workout routine, but it does mean that you shouldn’t see red marks on your hands and feet or feel an unhealthy level of pain while doing your exercises. This is one reason why it’s a good idea to test out exercise bands and resistance tubes ahead of time. Some people prefer the added tension of resistance tubes, while others need the wider surface offered by elastic bands. Some bands have padded handles, and many resistance tubes have interchangeable handles. Test out a few if you can before you make a decision to buy an entire set from one particular brand.

Keeping Simplicity in Mind

As you delve into the world of elastic bands for fitness, you will soon find that there are a great many varieties beyond the simple designs that an initial inspection reveals. Some bands are designed to look like figure eights, others use a double band or circular band model, and so on. These all have their uses in more advanced exercises. For beginners, sticking with a long tube that has a good tension and comfortable handles is probably the best way to get. Get acquainted with the various ways in which you can use this basic design, and then you can move onto more advanced fitness bands as you become more comfortable and experienced with the exercises.

Thinking about Location

Where will you perform your exercises? With elastic bands, you can choose virtually anywhere to practice, including in front of your television or even while sitting on the couch. However, most people tend to have success in exercise when they can designate a specific area for it. Your area determines what sort of bands and accessories you might need. For example, if you have a sturdy pole or railing nearby, you can loop your bands around that during certain exercises to add extra resistance. Many exercises require you to simply stand on your elastic band or loop it around a part of your body, but you can only get some fitness angles in by using your environment. Consider your space and the exercises you intend to perform when thinking about the bands that are right for you.

Considering Accessory Options

Finally, you need to think about whether you want certain accessories that might go with your fitness bands and resistance tubes. Potential accessories usually involve providing the user with new and different ways to attach the bands to provide better angles and varying levels of resistance. For example, a sturdy pole with a weighted bottom can fill the need usually provided by a railing or doorframe if your exercise space does not allow for another way to attach your bands to something firm. If you plan to attach your bands to a door frame, using a designated door attachment helps reduce the risk of snapping and also protects the frame from wear and tear. Finally, the use of ankle cuffs and specialty handles can help for exercises where you loop the bands around a part of your own body. This allows for less slippage and reduces the risk that a band might come loose and snap back at you, potentially causing an injury.

An elastic fitness band is really a very simple thing. With a straightforward design and almost infinite possibilities, you can use one for virtually any exercise, including cardiovascular workouts and strength training. Despite that level of simplicity, a strong market for fitness band products has come into existence over the past generation. If you are new to the fitness world, the sheer number of exercise bands, resistance tubes, and accessories can seem overwhelming. By using the information provided above, you can filter through the many products out there and choose the fitness bands that are right for you. Your selection of elastic bands will influence your overall wellness and open up a whole new exercise regimen for you.

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