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Resistance Bands or Dumbbells

Resistance bands can be seen at almost all gyms and rehabilitation centers as an important strength-training tool.  Are they just as effective as dumbbells and is it better to use one or the other?  They both have their own advantages as well as disadvantages when it comes to function and results. 

Dumbbells are usually the first things you think about when someone mentions weight training.  Dumbbells are a very functional way to strength train.  If you think about it, the daily activities you participate in require lifting, pushing and pulling of objects of different weights.  This is similar to what you would be doing when training with free weights.  Training those muscles you use to lift a box for example would be the same as performing a dumbbell squat.  A squat practiced with correct form can condition you to be comfortable with lifting heavy boxes as well as children without injuring yourself.  Dumbbells also give you the ease of tracking your progress and are universal no matter where you are.

There are some disadvantages to working with dumbbells as well.  If you are trying to start a home gym, they can be kind of pricey if you have to purchase several sizes.  Also, you cannot travel with them as easily as you can with resistance bands. If not used properly, they can cause injuries.  Especially if using a weight that is particularly challenging for you.

Resistance bands are lightweight so they are easy to travel with.  They also provide a constant resistance, which works the muscles in a different manner than weights would.  Bands are very popular in rehab facilities because they are much safer than dumbbells when dealing with post surgery patients and those with specific limitations.  Also, you do not need to work against gravity like you would with dumbbells.  This means they are more versatile and you can incorporate more muscles with a variety of directions to work your muscles in.  Resistance bands are also very affordable alternative.

Some disadvantages to bands would be the wear and tear could cause the to lose elasticity.  Different qualities of bands determine how long they will hold up for you.  Unlike dumbbells, resistance bands vary on their level of difficulty.  Usually they are different colors that match a specific resistance level.  Color-coding is not standard for all bands so if you buy a red band in the store it may be a different resistance than the red one you used at the gym yesterday. 

Overall, they both can be very useful tools to incorporate in your fitness routine.  It is recommended that you vary your workouts so that your muscles do not become used to one particular program.  By doing this you can avoid the plateaus that we often experience in our routines.  It is very important for women to incorporate strength training into their fitness routine for many reasons.  Having a variety of methods to do this helps us stay motivated and allows us to keep seeing those results we are looking for.  Consistency is the key to all programs with whatever form of strength training you decide to use.  Review and change your exercises about every 4-6 weeks.

This article was provided by Elite Training & Fitness Inc.
For more information on Elite Training & Fitness Inc., check out their full profile here.
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