Resistance bands are fantastic tools for building strength and flexibility, but like any form of exercise, using them incorrectly can lead to common mistakes. In this guide, we’ll highlight these pitfalls and provide tips on proper form and technique to ensure you get the most out of your resistance band workouts.
Why is it important to do resistance training right? For starters, safety. Resistance bands may seem lightweight and harmless, but like any training tool, mishandling them can get you hurt, either by impact or traumatic injury or a stress injury.
The next best reason to do resistance training right is simply because if your training isn’t giving you the maximum benefits possible, you’re leaving potential on the table.
1. Using Too Much or Too Little Resistance
Mistake: Choosing a resistance band with too much tension can lead to poor form and potential injury. Conversely, using a band with insufficient resistance may not effectively challenge your muscles.
It’s understandable to feel like the weight level on a resistance band doesn’t challenge you very much at face value. After all, if you’re boasting a 200-pound bench weight or more, what’s a 30- to 40-pound-rated band going to do for you? What you have to remember is that resistance bands challenge your body differently with variable resistance. Your muscles may get worked more in their weak points than usual. Plus, your stability will be tested a lot more.
The Right Way: Select a band that allows you to complete your desired reps with proper form. Gradually progress to heavier bands as your strength improves.
2. Incorrect Anchor Point Setup
Mistake: Improperly securing the resistance band to an anchor point can lead to snapping, causing injury to you or those around you. It also might mess up your exercise.
Anchoring is essential for any non-circular resistance band, but you want to make sure that your anchor is reliable and well-positioned. It can be nice to use environment objects like trees and fences, but don’t do it at the expense of the integrity of your band.
Tips: Double-check your anchor point’s stability. If using a door, use a door anchor for added security. Ensure the band is securely attached before starting your exercises.
3. Neglecting Proper Body Alignment
Mistake: Allowing your body to slump or twist during exercises can diminish their effectiveness and increase the risk of strain.
Posture is important to any kind of exercise. With resistance bands it’s important that you maintain your posture throughout your repetition. This becomes especially critical at the peak of your repetition when the stress on your muscles will be the strongest.
Tips: Maintain proper body alignment throughout each exercise. Engage your core, keep your back straight, and ensure joints are in a neutral position to protect against injuries.
4. Relying on Momentum Instead of Control
Mistake: Using momentum to complete repetitions instead of controlled movements reduces the effectiveness of the exercise and may lead to injury.
When using static free weights like barbells and dumbbells, the weight stays the same throughout the exercise. Because of that, many who work with static weights use the momentum of their initial push to complete each repetition. With resistance bands, let your motions be slow and controlled to engage your muscles and build endurance.
Tips: Focus on controlled, deliberate movements. Slow down and engage your muscles throughout the entire range of motion for maximum benefit.
5. Overstretching the Bands
Mistake: Pulling resistance bands beyond their stretch limit can pose a number of exercise risks.
When it comes to different mistakes in resistance training, this may be the most consequential. Especially when using standard resistance bands without any kind of cover or sleeve, it can be difficult to know just what the sensible stretch limit of your band is. Sure, your band may stretch plenty long. You may be tempted to perceive the band as stretching however far you are strong enough to stretch it. The truth is most resistance bands can and probably will incur significant damage from stress or wear and tear if pulled too far.
Tips: Use bands within their recommended stretch range. If you feel the band losing elasticity, consider replacing it to prevent accidents.
Try this video by a designated Stroops trainer about how to set up training zones.
6. Not Checking Equipment for Wear and Tear
Mistake: Using damaged or worn-out resistance bands can lead to breakage and potential harm.
You might not love the idea of checking your equipment all the time, but with resistance bands, it’s a real necessity. You certainly won’t love having a band break on you. Resistance bands have long carried the risk of snapping mid-use and flying back it their users, and the velocity at which it happens is enough to cause injury to you or damage to your surroundings. Seriously, just do a web search on “resistance band eye injuries” and see the history.
Tips: Regularly inspect your resistance bands for any signs of wear, such as cracks or fraying. Replace damaged bands promptly to ensure your safety.
Wrapping It Up
By avoiding these common mistakes in resistance training and incorporating proper form and technique into your routine, you can enjoy a safe and effective workout experience. Remember to prioritize your safety, listen to your body, and make adjustments as needed for a successful resistance band training journey.
Stay safe, stay strong!
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