How to Choose Resistance Bands for Exercise

by Jodee on May 5, 2011

Using resistance bands for fitness are a great choice. They are reasonably priced, portable and can be used for strength training as well as stretching exercises.

Incorporating resistance bands into your fitness routine is a great choice, since the level of resistance can be adjusted very easily. Using them means you can change your usual exercise routine to include some different movements than if you were using a machine. The resistance you will experience is different than from working out with free weights, too, and using the bands will help stave off boredom with your fitness routine.

Exercise bands are approximately three feet in length and six inches wide. Some of them look like tubes, and this model will be equipped with handles. Other types of resistance bands look more like a ribbon, and these can be wrapped around a pole or the leg of a chair during use.

Before using resistance bands, examine them carefully to ensure that they are free from tears and holes by holding it up to the light. If you see a worn spot, the band should be replaced immediately.

Getting the Right Exercise Band

Before you can choose the right exercise band, consider how you will be using it. If you are planning to use resistance bands for Pilates, look for one with a flat shape. This style is easier for you to position around your body when working out.

Bands in a tube shape equipped with handles are better suited to strength training. You will want to be able able to get a firm grip on the band while performing resistance exercises.

Another consideration when you want to choose resistance bands for exercise is length. Using a band that is too short will not give you a full range of motion. Buy an exercise band that is within eight inches of your height to give you the maximum benefit.

Most of the bands available on the market are made of latex. People living with latex allergies should shop around to find a non-latex variety.

Level of resistance varies, depending on the band you use. Buying a multi-pack of bands with different resistance levels will help you find the right level for you, and you have the option of using bands with different resistance for different types of exercise. Keep in mind that the thicker the band is, the more resistance it will give you.

Select the Right Exercise Band Resistance

If you will be using exercise bands for the first time, start with one with a 3-6 lb. resistance. Experienced resistance band users who are looking for more challenge can go with a medium resistance one (7 lb. and up). Heavy bands (15 lb. or more) should be reserved for people who have experience with this type of exercise equipment.

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