Mix Fitness's Blog

Dumbbells vs. Bands

Posted in Uncategorized by mixfitness on June 22, 2009
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Just yesterday, I had a conversation with my mom about the difference between resistance training with bands and hand-held weights.  For whatever reason, my mom finds the bands more fun than dumbbells.  So, today’s blog was inspired by our conversation.

Resistance training is a method of muscular conditioning that involves progressive use of resistance.  It helps both your muscles and bones get stronger.  And, is a very important part of any workout routine.  The form of resistance can be a variety of items including:  dumbbells, bands, medicine balls, weighted bars, kettlebells, and body weight.  It’s great to use a variety of equipment to keep your workouts interesting and keep your muscles guessing.

Dumbbells come in many shapes and colors, but at the end of the day, are hand-held.  They provide you with the same amount of resistance throughout the exercise.  Meaning, if you lift a 5-pound dumbbell, it weighs 5 pounds at the beginning and the end of the motion.  You may be thinking, duh!  But, hold on.  Bands, too, come in lots of colors and are elastic.  The key difference between bands and dumbbells is the band’s elastic property.  And, this is what I explained to my mom.  Bands have a variable amount of resistance throughout the exercise.  The more the band stretches, the harder the exercise becomes.  Let’s use the bicep curl as an example.  To perform this exercise standing, you anchor one end of the band under your right foot and hold the opposite end in your right hand.  As you begin the curl, the band provides moderate resistance.  As you lift higher, the band provides heavier resistance.  There’s nothing wrong with that!   It’s just something to be aware of.

Bands are great to bring with you on travel since they easily fit into a suitcase without adding weight.  When using the bands, make sure that you anchor one end of the band under your foot or tie it to a doorknob or table.  Just like when using dumbells, at some point, you will need to increase to a thicker band in order to stimulate results.  So, if you’re like my mom – and prefer the bands – use them.  But, remember that variety is the spice of life.  Try all the fitness toys available to you!