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Are Resistance Bands Really Effective?

womsn performing exercise with resistance band


Are Resistance Bands Really Effective?

This year, in the midst of a global pandemic, so many changes have been made to our daily fitness and nutrition routines. As businesses are forced to close, many commercial gyms have shut their doors temporarily, or in some cases, permanently. As a result, many people are taking to their homes to get in a workout and continue their fitness regimes. One very popular piece of equipment in many home gyms is the resistance band.


But are home workouts and resistance-band training really as effective as pumping iron in the gym?


When it comes to “toning” your muscles, what is really happening is body fat loss, which allows more noticeable muscle definition. The way to achieve this is through a combination of diet and resistance training. Our muscles don’t change unless forced and the way to force change is by employing progressive overload. Progressive overload is a principle that requires you to continually increase the demands on your body in order to increase muscle strength, size and endurance. This increase in muscle size, strength and endurance is known as hypertrophy.


While machines and free weights may have the advantage when it comes to increasing the load, there are plenty of other ways to utilize hypertrophy to “tone” the muscles.


  1. Increase the weight but keep the same reps and tempo. This is where free weights and machines may have an advantage over bands since many resistance bands only go up to certain weights. Nevertheless, it is still an option to apply progressive overload with bands!
  2. Increase the volume in terms of sets and reps, but the weight/resistance stays the same.
  3. Increase the time under tension of the muscle by slowing the speed of the reps and sets. The weight/resistance, sets, and reps all stay the same.
  4. Decrease the rest time to complete your workout quicker. So, by not allowing the muscle to fully come back to 100%, you’re employing more of a “burn out” on your muscles and working them to fatigue. The weight/resistance, sets and reps all stay the same.
  5. Increase the range of motion. Try elevated glute bridges for more range of motion and a deeper contraction, or elevated split squats. These small variations will force your muscles to work in new ways and challenge your body. The weight/resistance, sets and reps all stay the same.


Regardless of which variation or combination of the above forms of progressive overload you choose, you must force your body to change. Doing the same thing over and over will produce the same results!! Mix it up!! Bands are a great way to do this!


Anther advantage of bands is that they are super versatile and easy to travel with. Even if your travel plans are halted due to the current crisis, these bands can be toted from one room to the next – depending on the kids’ activities!


Bands tend to be easier on the joints too since they don’t depend on gravity the way free weights do.


The verdict is in! You can and will get a great workout by utilizing resistance bands. The goal is to continue to challenge your body in new ways! For many of us, even just picking up a resistance band, is something new! Give it try!


And if you’re in the market for high quality bands, check out

Kristen Simmons

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Kristen Simmons

Full Time Training and Nutrition Coach for ADO Fitness, Nationally Qualified NPC Bikini Competitor, Precision Nutrition Coach & Certified Personal Trainer.

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