This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in September of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NahD4dU8Ork&t=106s
Bob: Today we’re going to talk about the top 10 reasons why resistance bands beat free weights.
Brad: Whoa, that’s a strong statement Bob. But you know, free weights are likely the most common resistance type of exercise over time. But resistance bands are making a strong run. And there’s some real good reasons for it. Not to say they’re better than steel weights. But they’re different. And there’s some advantages that they have that you cannot get with steel weights. So that’s what we’re going to talk about. As a matter of fact, there are people who use both and combine them so they get the maximum workout that they can.
Bob: Exactly. Best of both worlds.
Brad: Absolutely, Bob.
Bob: Should we start off with reason number one Brad or what do you want to do?
Brad: Well, I’ve got 10 reasons here that I don’t know if that’s in order. It’s going to depend on the individual.
Bob: It’s not like we’re creating a crescendo here.
Brad: Whoa, crescendo. You’ve been studying over the weekend. All right, so the first one is they offer progressive resistance, which weights do not offer. They offer the same resistance for the same weight. Unless you’re working a machine like the Nautilus. That’s a different story, but we’re talking about free weights.
Bob: You need to explain yourself.
Brad: Yep so, if I’m doing my bicep curls, as I come up to 90 degrees, it offers the most resistance because of the distance from the elbow, the fulcrum point. As I get up to the end of the curl, it’s less and it’s easier.
Bob: It’s easier, right.
Brad: We would like it to get more difficult as we get forward so with the resistance band, that’s exactly what happens.
Bob: The higher it goes, the harder it gets.
Brad: It is. It’s just the nature of bands and that’s one of the beauties of bands. Now one thing you can do is, you can combine it with a loop, and you can go like this and I’m going to step here. Now I have free weight and as I get up its stronger, yes. So, this is really an ideal way to do some resistance.
Bob: You could do this with bench press. You could do it with squats. You can do it with a lot of different things.
Brad: Yeah, it can get challenging. You must figure out a way to attach the band.
Bob: You’d probably need a big band, a big loop band.
Brad: Yeah, we’re not going to get into detail about that, but it was something that some people work with.
Bob: You know, is this the point where you want to mentioned if you step farther away, the resistance increases?
Brad: Let’s add that in with the next one. The big advantage I find with resistance bands is they offer resistance, whether its vertical, horizontal, 45-degree angle, all over. Whereas you know, iron weights, it’s strictly vertical.
Brad: Unless you have a cable system and that gets more complicated, just because you must have quite a piece of equipment for it.
Bob: It’s infinite. You can do resistance from different angles, and you can get every angle that ever was known to mankind.
Brad: Well Bob, I’m going to show curls. Curls with this free weight, typically we’re going to stand up.
Bob: Going up against gravity.
Brad: Right, right. So now with this band, I’m going to show curls at a 45-degree angle with the wall anchor we must have something to anchor the band to. Not a big deal. We’ll go this way. Now we’re going to get to Bobs point. If I want more resistance, I just simply step farther away.
Bob: As opposed to picking up another weight, and another dumbbell and have like 30 dumbbells. You know what I’m saying.
Brad: I hear you, Bob. Now the next thing, this is the way I do mine at home. I’m going to use horizontal resistance. I lay down here and I get perfect form. My posture is perfect on the floor, and I can really do this. I just inch myself away from the wall.
Bob: And now he’s isolated the muscle too. He’s not able to use the body to help. So, all the work comes from the muscle itself, the bicep muscles.
Brad: Exactly. And of course, naturally I can go vertical just like the standard. So, I've got three different planes with the curls, and I could get more if I got creative.
Bob: So, number three bands need no large steel benches or standing racks.
Bob: Which, you know, if you’re in an apartment it could be a problem.
Brad: A little plastic anchor instead. Very easy.
Bob: Or you could, it has a door attachment. Works with that too.
Brad: This comes with all the bands, and you do not have to have a wall anchor, you just need a door and that works out very well. What’s the next one, Bob?
Bob: Next one is, number four.
Brad: Ah, the cost. Significantly less. If you get a whole set of dumbbells, you need a dumbbell rack, and they’re heavy. They’re just cheaper. The bands are cheaper.
Bob: If you’re a cheap person, this is the thing for you.
Brad: And that’s me. Easy to travel with. This next weekend, I’m going away for the weekend.
Bob: Even this little thing, a five pound weight, put this in your bag. It adds a lot.
Brad: Especially if you need you know, four or five sets of them. Where I’m just going to take my loop with me this weekend. Very, very handy dandy. We’ve got some videos just on that alone. Let’s go to the next one.
Brad: Superior for balance and proprioception.
