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5 Benefits of Resistance Bands to Maximize Your At-Home Workout ...

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Dane Miklaus
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The New York Times
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And the farther you pull the band, the heavier the resistance feels.That means resistance bands aren’t a one-size-fits-all tool for your workout: You need a variety of them to work different muscle groups, he says.I have three bands: a half-inch band (about 10 to 35 pounds of resistance), a 3/4-inch band (about 30 to 60 pounds of resistance), and a 1-3/4-inch band (about 50 to 120 pounds of resistance). I’d used them in the past during warm-ups or for stretching or mobility work, but never to a challenging extent.When I did, I was surprised by the difference I felt: They make the end of the move a lot harder than regular free weights do.Then I wondered: Does it just feel more difficult because I’m not used to it?Nope—the inherent nature of resistance bands means you actually are working harder at completion.“With a dumbbell, you are actually going to lose tension toward the top of the range of motion. And when you’re strength training at home with limited equipment options, working the same muscles back-to-back in a superset can help pre-exhaust your muscles and make them feel like they’re working harder.I’ve been using resistance bands as the second exercise in a lot of my supersets, challenging the same muscles that I’d already worked with “harder” moves: single-arm banded pull-downs after pull-ups, resistance-band hamstring curls after dumbbell Romanian deadlifts, overhead banded tricep extensions after dumbbell skull crushers, and so on.I hadn’t been a fan of supersets pre-quarantine, but the burnout you feel in a pre-exhaustion superset is enough to make me keep them in my workouts even when I’m back in the gym—whenever that may be.Confession: If money, space, and availability didn’t factor in here, I probably would never have tried resistance bands. And unlike dumbbells and weight plates, which take up a lot of space and will probably trip you or stub your toe at least once, resistance bands coil up small, so you can simply shove them in a drawer or under your bed.I do miss the adrenaline rush of moving heavy weights, but until that’s in the cards again, resistance bands have definitely made my at-home workouts a lot more enjoyable.

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