People automatically assume that because resistance bands have a flimsy appearance, that free weights are naturally the better option when it comes to resistance equipment.
However, studies have shown that not only do muscles react in an extremely similar way in both resistance bands and free weight training, but resistance bands actually build muscle, increase strength, and decrease body fat in a superior manner to free weights.
Both elastic band resistance and free-weight resistance:
1. The main difference is that resistance bands, unlike with free weights and machines, do not rely on gravity to provide resistance.
Why that matters
Take for example, doing a standing chest fly. If doing it with dumbbells, one will only achieve muscle resistance on a vertical plane. With resistance bands, however, because you’re not relying on gravity and you have the natural pull that the elastic material provides, you can have resistance on a horizontal plane AS WELL as a vertical plane.
One of the benefits of this is that as the range of motion increases and the resistance increases, the number of muscle fibers that are being used in the exercising muscle increase. The more muscle fibers being used, the stronger the muscle will get.
In addition to more muscle fibers being used in each and every exercise, resistance bands engage the stabilizer muscles.
Stabilizer muscles are the muscles that attach directly to the joints, also known as the deep tissue muscles.
When training with bulky machines and free weights, the stabilizer muscles are not targeted to nearly the same degree as with resistance bands. Neglecting the stabilizer muscles leaves your joints, ligaments, and muscles vulnerable to injury. Failing to fully develop your stabilizer muscles will prevent you from ever reaching your full athletic potential.
Performing exercises with resistance in a horizontal plane is more natural for the body because it is similar to the way we do daily tasks – such as turning your body to pick up a child. Therefore, horizontal plane exercises prepare the body for these movements resulting in less risk of injury.
2. Resistance bands are less expensive, portable, and easy to store.
Ripcords® are a fraction of the cost of free weights, all in one home gym machines, or the cost of a gym membership. Unlike free weights, Ripcords® are fully portable so you can workout anywhere: at home, at work, on the road, or even at the beach. And with Michael McDonald’s Circuit7® routine, you get the benefits of a 40-minute workout at the gym, but in just 7 minutes. With Circuit7® you also get a cardio workout, which you don’t get with free weights.
If you are already working out with free weights, Ripcords® do not have to be a complete replacement. Depending on your current fitness level and your fitness goals, Ripcords® may best be used as an addition to your regular routine. For example, we understand that bodybuilders, or athletes in full contact sports, are unlikely to stop lifting weights and replace their entire strength training with Ripcords®. But such an athlete would improve their performance, and limit their injuries, if they include Ripcords® training into their routine.
|Ripcords®||Bowflex® / Total Gym®|
|All Muscle Groups:||Yes||No|
|Gym Quality Exercises:||Yes||Yes|
|Price:||$27.95||$699 - $3,000|