Resistance Band Strength Training over Weight Lifting

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Dumbells

Why Resistance Band Strength Training?

Lifting Weights is Fun…But Looking, Feeling and Moving Great is AWESOME!!

Is Lifting Weights Getting YOU to Move Better??

During the past 20 years of resistance band strength training, I have periodically slipped back into my free weight training mindset only to quickly return back to strength training with bands.

I often ask myself…“Why Resistance Band Strength Training??”

I definitely enjoyed lifting weights but when I began looking at the big picture and started listening to my body, it became very apparent—free weight strength training was not a long-term strength training solution if my goals were to stay committed to an active fitness lifestyle that included being able to move well and quickly.

In thinking back over the years it has become very apparent why I, as well as 1000’s of RBT followers, have chosen resistance band strength training over free weight strengthening.

9 Reasons to Choose Resistance Band Strength Training over Weight Lifting

1. Builds “Whole Body” Strength

The body is a 3-dimensional, multi-planer designed machine that must be strength trained as a complete kinetic chain if the goal is to look, feel and most importantly, move better. Band training allows you to train the whole body using multiple vectors, multiple speeds, and a changing ascending resistance while exercising in any posture or position you choose to use.

During my years of free weight training, I found myself using the same exercises and movement patterns. This lead to uncomfortable and functionally limiting joint stiffness as well as soft tissue pain that lasted several days after a workout. Obviously not something that was conducive to moving great.

2. Less Chance of Injury and More Joint Friendly

Without question, band training is going to be easier to learn, more adaptable to any strength level and significantly more joint friendly. Being completely devoted to a free weight only program does not allow joint forces to be altered.

This, over time, causes joint surfaces and surrounding soft tissues to develop wear patterns which ultimately leads to longer lasting post exercise inflammation—noted by joint pain and stiffness. Repeated episodes of this will ultimately lead to joint breakdown and your body not being able to continue exercising.

3. Allows for Tremendous Body Weight Exercise Creativity

Body weight training provides for multiple exercise options but once you have mastered most traditional body weight movements, it becomes difficult to progress without adding in some type of resistance. However, with free weights this requires using tools that are often non-portable and limited by gravity.

Band training allows body weight training to remain highly portable while being able to impact traditional body weight training with multiple resistance vectors. This includes assisted body weight exercises that are often too challenging for many of us mortals to do. As a result, band training makes body weight training even better.

Collage of Band Training

4. Improves Your Balance

Balance is keeping your base of support over your center of gravity. Therefore, to improve standing balance, strength training exercises should be done on our feet. Resistance band strength training was designed to strength train in an upright standing position versus lying down or sitting.

As a result, band training allows you to continually train balance by constantly challenging your center of gravity over what is a frequently seen standing base of support.

5. Greater Convenience

Band training provides significantly more strength training convenience in regards to where, what and how you wish to train on a particular day. The portability, unlimited resistance and multi-vector options allow you to train any movement, anywhere at any intensity. Free weight training can’t match that level of versatility or portability.

6. Independent of Gravity

Being independent of gravity is a huge benefit of strength training with bands. Being independent of gravity, you can create horizontal, rotational, and combinations of vertical-horizontal and rotational resistance vectors.

Not only do our joints love this, but it allows you to attack muscles 3-dimensionally, using a multi-planar approach that is proven to improve muscle definition. It also increases “real world” strength by making muscles strong in all directions.

RBT Band Training

7. Strengthens the Core With Every Movement

The abdominal muscles of the core are 3-dimensional which means they must be influenced using a 3D approach. Training on our feet 90% of the time allows us to activate the core by taking advantage of upper and lower extremities having to work simultaneously.

This, in turn, forces the core to be on call all the time as a dynamic stabilizer. This occurs far less frequently with free weight training because of its influence on the vertical vector only.

8. Improves Flexibility While Building Strength

It’s true. A band’s elastic qualities function just like a muscle would. As the band lengthens, the muscle is shortening and as the band is shortening, the muscle is forced to lengthen as long as tension remains on the band. As a result, the band causes a muscle to functionally stretch and shorten on every rep.

Band Quote

This repeated lengthening allows band training to influence flexibility and mobility far more than free weights can.

9. Much Less Expensive

When you look at the number of exercises, the cost per pound of resistance and the durability of a flat continuously looped band, it quickly becomes apparent that you are spending pennies per workout. Considering 1 band can provide 40lbs of resistance variability and a free weight can create a single level of resistance variability, it becomes very obvious which strength training tool is going to give you the most resistance options.

For example, to replicate a green XL continuously looped band resistance, it would require having at least 8 different levels of dumbbells or kettlebells, not including having pairs of each if you want to train bilaterally. That is 8 to 16 total dumbbells which I promise will cost more than a $52 green XL band.

Quantum Band Green

Dumbell Rack

Summary

Performing resistance band strength training versus lifting weights comes down to using a strength training tool that provides you with the opportunity to strength train for the long-term conveniently while allowing you to look, feel, and move great without the concerns that come with lifting free weights only.

For you that find weight lifting is not providing you what you need, I encourage you to consider incorporating resistance band training using flat continuously looped quantum bands into your strength training workouts.


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One Response to "Resistance Band Strength Training over Weight Lifting"
  1. mike says:

    I agree with you. I have and do hit the iron but I find the weight training limits my range of motion. Thats why I love bands and TRX training.

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Meet Dave

Dave Schmitz, PT, CSCS, PES has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, general conditioning, and performance since 1996. He is the founder & co-owner of Resistance Band Training— the leading band provider worldwide.

Along with being a co-author of the Amazon best seller, Total Body Breakthroughs, Dave is also the author and producer of numerous fitness & nutrition articles, E-books, DVDs. His passion is focused on trainers, clients, and athletes improve their body’s ability to handle momentum, gravity and ground reaction forces using elastic resistance. Dave also consults online with several high schools, universities, private performance training business and is also on the board of experts for the International Youth and Conditioning Association (IYCA).

 

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