“Joel, what’s better bands or free weights?” I get this question often, so I have decided to post this small piece of article to give my take of this subject.
First, I would like to lay out a general comparison of both tools so we can see the advantages and disadvantages of both respectively.
Elastic rubber strips (tube or flat shape) that come in variety of colors, resistance and length to choose from. Resistance bands come in both latex and non-latex versions. They can be used with all kinds of handles, attachments and anchors which give them versatility to be used almost anywhere.
- Easy on the joints
- Space savers
- Variety of styles and lengths
- Tension increases throughout the motion
- Great to teach explosive movements
- They are used to rehabilitate injuries
- Limited amount of weight/resistance to choose from
Anything that is not attached to a machine or pulley mechanism such as dumbbells, kettle-bells, barbells, plates, medicine balls, sand bags, tires, etc..
- Bigger amount of weight to choose from
- Limited storage space
- Spotter/Partner needed for advanced movements
- Resistance doesn’t change throughout the motion
Having looked at the advantages and disadvantages of both tools, I would like to touch a little bit on the training benefit of both.
Resistance bands are great to introduce strength training for youth and women. They serve as the ice-breaker tool for many people as they find free weights a little intimidating. They help strengthen the stabilizer muscles creating a solid foundation for more advanced training methods or techniques. Also, as people get older, resistance bands are great transitional tool from free weights. A lot of people see resistance bands as the tool that bring definition and tone. This concept or idea is right even though you can accomplish definition with free weight as well. In the other hand, free weights are seeing as the muscle mass building tool even though now a days you can find bands that provide a tremendous amount of resistance, like the loop power training bands, that are use to build muscular power and strength, which help build muscular mass as well. In my years of experience in training I have developed a passion for resistance bands because they brings variation to the training program, the muscle burning experience, in my opinion is better than with free weights. When I use resistance bands I like to be creative and I have created exercises and moves that I’ve never seen before.
Free weights take the training experience to a whole new level due to the wider variety of weight to choose from. As a person lift more weight the strength increases, hypertrophy takes place and the body shapes up. Working out with free weights help you develop the secondary muscles involved in the movement as well as the stabilizers and core muscles.
At the end of the day resistance bands and free weights are like men and women, they need each other and they benefit from each other. So, my take on this topic is that neither of them are better but they compliment each other perfectly maximizing the workout, bringing variety to it and producing amazing results. So, start combining them both into your workout program and you’ll like it and you’ll see the difference.
**If you don’t have a clue on how to workout or how to use bands or free weights, please give us a call because we would love to help you get started**
I know there are other advantages and disadvantages for both, free weights and resistance bands but those listed above were the one that I personally consider the most important of all.
I would love to hear what you have to say based on your experience and expertise on the topic. Shoot your comments and feedback this way.
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