Resistance Bands Versus Dumbbells/Free Weights

The beauty of fitness, is there is so much variety when it comes to strength training, whether its using free weights, resistance bands, machines, weighted balls, etc.  What's great about the variety, is there is something that will work for everyone or any situation.  Thus, further eliminating EXCUSES!!  Ha!

So, when I took a poll on my Facebook page, as to what people wanted answers to, this was a popular topic.  Go figure!!!

Here's the deal, as you go about your workout program, one question that will cloud your head is what type of workout equipment that you should be using for optimal results. Many people get caught up in their thought patterns thinking that there’s only one specific type of equipment that will work optimally to achieve their goals. Really, this isn’t always the case. The type of equipment that will be best suited to you is largely going to depend on your goals as well as your current state of fitness. Let's jot down some pros and cons of various types, you can make the final decision – as this is about YOU and YOUR GOALS

Resistance Bands

First things first, let’s look at the benefits that resistance bands provide. Perhaps the single biggest advantage is the storage capacity. These are perfect for those doing home workout sessions because you can easily tuck them away in a drawer when not in use. This also makes them ideal for those looking for a workout on the road – um, HELLO, P90X, anyone?

Next, resistance bands also tend to be good for beginners because they are less intimidating for most and won’t provide quite the injury risk that free weights may. On the cons side of things though, resistance bands do tend to max out at a certain resistance level, so as you gain more and more strength, you might find that these just don’t challenge you as much as they should. When that happens, you’ll stop showing progress.  Also, if the resistance bands are too "heavy", they limit your range of motion, until you gain more strength, thus resulting in injury or labored results.  No THANKS!

Dumbbells/Free Weights

This leads us nicely into the discussion about dumbbells and free weights. When it comes to making strength gains, these earn top marks. Since you can continually add more and more weight, further increasing the resistance the equipment provides, this makes them ideal for 

maximizing the total tension you place your muscles under.

What’s more is that dumbbells and free weights will typically call the core into action to a much greater extent, so that too is going to help bring about a higher level of results from your workout program. Dumbbells are great for recognizing muscular weaknesses as well since each arm will be responsible for lifting a certain amount of weight. You’ll quickly recognize if one side of the body is struggling more than the other.

Another nice advantage to free weights is that they will provide slightly more exercise options than resistance bands will. While you can perform most of the same exercises with either choice of equipment, some exercises such as deadlifts, step-ups, or lunges are simply easier when using dumbbells and free weights.

On the cons side of dumbbells, they do take up far more storage space in a house, so unless you have a home gym environment, you’ll likely have to visit a commercial gym to use them. In addition to that, there is the chance of you dropping the weight, potentially causing injury, so that too needs to be considered.

Ultimately, you need to find the equipment that is best suited for your current fitness level and goals.  Best way to determine that is to consult with your Personal Trainer or your Beachbody Coach (ahem, cough, cough).  At the end of the day, both types of equipment can get you great results as long as you know how to go about using them correctly. 

So, I'd like to know what you use – resistance bands or dumbbells?  Please leave a quick comment below as to which you prefer or even which one you started with!  You never know, you could really help give direction to our readers!

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