It might be hard to believe, but resistance bands – when used in the right way – can be a major player in muscle strength, rehabilitation and keeping your core toned. They’re lightweight, portable and inexpensive, giving serious bang for your buck in enhanced strength training workouts.
Do resistance bands actually work or make a difference?
“The short answer is yes!” says Deanna Brash, personal trainer at Bodyism. “As resistance bands come in a variety of strengths, they can be used for a range of needs from rehabilitation to increasing strength, making them a beneficial addition to almost everyone's workouts”. Although weight training and machine workouts will definitely help you loose body fat and heighten your muscle mass, a resistance band – with its easy versatility to tailor any workout to fit your needs – is equally as good.
What should I look for when buying resistance bands?
Resistance bands are a no-fuss piece of workout gear. But, there are still a few differentiating factors to consider. Brash recommends sticking to the same brand, as this is important in regards to fitness progression. “When you mix and match them it doesn’t always work as each brand has different thicknesses and strengths,” advises the trainer. Some bands come in sets that are colour-coded according to tension level, which works as a useful guide as your different muscle groups all require different levels of resistance. Resistance bands with weight equivalents written on them or handles are a good option, too, and can help with upper body workouts, whereas loop bands are great for the whole body.
Is it OK to use resistance bands every day?
As with most questions in fitness: it depends. The number of days you should use resistance bands all depends on your fitness level, lifestyle and preference. But, as resistance bands keep exercises so flexible and varied, they are easier on the joints and for most people perfectly safe to use in everyday workouts. “However, it also largely depends on your goal and you still need to ensure you are engaging in active rest days and taking the necessary steps to recover between sessions”, notes Brash.
What are the best brands of resistance bands?
With so many variants of resistance bands out there, choosing the best brand comes down to your specific need. If you’re looking for full body workouts then the Bala Resistance Bands, with specified intensity levels, will help keep your body moving with the right momentum. For lower body workouts, the SPRI Xering Resistance Band Exercise Cord is great for toning the lower body and strengthening calves.
Take a look below at British Vogue’s picks of the best resistance bands for every need.
Best Resistance Bands For Beginners:
When you first start to incorporate resistance bands into your workout regime, take things slowly. As your muscles may not be used to the pressure, resistance bands that focus on one area or have a low intensity are great for beginners.
EYOBE resistance bands, £6.99, available at Amazon.co.uk.
Bintiva figure 8 resistance band, £9.99, available at Amazon.co.uk.
Best Looped Resistance Bands:
Looped resistance bands more often than not come in a pack of five with each band producing a different level of tension. These are great as they can be used to add additional resistance to exercises which will overall improve your strength and muscle endurance.
Gritin resistance bands, £17.99, available at Amazon.co.uk.
Bala resistance bands, £21.95, available at Johnlewis.com.
Best Resistance Bands With Handles:
Resistance bands with handles are seriously versatile and can be used in an even wider variety of exercises. If you struggle with pain in your wrists, the foam handles of the bands are easier to hold and make sure you are in the most comfortable position, too.
SYOSIN Tube resistance band, £14.97, available at Amazon.co.uk.
WonderCore resistance bands, £19.99, available at Argos.co.uk.
Best Resistance Bands For Glutes:
The glutes are the biggest muscles in your body, so you want something that packs a lot of punch to work them out. Loop resistance bands are great, but so are smaller bands specifically targeted to the lower part of the body.
SPRI Xering resistance band, £22.50, available at Amazon.co.uk.
Proworks resistance bands, £5.99, available at Amazon.co.uk.
Best Resistance Bands With A Door Anchor:
Some workouts call for a more steady pace, and a resistance band with a door anchor will make sure your body is upright and supported while you work on your muscles.
Meglio resistance bands set, £24.99, available at Amazon.co.uk.
HPYGN resistance bands set, £37.97, available at Amazon.co.uk.