20 Jul Resistance Bands in Strength Training
Are resistance bands enough in building strength?
What I’m about to write might make a few people upset to start with… especially if you’re a runner or an athlete who has an array of different coloured bands to help you build ‘strength.’ However, I encourage you to to read on, maybe this blog will end up resonating with you!
For such a long period of time, Physio’s have been OBSESSED with giving out resistance bands for rehabilitation. And for so long resistance bands have only gotten our runners and athlete’s so far, before they either a) notice they’re not getting any stronger or b) have a relapse of their injury… and here’s why!
When we run, it’s the responsibility of our muscular system to PRODUCE and ABSORB forces of up to 3-4 times our body weight! When our muscular system isn’t strong enough, this force has to be absorbed somewhere else… Hence why people start breaking down with joint and tendon related overuse injuries!
Now, bands definitely have their place for targeting early strength in muscles or helping patients who are just starting out with resistance training.. However, no band in any physio clinic will be able to expose you to the forces that are required for running. Period.
So, what does this mean?
To build genuine and meaningful strength for running you need to expose your body to the forces required. This can be achieved through dumbbells, barbells and weight plates! There can be a fear in patients that ‘lifting weights will make them big and bulky!’ But this just isn’t true. Lifting weights in a controlled, progressive and supervised manner can add significant value to not only your running but your everyday life.
I’m by all means not saying you need to start squatting four times your body weight to run efficiently, I’m saying if you can improve your strength, you’ll increase the ability of your muscular system to absorb those forces required in running and REDUCE your risk of injury!
So….. don’t throw away that rainbow collection of bands! Instead, compliment it with some weight training and watch how much you improve! I guarantee it.
Stride Physiotherapy and Health Group