Do Resistance Bands Really Work For Strength Training?

Fitness enthusiasts across the globe are often looking for new, affordable, and space-saving means to satisfy their sweat sessions, and resistance bands fit the bill for many. Lightweight and mobile, resistance bands are an attractive option for strength training, but do these colorful elastic bands actually deliver results? 

In short, the answer is yes. Your level of fitness and lifting capacity, as well as your personal health goals, have everything to do with the equipment you need for a results-driven workout. While body builders often use barbells, cable machines, or dumbbells for strength training, these bands can still be beneficial in a number of ways (via LiveStrong).

There is a large market for resistance bands because they can be a great substitute for many exercises that require weights, like bicep curls or adductor movements. The oversized bands may seem a bit intimidating at first glance, but once you try them, you might just be hooked.

Build muscle and burn fat with resistance bands

According to Verywell Fit, one of the remarkable things about resistance bands is their versatility, which allows ease when transitioning between exercises. The versatility of the bands support more muscle recruitment because the bands are not stable, (unlike a barbell or kettlebell), and that instability forces more of the muscle fibers to activate.

The bands actually force your muscles to work harder. Dane Miklaus, CEO and owner of Work training studio in Irvine, California, tells Self, "With bands, we have increasing resistance force as the band gets longer, which is typically at the peak of the movement, so we have the most amount of force at the end of the range of motion." Miklaus also mentions that the bands can be used at home in a similar fashion to the cable machines you typically find in the gym. By switching up the way you use the bands, and pulling them from different angles, you will achieve a great strength training workout.

Resistance bands are a comparable alternative to standard weights for strength training. Performance coach Dalton Wong tells Women's Health that resistance bands help burn fat by building muscle, stating, "By improving your strength, you can increase your lean muscle mass which helps to alter your body composition."