In this post, we are going into the reason why you need to buy resistance bands. They are an essential part of your calisthenics equipment. They allow you to perform exercises with more ease which will allow you to build strength without losing perfect form. Next to that they are perfect for increasing your technique. You will be able to get that extra edge during training and overcome plateaus more quickly.
Resistance bands are elastic bands that are used for fitness, body weight training and physical therapy. Next to that they allow for a lot of rehabilitation training since they are so versatile in their use. They come in various shapes and sizes, some are tubular and some are flat. With the first, you’ll benefit from most when you are doing easier exercises or when you are recovering from an injury.
They often come with handles to make handling them easier. For the flat resistance bands, it is possible to buy actual handles to attach to the band which creates a similar option. The latter one is the one we will go into more within this article. They can be used for similar reasons mentioned before but they also allow for a lot more.
When it comes to tubular versus the flat resistance bands, the most important distance is that once the material starts wearing out, you’ll usually notice in time when the flat resistance band starts wearing down. With the tubular one usually you won’t notice in time and therefore it might break during the exercise! Therefore always check your gear before you start using it. Safety first!
There are also smaller flat resistance bands out there, sometimes referred to as hip bands. They are usually are used within Yoga and Pilates but can also be used in body weight and weight training. An alternative to purchasing hip bands, you are able to tie up the bigger flat resistance band to create a smaller sized band.
Most of the resistance bands are color coded. Each color representing a certain resistance, unfortunately, every brand or company uses pretty much their own set of colors so there is not really a certain color code to follow. You’ll have to check each brand on their own to decide which color matches which resistance.
Resistance band uses
Resistance bands offer resistance just as weights or machines you can find in the gym. Therefore they can be used to build up strength and muscle just by using the bands for any exercise. In calisthenics, the resistance bands are actually used to lower the resistance and therefore making the exercise easier.
I believe in calisthenics the resistance bands are best used for technique training and building strength. To give you a better idea of how to integrate the resistance bands into your routine let me give you an example. For this example, I’ll use the breakdown of a muscle up training routine. I will start with the hardest part of the exercise, the actual muscle up and then you can follow on with the actual breakdown of the routine if you are not able to do a muscle up yet just start with the step you are comfortable with! Remember to always do the exercise with perfect form! For the exercises that include a resistance band decide on your own which resistance you want to use, I usually use a medium resistance one.
Each of the following exercises you should perform 10 times.
- Muscle up
- Muscle up with a resistance band
- High pull up
- High pull up with a resistance band
- Pull up
- Pull up with a resistance band
- Negative pull up
- Negative pull up with a resistance band
- Australian pull up
You should at least try to aim for 3 sets of the routine above! The moment you start integrating the resistance band into your training you’ll see a lot more progression quickly. Because you break down the exercise into even smaller steps you’ll be able to grow more strength and muscle.
Benefits of resistance bands
- Cost effective. Resistance bands don’t cost a lot of money and are very worth the money you spend on them. You’ll see a faster progression. It allows you to versatile your training schedule and get that little extra out of your training.
- Adaptable for any fitness level. Because of the different resistances and the various uses they offer. They are suitable for any fitness level.
- No need for any storage space. Because of their small size, you can pretty much store them in any drawer or storage box. Usually, I leave them in my gym bag so I won’t forget them!
- They are excellent for traveling. Because of their weight and size, they are easy to take with you when you go traveling. Next to that not every gym has resistance bands available, good thing they fit perfectly in any gym bag!
- Hurting you during the exercise, because the material is made of latex it can create an unpleasant feeling on your skin when performing an exercise. I can’t possibly tell you how many times it created a burning sensation while performing a pull up on my lower legs! Next to that be careful the moment you finish the exercise. Be sure to let go of the resistance band slowly or else you might get snapped!
- Tangling! Remember how your earphones sometimes seem to tangle up within a second once you’ve put them away. This in a smaller matter applies to the resistance bands. They sometimes tangle up in your gym bag or when you let go finishing the exercise they sometimes jump up because of the elasticity. Creating a total tangled up mess. No worries though you will be able to untangle them with ease.
- Injuries! This mostly applies when you use the resistance band to create more resistance in other words, make the exercise heavier or harder. It is possible that when you are using a band that is to heavy you might use improper form. Therefore you risk injuries because of overloading or performing an exercise in an unhealthy position.
Should I buy all of the resistances out there?
Resistance bands can be bought in sets or are sold separately. You should purchase a couple different resistances to start off with. Most likely you are more advanced with certain exercises compared to others. Therefore the different resistances will allow you to integrate them into all of your different routines.
If you have the money to spend I would recommend buying all the different resistances. For the people with a little more tight budget that it is really not necessary to buy all the different resistances out there. Stick to three or four different resistances. For a starter kit, I would buy the low resistance, a medium resistance, and a heavy resistance band.
Please leave a comment below if you would like to see more insight on the resistance band or if you want me to add more exercise breakdowns.