Bob: This is a biggie. As you get older, and your balance becomes an issue you want to have resistance in an upright position and test your proprioception and balance in that position.
Brad: This is one that works to hip abductors and I’m doing it while I’m walking. It’s just an example to work that.
Brad: Another one, now I do have a cuff on my ankle and I’m going to put the other end hooked to the wall anchor. Here I’m going to work my balance while I’m working my hip muscles. You can see I’m going to use a stick for balance while I bring the leg that’s hooked to the band front to back. If I’m going to get a little cocky, I’m going to go this way and we can work all four directions. This is hard to replicate doing something like this with weights.
Bob: No matter what exercise you’re doing, if it’s attached to the wall, you’re working your core and your balance.
Brad: Oh right, yeah. It’s just inherent.
Bob: I remember my neighbor came over for a video and we’re filming him, and he started doing this and loses his balance right away.
Brad: Well, you probably pushed him.
Bob: Well, no I didn’t. God’s honest truth I didn’t.
Brad: Anyway yeah, so they are wonderful for balance. Well, let us go onto the next one.
Bob: High-level athletes are using resistance bands more and more. Tom Brady, quarterback for Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a good example.
Brad: I think you could call that a high-level athlete.
Bob: I would say the greatest football quarterback of all time.
Brad: Yeah, well you know, when you’re dodging it takes, balance, speed, strength. Everything is involved at that position.
Bob: The big thing is they want to maintain supple muscles while getting the muscles strong and be able to react and move.
Brad: As a matter of fact, TB 12, he has fitness centers.
Bob: I've got the book right here Brad.
Brad: Yeah! In the book, they describe when you walk into one of Tom Brady’s fitness centers, where oftentimes you hear metal clanking and these steel plates banging around, it sounds cool and tough, but these are quiet.
Brad: Because they’ve got resistance bands. You know, maybe someone let’s go and snaps someone, they say ouch. But otherwise it's quite.
Bob: What is Tom, like 85 years old? No, he’s 44, right?
Brad: I think that is. Yeah, I believe he is this year.
Bob: No need for knee or wrist straps or back belts.
Brad: Right. I can’t imagine. Maybe you could use the back belt depending on if you had a bad back. This is one of my favorite squatting things where I go like this.
Brad: You almost must have proper mechanics to do it right with a band, it promotes good body posture.
Bob: Now we've got to be honest here. You can’t use resistance band to create huge bulk where you can if you bench press.
Brad: Bob, that’s not on the list of 10.
Bob: I know.
Brad: That’d be a different video. But no, you’re right. If you’re going to want to become the Hulk. You know, you might want to combine them.
Bob: But for athletic performance, this where you want to go.
Brad: I agree. So, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong at all with weights. I think weights are great. These are just some things that people may not have thought about.
Bob: Number nine, less space in home is needed for complete body workout. So, this is true. I have this in a bedroom.
Brad: Yeah, you’re talking about the wall anchors. I have mine, you need a little space out when you’re working with the band, but it doesn’t take any space at all once you’ve set it down.
Bob: If you want to hook it up to the door, you can hook up to any doors if somebody doesn’t go through the door while you’re on it.
Brad: Yeah, put up a little sign on there. “Door in use”.
Bob: There you go.
Brad: Especially if you’ve got kids running around. Like they’re going to stop and read that when they’re chasing each other.
Bob: Another advantage, what I think is a huge advantage Brad, is you can get sport specific strengthening.
Brad: Exactly, Bob. As a matter of fact, I want to show something that maybe people haven’t thought about, but you can do swimming. I’m a swimmer.
Bob: And this helped you, didn’t it?
Brad: Yes, it did.
Bob: This is a good one, Brad.
Brad: I'm going to hook the band up to the anchor. I usually use a ball, or you can use a stool and you get on it so that your body is the same position as when you swim and then you’ve got some nice resistance. So we’re just working that same motion and I can easily make it more difficult by going back farther. I can work on my high elbow, come up forward.
Bob: Didn’t you improve your time?
Brad: Oh yes, Bob. When I started banding, I was shooting maybe 90 seconds for a hundred meters, a hundred yards. I cut down to 1:12, no 1:14 was my fastest. So, I cut like 12 seconds or 14 seconds off after I started banding.
Bob: Wow. But you can do boxing, you can do tennis. You could do many different sport specific training exercises.
Brad: We did have a video with the boxer using the bands. You can work the uppercuts. Boom, boom, boom.
Bob: You've got resistance with every shot.
Brad: We did a video on all the different sports you could be specific with. That was about four years ago.
Bob: Well, it was, yes.
Brad: Oh, is there more?
Bob: I think that’s it, Brad.
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