by Kathy Smith
What’s long, can stretch from head to toe, and will help you look fab in your summer tanks? That’s right…a resistance band! You already know that they’re one of the best ways to increase your strength, because they’re inexpensive, small enough to travel with, and they make it easy to target specific muscle groups.
But what you might not know is that unlike dumbbells, tubes also provide what’s called linear variable resistance. Basically, this means that as you increase a move’s range of motion, the tension of the elastic also intensifies.
Imagine you’re doing a bicep curl. As you curl your arms up to a ninety-degree angle, the resistance provided by the tube gets stronger. Because the tube is made out of elastic, it provides more workload as it stretches. This can’t be done with dumbbells or other forms of free-weights.
Another reason linear variable resistance is so beneficial is because the elastic tubing better mimics the way a muscle’s strength changes throughout a movement. Until a certain point, most muscles increase in strength over the range of motion. For example, during a bicep curl, the muscle is weakest at the beginning, and at the halfway point the muscle is the most strong.
When you perform a bicep curl with a dumbbell, you’re limited to how much tension you can use based off of how strong your muscle is at the weakest point. This hinders the strongest part of your muscles from receiving adequate training.
But, try this same bicep curl with a tube, and the workload increases as the strength of your muscle increases.
Moral of the story…don’t resist the resistance tube!
To get started, try this 5-minute video designed to strengthen your lower body with a tube!
Kathy Smith, New York Times bestselling author, has stood at the forefront of the fitness and health industries for over 30 years. The numbers speak for themselves: Kathy has sold more than 20 million exercise DVDs - landing her in the Video Hall of Fame - and $500 million in Kathy Smith products. With her revolutionary approach to fitness, Smith has touched millions of people, inspiring them to move, live, and love.