Free Weights vs Resistance Bands For Strength Training & Muscle Definition

by Trina Remedios

Right off the bat, let us tell you that if you seeka functional way to increase muscle tone and strength with the desire of a lean, agile body, then yoga is an apt replacement for strength training. That said, if bulk and visible muscle definition is what you're after, then weight lifting is better suited for you.

In the case of weight lifting, the technique that is used is known as isolation, and it is often also referred to as concentric muscle contraction. This type of contraction, causes muscles to get smaller when they are worked upon, and since stretching is not involved, the muscle fibers repair in closer proximity to one another (this is what adds the bulk).

Over time, a middle path has been discovered by way of resistance bands training. This one gives you the benefits of slow, controlled low-impact movements like yoga, but also engages the muscles in a way that you develop lean cuts and definition, the way you would with weight lifting.

Bottom line, both of them are great workouts to build strength and endurance while gaining an enviable physique, yet each is suitable to a different set of fitness enthusiasts. So, which one is for you? 

Let's find out:

Free Weights To Build Muscles Resistance Bands To Build Muscles
Benefits:
It's very easy to design a full-body workoutusing free weights and target specific areas for spot reduction or muscle building.
Benefits:
While the variations are slightly more complicated and limited, resistance bands allow for more natural movement (motions that mimic everyday life). They don't rely on gravity, and also, improve your sense of coordination.
USP:
You can customize your workout and intensity levels, simply by opting for heavier weights. It is easier to measure your progress because you can differentiate how you cope with them over time.
USP:
Using resistance bands to strength train isa great way to reap similar benefits with a low-impact variation. They are better suited for those who have suffered an injury, have spine trouble, or weak joints.
Disadvantage:
Free weights rely on gravity, that is to say that they are only effective when you create resistance by moving in the opposite (upward) direction. Also, they are tougher to store, not as portable, and are unnatural and constricting in their range of motion.
Disadvantage:
It takes a while to learn how to use resistance bands to your advantage to make a significant difference in muscle definition. Also, there's no measurable way of increasing intensity or knowing that you've bettered your performance. The wrong form and stance can negate the advantages of the exercise.
Cost:
Free weights are expensive, but don't need to be replaced. Once you've made the investment, they can last you a lifetime.
Cost:
They are a lot cheaper than free weights, but due to the wear and tear after repeated use, you will need to buy new ones, periodically.

Verdict:
Better suited for the older lot and those who want a toned body without the bulk, resistance bands prove to be a worthy alternative. However, if the likes of bodybuilders, UFC champions, and athletes fascinate you, by all means lift free weights, but be sure to maintain proper form and technique to avoid injury.

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