Frequently Asked Questions
Do resistance bands work?
In short, yes!
Resistance Bands can be used for a variety of reasons. They were originally used for rehabilitation to ease patients back to fitness and still serve this function. However they are now more commonly used as an alternative, or complementary, to weights as part of resistance training.
In a review of research into the comparison of resistance bands vs conventional devices (weight machines & dumbbells on the outcome of muscular strength, the conclusion was “Elastic resistance training is able to promote similar strength gains to conventional resistance training”
In research, resistance band training has been shown to be a "feasible alternative" to lifting weights when it comes to activating your muscles.
So, yes they work!
Are resistance bands better than weights?
Both resistance bands and free weights are excellent options for strength training. Most of the exercises you do with free weights, can also be done using resistance bands. Both are capable of building strength and muscle so whether 1 is better than the other is largely subject to preference.
Benefits of resistance bands:
Inexpensive (relative to a comprehensive kit of free weights)
Lightweight (easy to carry and no risk of injury if you drop one on your toe!)
Portable (pack in your suitcase for holiday)
Small footprint (packed away or hung up, they don’t take up much space!)
Ability to do a full body workout with just the 1 piece of equipment
Limited space required
Can also be used for rehabilitation and stretching
Less prone to injury (form is important for both, but poor form using weights will likely cause significant injury)
Can be combined with free weights to add additional resistance & progression
How do resistance bands work?
Much like free weights, resistance bands work by providing an external resistance for your muscles to work against.
Unlike with free weights however, the further you stretch a resistance band, the greater the resistance load & muscle contraction.
Take a bicep curl for example. With a dumbbell, you lose tension at the top when you pause and the greatest level of tension and muscle contraction is in the middle of the movement. With a resistance band you have increasing tension throughout the whole exercise with the greatest level at the top. Even when you pause at the top, your muscle is under resistance from the band.
The instability created by the bands also helps target the surrounding smaller muscles, often missed with traditional free weights.
Which resistance bands should I buy?
This will largely be down to personal choice and your fitness goals.
There are 2 types of bands available on The Slouch Potato. Short Loop (often known as Booty / Thigh / Mini bands) and Long Loop (often known as Body / Pull Up / Flat bands).
The short loop booty bands are ideal if you're looking for a targeted lower body workout (hence why they’re sometimes called Booty bands).
The long loop body bands are a lot more versatile and you can do a full body workout with just these bands.
We only sell fabric bands and once you’ve tried latex/rubber bands, you’ll understand why. Our fabric bands use a fabric/elastic blend which are far superior to the cheaper latex bands. They’re more comfortable to use without the risk of rolling, snapping or splitting.
Are resistance bands good for home workouts/exercise?
Resistance Bands are the ultimate piece of fitness equipment for use at home. If you only have 1 piece of exercise equipment in your home, this should be it.
Firstly, research has shown that they are comparable to free weights, when it comes to building strength and muscle.
Other benefits of a home workout with resistance bands include:
You don’t need much space to workout
They are lightweight so are safe around children & pets
Easy to store & move. Pack away in a bag or hang up on the back of a door
They are cheap in comparison to a collection of free weights
Portable so you can take your workout anywhere
Low impact so no running or jumping required 😊
Do resistance bands burn fat?
The only way to lose body fat is to be in a calorie deficit and the best way to achieve that is through your diet and nutrition (not necessarily “being on a diet”).
The benefit of resistance training (using resistance bands for example) is that you will maintain and/or build muscle. Muscle boosts your BMR (resting metabolism) which enables your body to burn more calories, even when you’re not doing anything! Cardio is great for your general cardiovascular health and burning calories while you’re doing it, but strength training burns calories even after you workout.
Whether you want to build muscle or not, you certainly don’t want to lose it (reduced metabolism, strength, mobility etc…)
Can you get toned using resistance bands?
There’s no such thing as toning a muscle. You can ‘look toned’ however and the best way to achieve that is by losing body fat and building muscle.
Research has shown that resistance bands are a feasible alternative to free weights and can help build strength and muscle mass.
Therefore, resistance bands can help you get ‘toned’ (alongside a calorie controlled diet) by helping to build muscle and boost your metabolism to burn calories more efficiently.
Do resistance bands reduce stomach fat?
Unfortunately, you can’t spot reduce body fat so a lot of where you store your fat will depend on your genetics and hormones.
You can change your body shape to a certain degree however by building muscle. Muscle in turn, then boosts your metabolism, helping you to burn calories more efficiently & subsequently burn body fat.
How often should I use resistance bands?
This will largely depend on your fitness goals and your lifestyle but it’s best to aim for between 2-4 days a week.
If you are doing a full body workout, then 2-3 days a week should be fine. Rest is important as this is when your muscles are recovering and rebuilding.
If you are breaking up your workouts to focus on upper body 1 day, then lower body the next, you can use the bands every day, as you will be resting your muscles in between sessions.
It is always best to start slow and build progression over time.
What are the disadvantages of resistance bands?
If you are a serious bodybuilder, free weights and weight machines will provide you with the heavy weights required to build larger muscles.
Poor quality, cheap and damaged resistance bands may post a potential risk of injury if they snap or break when in use. To a certain degree, you get what you pay for when it comes to resistance bands.
Unlike free weights, there aren’t as many levels of resistance between bands so quantifying your progress can be trickier than with graded dumbbells.
I've never used resistance bands. How do I use them?
While we supply a digital How To guide with all orders to get you started we advise that the best way to start and to see the real benefits of progressive resistance training, would be working with a qualified fitness professional/personal trainer.
Remember, if you have any health concerns about starting a new exercise or program, always consult your doctor.
How long will my order take to arrive?
We aim to process all orders within 5 working days (although we try to process it the next day!) and use Royal Mail 2nd Class delivery. Please allow 14 days to receive your order after which time, feel free to get in touch by emailing email@example.com
What's your returns policy?
We're confident you'll love your new bands but if for any reason you're not, within the 1st 30 days after receiving your goods, get in touch and we'll arrange a full refund.
For hygiene reasons we are unable to accept returns for used goods, unless they are faulty. This does not affect your statutory rights.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll let you know what you need to do.
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