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You’ve probably seen people doing workouts using resistance bands as an alternative to lifting weights. However, have you ever seen anyone using resistance bands in conjunction with the weights? For example, have you seen a lifter bench pressing with bands attached to the bar or curling dumbbells and bands at the same time? Though these variations might seem more of a novelty factor than anything, they could be welcome additions to your training.
Before digging into why you should be using resistance bands, you have to first know which kind you should be using. There are actually many different types of resistance band products on the market, but the main discussion here is the bands themselves. There are some that look like surgical tubing – single elastic cords with a handle or apparatus on either end. Then there are some that are giant loops that look like grossly oversized rubber bands.
While the former can be good as a standalone piece of equipment, it’s the latter you should be using with the weights. This is because they’re the most versatile and one end can be easily anchored in order to stretch it while lifting.
Virtually any dumbbell exercise that has you standing to perform it could be done while using resistance bands. This could be a good alternative for someone training at home or on the road when bigger dumbbells may not be available, yet you still want to go heavy. Below are a few examples to get you started:
Barbell curls, upright rows, and bent over barbell rows could all be done in similar fashion as their dumbbell counterparts just described. However, there are other barbell exercises that could easily be done while using resistance bands:
The only limit to the weight training exercises you can do while using resistance bands is only your imagination. While many strength and performance coaches prefer using resistance bands with big, compound strength movements such as the bench, squat, and deadlift, you can still use them to add a new level of difficulty to other exercises, too. When you feel like your program needs something new, try adding any of the above in place of their otherwise “regular” counterparts.