Using Resistance Bands for Muscle Mass
The term "strength training" may bring to mind trips to the gym and people lifting weights. However, you can also increase your muscle mass by using resistance bands. Resistance bands are made out of stretchy material and some have handles on each end. Depending on the material used, resistance bands can offer light, medium or heavy resistance levels. When used correctly, they use your own body weight to provide resistance and therefore challenge and work your muscles, resulting in increased muscle mass.
Acquire a set of resistance bands. They can be purchased at most sporting goods stores, as well as online. You may wish to start with a set of light to medium resistance bands, depending on your current level of fitness.
Perform strength training exercises using the resistance bands. You can perform the same exercises that you would with weights--remember, however, that resistance is resistance, whether it comes in the form of a weight or a band. See Resources for examples of resistance band exercises.
Work out with your resistance bands at least twice a week for 20 to 40 minutes each time. Perform two to three sets of each move, with 10 to 15 repetitions of each move in each set. Stay focused and move deliberately with each repetition to work the muscle properly and to exhaustion. Take 30 to 60 seconds to rest in between sets. The constant changes in the resistance band as you perform each move in each set will keep your muscles working.
Take at least 48 hours off between strength training days. This will allow your muscles to recover and rebuild. This recovery period is essential for increased muscle mass. During your strength training rest days, you can perform cardio workouts to burn overall calories, but remember to take at least one or two days off a week so that your body can rest.
Check with a doctor before beginning any exercise routine. You may also wish to have a certified fitness professional show you the correct technique for working with your resistance bands.
Tips & Warnings
- Learn a wide variety of resistance band exercises to keep your muscles challenged and your workouts interesting. Change your exercises often to see the best results and to prevent from hitting a plateau.
- Work out within a comfortable level to avoid injury. Keep your resistance bands stored in a cool, dry place.
- Resistance bands
- Workout gear
References & Resources
- Ask The Trainer: Resistance Band Exercises
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Resistance Band Exercises
- AthleticQuickness: Why Resistance Band Training with Isometrics Is the Ideal and Proven Speed Training Exercise
- University of Michigan: Beginning Strength Training
About the Author
- resistance bands image by sparkia from Fotolia.com