Over the last few years I've been doing more and more training with elastic resistance bands (particularly for upper body exercises) and have become an increasingly passionate convert. Outlined below are a few of the reasons why:
Lightweight - Bands generate resistance through elastic tension, not weight. This makes them very light and exceptionally portable.
Versatile - Bands can be hooked up to a door, tree, post or simply pinned down by your own body making them an extremely versatile indoor and outdoor fitness solution.
Variety - Using a pair of bands and a secure anchor point you can mimic many of the exercise routinely performed in expensively equipped gyms. In addition, because bands generate resistance through elastic tension, not weight, you can target your muscles from angles and positions which are simply not possible with dumbbells or barbells.
Scalable - Bands are perfect for the fitness novice yet can also be scaled to the more advanced. Believe me, working with a thick set of bands is no joke.
Joint Friendly – In my opinion this is the most important benefit of training with elastic resistance. In most exercises bands generates peak force when your muscles are in a contracted position and least force when your muscles are in a stretched position. This is considerably easier on your joints and is great for fitness longevity. During my early twenties this would have meant nothing to me, my joints felt bulletproof. Now in my thirties I’ve reached a stage of life where I am really starting to appreciate the value of healthy joints and how easily they can be abused. I can only recommend others do the same.
To learn more about training with elastic resistance bands check out the latest edition of the Gymless Training System eBook which comes complete with a huge chapter of effective resistance band exercises so you can hit the ground running.