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The resistance band is a great tool for those that may not have as much experience with free weights, are just starting out with their fitness programs, or if you’re stuck in a hotel room or place without free weights. Choosing the right resistance band is almost as crucial as performing the right exercises. And because there is no number on the side that says “15lbs” or “35lbs,” choosing the right band can get a little confusing.
First off, resistance bands are coded by color based on resistance. This color coded scheme is different for each company, so you have to do a little research before going to the store to purchase your own. Many times, unless it’s a specialty health and fitness store, a store will only carry one or two brands, with only one or two colors. These are usually divided into “for men” and “for women.” You’ll usually be able to determine which one is which just by looking at the packaging (if there’s a woman on it, then its most like for women. Vice versa ). This will actually help you with choosing the right resistance, as you now have a starting point. Whats more, since resistance bands are so cheap, even if you get the wrong resistance, it won’t be a huge financial set back (which may not be true for kettlebells).
I chose my resistance band just by walking into a Models and picking out the cheapest one. I chose the one with the guy on the packaging and went home to find out how difficult it really was to train with a resistance band. Unfortunately there is no logo on the band for me to tell you guys what company it is from. However, I can provide you guys with a starting point:
Black – Men, Advanced fitness,
Yellow – Women, Beginners
Green – Beginners, Men and Women
Red – Average Fitness, Men and Women
Blue – Advanced Fitness, Men and Women
Price Range: $5 – $8
For Lifeline Professional:
Level 1 – Teal – 10 lbs of resistance
Level 2 – Purple – 20 lbs of resistance
Level 3 – Pink – 30 lbs of resistance
Level 4 – Magenta – 40lbs of resistance
Level 5 – Orange – 50lbs of resistance
Level 6 – Red – 60lbs of resistance
Level 7 – Yellow – 70lbs of resistance
Level 8 – Green – 80lbs of resistance
Level 9 – Blue – 90lbs of resistance
Level 10 – Black – 100lbs of resistance
Price Range: $11 – $17
Use this as a guide. If you come across any other quality companies, please let me know.
Developing your own resistance band training routine is fairly simple. I normally do not include them in my regular workouts simply because I perform exercises which are ballistic in nature. There is very little momentum use when it comes to resistance band training. This is precisely why resistance bands are often used for speed training.
When training for speed, and athlete strapped to heavy duty resistance bands and told to run or perform some sort of calisthenic exercise. I have used the resistance band as a punching drill by wrapping the band around a free-standing heavy bag behind me, and throwing punches towards a focus mitt which is held by a partner. Try performing 20 reps with each hand with the resistance band, then perform another 20 reps without the resistance band. You will notice a considerable increase of speed in your punches.
I have included a sample resistance routine for you guys to start off with:
- Chest Press 3 x 8
- Band Rows 3 x 10
- Squats 3 x 15
Rest 5 minutes, then:
- Shoulder Press 2 x 10
- Bicep Curl 2 x 8
- Upright Rows 2 x 10
- Tricep Extension 2 x 8
As stated, perform 3 rounds of the compound circuit, resting 60 seconds between each round, then rest 5 minutes after the last round, and move onto the isolation circuit. This is a great beginner routine and something that you can perform in a hotel room. The workout will not take you long if performed correctly. Feel free to scale the workout based on your fitness level.
A few more pointers regarding resistance bands:
- Resistance bands will feel completely different then what you are used to. If you are a kettlebell, free weight, or bodyweight fanatic (such as myself), then you will be pleasantly surprised as to the difficulty and effectiveness of resistance band training.
- Resistance bands are the most diverse pieces of equipment, in that you can easily create your own unique exercise based on your needs.
- Resistance bands will wear out eventually due to overuse and if they are exposed to heat for a prolonged periods of time. If your resistance band breaks, don’t go complaining to the company. Expect a resistance band to last 6 months if you use them regularly with traditional exercises. They may go earlier if you use them for sports-specific practice.
- Do not overstretch a band, and start off slowly into a routine. It is not a piece of equipment that is dangerous. But poor technique and over training is dangerous and will put you at risk for injury.
I hope this post will help you in purchasing and using resistance bands. Any other questions, feel free to post in comments.
– Parth Shah