Many of us are looking for different ways to work out during lockdown.
We don’t all have the budget or the space to try and re-create the gym experience in our homes.
We might not want to build a big at-home set-up either as most of us are eager to get back into the gym when it re-opens.
Transitioning to running or yoga during lockdown is relatively straightforward, but what about those of us that want to continue strength training?
You can get a good workout using your bodyweight and YouTube has a lot of videos showing you how to do it. Trainers and instructors have also taken to social media to post videos for home workouts.
You can also strength train in your own home using resistance bands or free weights.
What’s the Difference Between Resistance Bands and Free Weights?
Both resistance bands and free weights build muscle.
Resistance bands are rubber or latex bands or tubes that use external resistance to strengthen muscle. Some will have handles that you can hold onto and others won’t. You can also use them by anchoring them to doors and walls.
Free weights are the opposite of fixed machine weights you see in the gym. Free weights aren’t connected to anything else and include barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells.
Resistance Bands Vs Free weights
Both have their advantages and disadvantages and there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate both into your at-home gym practice.
We’ve listed the pros and cons of each below and when you’ve made up your mind, don’t forget that you can buy resistance bands, free weights and more in the GymHugz online store.
Advantages of Free Weights
- Resistance bands are safer for beginners as they allow a person to find their resistance without the risk of serious injury. You’re not going to hurt yourself if you suddenly drop a resistance band or if you select a resistance that’s too difficult for you. Resistance bands are often used in rehabilitation and physiotherapy centres so they’re ideal for anyone struggling to maintain form or increase effort following an injury.
- Resistance bands are often cheaper so they’re ideal for a beginner looking for an introduction to strength training.
- It’s harder to cheat with a resistance band as you’re forced to move through an entire range of motion. The resistance is maintained even as you release it on a bicep curl.
- It’s easier to move up to bigger resistances with bands than it is to move up to a heavier weight with a barbell. Most resistance bands come in packs of varying resistances. When you’re ready you just grab a thicker band and keep going.
- Resistance bands can be used horizontally, too. You can attach them to a door or a wall fixture. Free weights rely on gravity so you’ll only gain strength by using them vertically.
- Resistance bands are easy to store in the house and they’re easy to travel with. You wouldn’t put a dumbbell in your luggage if you were heading out on a trip.
- They’re great for stretching before a run or before a yoga class. You don’t have to use them specifically for strength training.
Advantages of Free Weights
- Free weights will last longer than resistance bands which are more easily damaged with time.
- It’s harder to track strength improvement with resistance bands.
You can accurately subtract or add weight to free-weights in a way that you can’t with resistance bands giving you greater control over what you’re lifting.
- You can use free weights with a latex allergy.
- There’s a variety in lifting free weights that you don’t get with resistance bands. You can pick up barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells or medicine balls which can mix-up your lifting routine.
- It’s worth remembering, too, that free weights will always be more popular than resistance bands. If you’re serious about strength training then free weights should be a part of your weight training inventory.
It isn’t as simple as one necessarily being better than the other.
Different people have different needs, and you should explore both options to see which is best for you. There’s no reason you shouldn’t have both and use each one to your advantage.
The biggest advantage that resistance bands have over free weights is the portability. Once we’re all about to travel again you’ll find it convenient and easy to put a resistance band in your luggage. The biggest advantage of free weights is the control you have over them which is key for anyone serious about building strength.
If you’re looking to build your home gym or if you’re looking for equipment to keep you busy during the lockdown, visit the GymHugz store to order barbell sets and plates, dumbbells, resistance bands, ab rollers and more.