In this article we will tell you everything you need to know about fitness bands! We'll explain what exactly fitness bands are, what the differences are between the various colors and shapes, and of course, how you can use them to do the workout that's right for you.
What are fitness bands anyway?
Fitness bands are elastic rubber bands, usually made of latex or rubber, which are often between 1 and 2.5 meters long and with which you can perform pulling and holding exercises. They were originally used primarily in physical therapy to target specific muscle regions for regeneration. In addition, professional athletes in particular made use of fitness bands to stretch their muscles and to complete intensive endurance and muscle-building units in the best possible way. In the meantime, however, hobby and recreational athletes have also realized that fitness bands offer immense advantages, not only for the sick or professional athletes: Flexible in use, super gentle on the joints due to the natural movements, and suitable for constant muscle building, they have become a workout tool for everyone. Basically, fitness bands work quite simply: Through the pull, the fitness band gives way and reacts with a counter pull, which in the long run has a positive effect on the muscles as well as on muscle growth. And as if by the way, this also trains motor skills and sense of balance.
Fitness bands are therefore not only perfect for stretching and warming up before strenuous weight training, but also for completing entire training sessions. When done correctly, fitness band exercises are the ideal way to help prevent injuries and build solid core stability. And the best thing about it: Whether they are tied to the door handle in a hotel room or around a tree outside, they can be used anywhere and at any time and serve as a great tool for your individual workout.
What are the different types of fitness bands?
If you have decided to buy fitness bands and are now spoiled for choice, you should consider a few things, because there are many different bands on the market and you want to find the one that suits you best.
The best known of the fitness bands is the Thera-Band. Similar to the Tempo handkerchief, Thera is the manufacturer, but the name has become common parlance, so that now many gymnastic or fitness bands are also called Theraband. Therabands are usually elastic rubber strips in lengths from 1m to 50m (for self-cutting). Therabands are usually made of latex, but now there are also latex-free, which are also suitable for allergy sufferers. Therabands are "the original" and are used today in physiotherapy, as well as for gymnastics and recreational sports.
The so-called Deuser band is in contrast to the open Theraband tubular and was invented in the 60s by Erich Deuser. For a long time it was an integral part of the training equipment of the German national soccer team and today it is mainly used in sports medicine, physiotherapy and rehabilitation gymnastics. The Deuser band is available in different models and designs, which differ mainly in hardness.
In addition to the two most famous variants, there are countless other fitness band models, including strip-shaped ones with the most diverse types of handles at the two ends, expander bands such as the rope-like tube bands, or tubular and oval-shaped bands such as these loop bands.
Regardless of which shape you choose, you need to pay attention to two things when buying: First, the lengths make a big difference in how you can train with the bands. A 1m band, for example, opens up a completely different repertoire of exercises than a 2.5m band! So make sure you choose the right length for your exercises so you won't be disappointed. Just as crucial as the length of the band is its resistance strength: it can usually be seen in the width or thickness of the fitness bands. The wider a band is, the stronger the resistance.
Basically, by the way, beginners should always start with the light fitness bands, whereas people with a better condition can start directly with the medium-heavy bands. Due to the often quite low purchase costs, most people also decide to buy a whole set of different fitness bands, so that the right length and band strength is always available for every exercise. You can find an example of an inexpensive set here. If the set doesn't include a carrying bag for the bands, you should consider whether you need one of those as well, just as there are different handles that you can buy in addition and change on your bands to your liking.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different bands?
At this point, we would like to tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of the most common different fitness bands.
The exercise band
One of the most common Fitness band-types at all. The advantage is that it often comes in long lengths, but you can easily wrap the band around your hand so that the length adjusts perfectly to your exercise. It's inexpensive, available from many manufacturers, and suitable for almost all endurance and strength sports.
Go to our gymnastic bands!
The resistance/climbing band:
Resistance bands or also pull-up bands like these are especially tear-resistant and can therefore be used indoors and outdoors. Their flexibility allows them to be attached to doors, trees or lanterns. They are available in different strengths, so that everyone can train with them and also a constant increase is possible. Another trick: If a band is too light for you, you can simply double it, which also creates double the resistance. You can use resistance and pull-up bands for outdoor sports like Calisthenics and Freeletics as well as indoor, as a supplement to your HomeGym.
Go to our pull-up bands!
The Deuserband is a famous variation of the resistance and pull-up band. It is named after Erich Deuser, that was a famous German physiotherapist who coached the German national soccer team among others. Nowadays, the bands are available everywhere online, but sometimes cost a little more than those from lesser-known manufacturers because of the well-known manufacturer. The Deuserband is versatile, both for yoga and Pilates, as well as for fitness exercises indoor and outdoor.
The original. Versatile for therapy and fitness. Therabands come in all kinds of shapes and models, and with the brand you definitely buy experience. The disadvantage: depending on the manufacturer, the products can also be somewhat more expensive than others of similar quality. The theraband is very flexible and can be easily incorporated into any workout.
Loop Bands / Mini Bands
Loop bands like these are loop shaped and come in different strengths. The sets are very inexpensive and provide a whole bunch of new exercise options. They are easy to store and even come with a handy carry bag. They are just as suitable as a supplement to aerobics and yoga as they are for crossfit and strength training.
Fabric Resistance Bands:
Very similar to the loop bands, but made of fabric, much wider and stronger. They are especially suitable as stabilization for squats and many glute exercises.
