Resistance bands are one of the most useful tools in strength training that might very well be the most under-utilized. They can be used in a great ‘best supporting” role for many of your lifts. Yeah, we know not many brag about how they just PR’d to the Green Resistance Band. But believe it or not, they can take you much farther than you probably imagine.
The Resistance/Assistance changes with range of motion. Hey - that’s a good thing. Just because these guys don’t have a weight stamped on them doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. They actually provide the most benefit when you need it the most. Take the Pullup, for example. When used for assistance, the band provides the most help at the bottom of the exercise and the least once your chin is over the bar. All good. When used to add resistance to the pullup, it provides the least resistance at the bottom and the most as you pull at the top. Want to see your unbroken Pullup score rocket? Add resisted pullups to your warmup.
Aren’t the exercises too easy for me to see any benefit? Contrary to popular belief, having just a few different sized resistance bands opens up a ton of challenging exercises. Many of the exercises you are performing now can be supplemented with the resistance band. And some that are just out of reach are now achievable with just one or two bands. Take the Gymnastics Ring dip. It’s a very challenging exercise that is difficult to provide assistance for. Drop the rings too low and you can cheat with your feet maybe giving yourself too much help. Add a band between the rings that you can kneel in and off you go getting the most help in the bottom of the exercise and the least as your arms extend.
Resistance Bands do provide enough of a challenge. There are many that see resistance bands to be used as a precursor to ‘real’ weights and that they are meant to be exercise equipment that must be ‘graduated’ from. We’ve heard this one before - “All they are really good for is providing assistance to bodyweight exercises I already own.” Try knocking out a set of 25 pushups using the red band around your back. The next time “Cindy” or “Memorial Day Murph” comes up, bodyweight pushups will be a breeze.
They travel well. Lots of us travel for work - it’s part of the deal and although it’s a blast dropping in on the local CrossFit Box for a WOD, it’s not always possible. Easily fitting into your carry-on or even thrown in the back seat of your car on your way to a trail run, resistance bands can add a surprising amount of difficulty to bodyweight exercises without being a burden to bring with you. Pair them up with a few other easy to travel items and it won’t be a problem knocking yourself down.
They’re really affordable. Compared to a set of dumbbells or a kettlebell, you can outfit yourself with an entire pack of these bands which will bring just as many exercises to the table with a substantially better range of resistance. Get to the gym to lift the really heavy stuff, but equipping yourself with a few resistance bands will let you work on pushups, pullups, ring dips, muscle ups, and more right at home. And all those exercises will translate into faster WOD times.
All of our bands are 41" in total length or 20.5" if you measure them folded.
The Resistance/Assistance Ratings below [xxlbs - xxlbs] are an approximation of the help/resistance the band offers at the near unstretched state to the fully stretched state. Example, the Red Resistance Band will offer up to 50lbs of assistance when fully stretched, thereby making the 110lb athlete feel as if they weigh 60lbs.