Resistance bands are great tools to build strength and maintain mobility, ideal for at-home workouts and completing prehab exercises. However, with so many different band lengths, thicknesses and styles, what bands should you invest in and for which purposes?
Long, thick resistance loop bands
Often called pull-up bands, these are those long bands of varying thickness that are typically around 2m long and can be tied in a loop to bars for help in training for a full pull-up. These can also be tied to a barbell on each end and stood on to increase resistance/weight when doing deadlifts or similar. When selecting your band, pay attention to the resistance level, this should be written in lbs so you can get an idea of what level of assistance you want – the higher the resistance, the more assistance with the pull up, but the harder the workout if you use the band for other purposes.
Short resistance loop bands
Otherwise known as ‘booty bands’ this style of resistance band is normally used around the legs, either at the ankles or further up around the thighs. These bands can work the glutes and the adductors/abductors. Very useful to incorporate into an S&C session, for rehabilitation purposes, or to activate the glutes before a run. Grab a pack of varying resistance or a single band from your local sports store, we liked the bands from Meglio.
Non-loop resistance bands
As this is one long piece of stretchy material, this pilates style of resistance band has more versatility and can be attached to objects or the ends tied to form a loop as required. Uses include: tie to a beam/stair rail and pull with both arms to mimic freestyle swim stroke; ankle mobility inversions and eversions; stand on and and pull up with arms for bicep and tricep exercises; and many more.
Photo from Geert Pieters, Upsplash.