Tube bands with handle:
Tube bands/ Resistance bands with handle are a bit the exotic among fitness bands, instead of a wide rubber fabric they are usually thin and tubular, with handles on both ends. The handles allow them to be used in a variety of ways, making them ideal for strength-building exercises in particular. Tube bands are well suited as a supplement for strength and power endurance sports.
Resistance band for running training:
Especially interesting for the runners among you. You hook the resistance band somewhere and run against the pull, which responds with resistance and pulls you back. Perfect for runners and people who want to optimize both strength and speed of their running! Costs more than regular resistance bands though.
Can I use the fitness band for muscle building training?
Of course, every athlete has one important question: can I use it for muscle building training? The answer is yes, of course. Just like weights, the bands provide a stimulus to your muscle through resistance, which the muscle tries to adapt to. Which means that if the stimulus is strong enough, it will build your muscle. The only important thing is that the stimulus acting on your muscle increases continuously. Just as with weight training, the resistance must be constantly increased. You can do this easily by switching from bands with lighter resistance to bands with higher resistance.
By the way: If the high resistance bands are not enough for you, you can easily combine them with lighter resistance bands. This also increases the strength of the bands and the muscle training can continue!
Which muscle groups can I train with the fitness bands?
Basically, you can train any of your muscle groups with fitness bands. Most of the time, training with the bands is so strenuous that you not only strengthen your muscles but also lose fat. In addition, depending on the movement, the bands are very easy on the joints and exercises with them can also have a relaxing effect.
You can find on the Internet many fitness band exercisesthat explain how to train especially your arms and shoulders, as well as exercises for the back. Chest and legs are also not left out: Most of the time, people simply combine fitness bands with other fitness exercises, making them harder to perform. For example, some people combine them with their bodyweight exercises or simply take them out to the nearest tree or soccer goal. The most important thing, as with any workout, is that you train regularly, increase continuously and record your progress. This will ensure that your muscles do not stagnate in their development.
The principle of fitness bands is the same regardless of the type of band: your pulling movement is followed by the resistance of the band, the greater the pulling force, the higher the resistance. If you continuously stay on a strenuous but not overwhelming pull, and steadily increase with the band's resistance, you can effectively stimulate your muscles and encourage them to grow through these stimuli.
How can I exercise with fitness bands?
The internet is full of exercises with fitness bands. Here we have put together a few basics for you to start from. You can vary, combine and change the exercises as you like. Just make sure that you do them correctly and that your movements remain natural. This way you can take advantage of the joint-saving effect and don't do yourself any additional harm with the bands.
Exercise No. 1: Lateral Raise
Stand upright with both legs hip-width apart on the middle of the band and take both ends (ideally the handles of expander bands) in your hands. Tighten your abdominal muscles and lower back and push yourself slightly into a hollow back. Then take your arms sideways up to shoulder height. Hold the position for a few seconds and then slowly lower your arms back down.
Exercise No. 2: Lat pull-down
Stand about shoulder-width apart and hold the band above your head with both hands gripped slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Your arms are extended and your body is in an X position. Tighten the band by pulling on it. Now pull the arms stretched down behind your head to neck level and hold it there for a moment. Then go back up into X-position. If the exercise with the band is too easy for you, take it double and repeat the exercise again.
Exercise No. 3: Rowing
A good full-body exercise: sit upright on the floor and extend your feet forward. Clamp the band in front of your feet, your hands grasp the ends of the band to the side of your body. Now pull the band toward your chest, bringing your elbows back past your sides. Be sure to pull your shoulder blades together when you are behind. Loosen the band a bit by stretching your arms out again. Then pull the band back towards you.
Exercise No. 4: Leg Extension
Get on all fours, preferably on a soft surface. Clamp the band around your feet and hold both ends with your hands in front. Facing forward, extend one leg backward, keeping your upper body straight and forming a line with the leg. Stay like this for a moment, then lower the leg back into a quadruped position. When you are ready, do the exercise again.
Exercise #5: Triceps Stretch
Stand hip-width apart and bend your knees slightly. Your body is upright, your shoulders are slightly back. With one hand hold the fitness band behind your back, the other hand now grips the band behind the back of your head. Then extend your arm upward so that it tightens and you feel strain on your triceps. Slowly slide your top hand back down to the level of the back of your head, then pull it back up. When you're done, don't forget to switch sides!
Exercise #6: Biceps Curls
The classic band exercise. You stand shoulder-width apart on the band with your feet, your hands slightly bent at the side of your body, gripping each end of the band at the level of your hips. Make sure that you stand upright and that your back is slightly arched. Now bend your elbows until your arms are about 45 degrees to the sky, this is the "curl". Lower your arms back to the side of your body and repeat the exercise according to your planned set.
Exercise #8: Squat
A very effective leg exercise, but you need to pay close attention to the execution. Stand hip-width apart and centered on the fitness band. Hold the ends in your hands at hip level and keep your arms slightly bent. Now get into squat position: you push your butt towards your ankles, making sure to have a fully extended lower back. At the same time, your arms go up in front with the ends of the band, as if you were holding up a shield. Hold there briefly and then return to the starting position.
Fitness bands are suitable for any situation, whether regeneration and stabilization of muscles or for specific building. You can perform an infinite variety of exercises with them, but you must always make sure that the movements are performed correctly. They are inexpensive, tend to last a long time, and quite often replace some expensive gym equipment (especially cable pulls!). For those who have a home gym or work out outdoors, fitness bands are a very useful tool that is inexpensive to purchase.
Video: 40 exercises with fitness bands
Are you looking for high-quality fitness bands? You can get them here!