Resistance training with bands can be a very beneficial part of a strength training, athletic conditioning, or physical therapy program. Many people find that resistance training with bands is as effective as using regular weights or machines, while others use bands to start out a training program and transition to weights later. Some athletes prefer to use resistance bands over other methods because it allows them to perform the exact movement they need to perfect, which cannot always be targeted with gravity-based resistance training such as weights. Bands are also often a convenient, easy solution for resistance training on vacations or trips away from home because they are lightweight and easy to pack.
Resistance bands are much less expensive and easier to store at home than traditional free weights or weight machines. They can, however, be harder to find than regular weights, and sometimes the easiest bands to find are not necessarily the highest quality. Using low quality bands may lead to the bands or handles snapping or warping with heavy use. If you plan to perform your resistance training with bands on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to spend a little extra money to buy your bands from a quality sports and fitness source.
Resistance training with bands is similar to resistance training with free weights, but some of the traditional moves must be modified to accommodate the placement of the bands. Additionally, unlike the constant resistance provided by lifting regular weights, bands increase the resistance as the movement progresses and the bands are stretched. This can potentially make resistance training with bands even more difficult for some people than using weights, especially at the peak of a movement when the bands are very taut. For this reason, keeping proper form during the full range of movement of an exercise is vital to getting a safe and effective resistance band workout.
Using different thicknesses of resistance bands can either make the workout easier or harder. Thinner bands will provide an easier workout with less resistance, while thicker ones will increase the resistance and make movements more difficult. Most of the time, resistance bands are sold in packs with more than one thickness available. This allows users to choose heavier or lighter bands for different kinds of exercises as needed or experiment with using two or more bands at once to dramatically increase the difficulty. Shortening the band length, easily accomplished by looping the band and then standing on the loop to keep it steady, will also increase the amount of resistance.