Level-Up Your Workouts with Resistance Bands

Level-Up Your Workouts with Resistance Bands

Every day, someone new is beginning their own fitness journey. And that’s an amazing accomplishment in and of itself. The evidence is clear, everyone stands to gain from incorporating at least some activity into their lives. However, it’s understandable to feel bogged down by the amount of information out there. Whether you’re just starting out, or have some experience under your belt, we are here to help break down some of that information. Let’s start with familiarizing ourselves with one of the most common pieces of training equipment: resistance bands.  

First of all, what is a resistance band? Put simply, they are a tough, durable, rubber band made for the purpose of doing a large variety of exercises. Just like everyday elastic bands, these bands provide additional resistance as they are put under tension. These bands are best used for strength training - they can put a large amount of musculature under tension. It’s that time under tension that has been shown to drive muscle growth and strength gains.  Resistance bands also come in a wide range of styles and sizes. Some of the most common types are Power Bands, Mini-Latex Bands, Mini-Loop Bands, and Strength Tubes. 

Power Bands are thick, flat, and shaped as large rings. Often levels of resistance will be labeled as Light, Medium, Heavy, or Extra-Heavy. For reference Evoke’s Power band lineup uses those labels to correspond with: 20-30lbs, 30-50lbs, 40-80lbs, and 50-120lbs respectively. Power Bands are an excellent all-round choice for both beginners and more advanced athletes. Anchoring the band to a stable object or against your body allows for use in a variety of presses, rows, and lower body exercises like squats, lunges and deadlifts. 

Grabbing or anchoring the band at different lengths allows for an easy way to adjust the total level of resistance provided without having to switch bands. Power Bands are also often used to augment bodyweight exercises. For example: a band looped over the back will add some extra work to your push-up, while a band can provide some much-needed assistance with performing pull-ups. 

Power Bands can not only be used for strength exercise, but can be an excellent aid for a variety of stretches and joint mobilizations. For example, tensioning a Power Band against the instep of your foot helps reinforce good joint mechanics and improve ankle dorsiflexion.  Feel free to get creative too. The more you experiment and get comfortable with Power Bands, the more you’ll realize the large variety of exercises that you can do!  

Next, we have Mini-Latex Bands, colloquially known as Therapy Bands . While common in physiotherapy and other physical rehabilitation clinics, they are by no means only for injury recovery. They tend to be thinner, non-looped resistance bands with no handles. While the bands are relatively thinner, Evoke’s Mini-Latex Bands are made with thicker material to stand up to all kinds of tension in light, medium and heavy resistance levels.  Mini-Latex Bands provide a gentler approach when compared to other types of resistance bands. Often, Mini-Latex Bands are used as part of mobility and stability routines for specific joints. For example, they are an excellent option to build dynamic stability and range of motion through the shoulders. 

Due to their lower levels of resistance, Mini-Latex Bands can also be an excellent starting point for those may have just joined a resistance training program. Mini-Latex Bands are also commonly used in Pilates classes to add an amount of additional resistance to certain exercises. Mini-Latex Bands can also be used to facilitate a greater passive stretch than you would otherwise be able to reach. For example, laying supine and pulling against the band wrapped around your heel allows for a greater hamstring stretch than using just your hands to pull.  

How much extra resistance you may need will depends on the stretch, and it’s for this reason that Evoke offers a variety of resistance levels. Buying a variety of resistance levels allows for more fine-tuned adjustment as well.

Mini-Loop Bands are the best of both Power Bands and Mini-Latex Bands. As the name suggests, they share the same looped style as Power Bands but are much smaller; sharing a thickness and resistance level closer to Mini-Latex Bands. Like the other resistance bands, Mini-Loop Bands are usually made from rubber. However, some may be knitted fabric to reduce rubbing against and biting into your skin. 

Evoke has both the latex and knitted versions available for you in the form of multi-packs. These multi-packs offer three Mini-Loop Bands at light, medium, and heavy resistance and come in a mesh storage bag for portability. Mini-Loop Bands are a good choice for a variety of strength and stability exercises however, their ability to target the legs and glutes have earned them the nickname “Booty Bands”. 

The inward resistance from looping your legs through the band helps to force the glutes to push against that force. Don’t limit them to that though, they can also be used for a variety of stability and mobility exercises for joints like the shoulder and wrist. 

Strength Tubes are the best choice for those looking to mimic the experience of dumbbells or cable machines as seen in gyms. They are round, thick, non-looped bands with handles attached to allow for a better grip. Anchoring the Strength Tube around a solid structure allows for easy execution of horizontal rows and presses, while standing on the band allows for vertical versions, as well as lower body movements. 

Evoke’s Strength Tubes are built to with stand large amounts of tension and come in a variety of resistance levels, ranging from light, medium and heavy. Purchasing a variety of resistance levels, like the selection found in Evoke’s multi-kit is an excellent idea to allow for easy progression and adjustment as you get stronger.  The non-slip handles help to keep your hands secure, even when the workout starts to build a sweat. Strength Tubes can be an excellent way to learn common exercises and begin to build strength, without the need to spend on an expensive and sometimes intimidating gym membership. Even for more experienced lifters, Strength Tubes (and other resistance bands) offer a unique strength curve when compared to machines or traditional weights. 

Experimenting with a variety of resistance bands can be a worthwhile endeavour for a lifter trying to break through a plateau, or someone looking to start their own training journey. Now that you understand the options available to you, it’s time for you level-up your exercise program with the resistance bands that best fit your goals.

Author: Innovative Fitness 

Consult a physician prior to commencing an exercise program. If, at any time during exercise, you feel faint, dizzy, or experience pain, stop and consult your physician