Resistance bands are all the rage in the fitness market thanks to their versatility. What are covered resistance bands, and what do they offer to your workout? Here, let’s take a look at the difference a covered resistance band makes, and what it means for you as the user.
What Are Covered Resistance Bands?
Covered resistance bands are often called sleeved resistance bands. They are a form of modernized design on your standard tubular resistance band. The ultimate goal of a covered resistance band is to provide variable resistance to the user, giving a different, and in some ways improved, form of muscular development in fitness training.
Tubular resistance bands are made by extruding rubber or latex material as a narrow tube through the base manufacturing process. A machine then inflates it with air or a gas and enlarges it to form a hollow tube. At this point in production, the walls of the tube can vary in thickness, which is what largely determines the strength (resistance) of the band.
In the early 90s, Shon Harker, an engineering graduate from Lehigh University, created the first covered resistance band, naming it the Slastix. Since its invention, the Slastix resistance band has been a highly popular product for functional training gyms, personal training, and at-home studios.
The anatomy of a covered resistance band is a standard tubular resistance band encased in a fabric sleeve. The sleeve itself, in most cases, is not inherently elastic material like the band is. However, it does have a generous amount of slack to allow the band to extend to its full limit while still inside the sleeve. At either end of the band and sleeve can be a handle, a clip, or any other kind of functional end piece.
What Difference Does It Make?
Covered or sleeved resistance bands make a huge difference in your workout experience. This is particularly true if resistance bands are already your preferred method of training. The sleeve improves your training by protecting the band from a multitude of potential damages. It also helps protect you with a better surface for bodily contact that also prevents the band from hurting or injuring you if it breaks.
A Solution for Durability
Covered resistance bands make it possible for a resistance band to stay intact for longer than its standard life. The sleeve protects from a variety of potentially harmful factors, including dirt, dust, grime, ultraviolet light exposure, and sun damage.
The other thing a covered resistance band prevents is the possibility of damaging it through over-extension. Rubber and latex follows the physical principle of the spring constant. This means that if an elastic structure is stretched too far, it will become inelastic and not return to its original shape. What this means for your resistance band is that too long of a stretch can kill the strength of your band so it won’t challenge you as much as it should over time.
By adding the sleeve, the resistance band now has a natural “stretch-blocker,” if you will. Because it’s made of inelastic material, once the sleeve reaches its full stretch, that’s as far as it goes. Smart manufacturers make the full stretch of the sleeve just long enough to come short of that tipping point before the band would suffer any damage.
Prevention from Injury
Like any object stretching repeatedly, resistance bands have the capacity to break or snap. This can be a serious issue. When a resistance band breaks, it releases a ton of stored energy and can become an uncontrolled whip-like object. That’s the last thing you would want to have in your hands without warning.
Injuries from resistance band breaks are an understated threat in the gym. Numerous accidents have happened. Even former U.S. congressman Harry Reid once sustained an eye injury because a resistance band broke in his possession, violently whipping back at him.
By using a covered resistance band, you have completely taken this possibility off the table. The cover of the band completely encases it in case of a breakage. Even if something happens that does cause the band to snap, it will simply retract itself safely inside the sleeve.
Wrapping It Up
Covered resistance bands represent a revolution in variable resistance training that no use ought to ignore. By using them, you’ll be able to extend the life and use of your bands. You’ll also keep yourself safer and avoid accidental injury.
To find out more about Slastix resistance bands, check out our page on how they work and get your own.
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