Oct. 26, 2022

Are resistance bands really effective for losing weight?

Recently we delved into the oft-asked question, "Can I build muscle with resistance bands?" What we're talking about here now is the other side, "Can I lose weight with resistance bands exercises?" In this article, we'll tackle the "Are resistance bands good for weight loss" question from all angles, so whether or not you decide to use resistance bands, you can burn stubborn belly fat, lose weight quickly and lose muscle.

resistance bands

resistance bands

History of resistance bands

Originally made from surgical catheters and exercises used for muscle rehabilitation, resistance bands are now widely used as part of general fitness and strength training since the early 1900s. Their flexibility of use and lightweight are significant advantages for many users.

The importance of losing excess fat

Excess belly fat, and fat in general, doesn't just make us lose confidence when it comes to putting on a bathing suit, wearing clothes that fit, or stripping off in front of significant others, it's actually very dangerous to our health.

Of course, some fat is good, it's our main energy reservoir, and it helps protect our internal organs. However, that doesn't mean you can exercise courage and claim it's good for you! Once you get to the point where you have "too much fat," fat becomes dangerous.

Can I use resistance bands to lose weight?

Yes, you can definitely lose weight with resistance bands. Recently, it has become popular among those who want to lose weight. While it's true that exercises such as running and cycling can be effective in reducing body fat, these activities also reduce muscle size at the same time, resulting in weaker muscles and greater weight loss because muscle is denser than fat. But unlike endurance training, there is evidence that resistance training is not only good for reducing body fat, but it can also increase muscle size and strength.

resistance bands exercise 

resistance bands exercise

Are resistance bands really effective?

We next analyze the principle of how resistance bands contribute to weight loss and health in four ways.

Burn Calories

Research conducted at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has shown that resistance bands are highly effective at both boosting strength and burning calories. Studies have shown that resistance bands help engage auxiliary muscles in smaller movements and increase muscle "twitching" at the extremes of resistance band extension. Resistance bands work by allowing muscles to overcome elastic tension within the rubber. The muscle-twitching effects of resistance bands simply cannot be reproduced in aerobic training.

Increase Flexibility

Muscle flexibility is essential to maintaining your body's flexibility, especially as you age. Resistance bands can be used to add dynamic motion to deep stretches to allow muscles to repair and work more efficiently. Some of the benefits of resistance bands for stretching are that they allow for deeper stretching, they allow you to get into positions that are harder to do on your own, and they allow you to determine your own tension. This will increase your flexibility and mobility.

The  ‘after-burn effect’

When we exercise, our muscles need more energy than when we are at rest. What is less obvious, however, is that oxygen uptake actually remains elevated after we have completed the exercise in order to bring the muscle back to a quiescent state by breaking down stored fat and carbohydrates. This phenomenon is known as excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) -- though it's often referred to as the "after-burn effect."

Long-term fat loss

Resistance training can also be effective for long-term weight control. This is because muscle size plays an important role in determining resting metabolic rate (RMR). RMR is how many calories your body needs at rest to function. Inactive people's resting metabolic rate accounts for 60-75% of total energy expenditure, and fat is the body's preferred resting energy source. Increasing muscle size through resistance training increases RMR, thereby increasing or maintaining fat loss over time. Resistance training was found to be effective in increasing resting metabolic rate, while aerobic exercise and a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise were less effective.


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