Disadvantages of resistance bands

7 Disadvantages Of Resistance Bands

There are plenty of articles online telling us how amazing resistance bands are. But are they really that good? What are the cons and drawbacks of using bands (if any)?! This post shares 7 disadvantages of resistance bands.

The main disadvantages of bands come from the way they produce resistance. Linear variable resistance is hard to load with heavy weights and difficult to quantifiably track progress. Resistance bands are also less durable, comfortable, and versatile compared to weights.

I’ve been using bands for over 5 years now.

Below, I’ll be doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing.

Instead of glamorizing them, I’ll let you know exactly what I don’t like about them.

Disclaimer: these are just my opinions!

Resistance bands disadvantages, drawbacks, and cons based on my experience.

7 Disadvantages (Cons) Of Using Bands

Resistance bands are an extremely popular form of workout for one reason; they have lots of pros and advantages.

With that being said, however, resistance bands DO come with a unique array of cons and disadvantages.

That’s what I’ll share with you below!

Resistance bands disadvantages 1 is they can be hard to lift heavy.

1. Difficult To Load Bands With Heavy Resistance

Yes, resistance bands DO come in heavy variants.

And yes, resistance bands CAN be used to gain muscle.

But practically speaking, most people find it more difficult to lift heavy resistance bands than they do lifting heavy free weights.

Why?

Resistance bands are inherently unstable. The band is trying to snap back in whichever direction possible.

This means a great degree of core strength is usually required to lift heavy bands. That’s something most beginners don’t have.

And as you may know- lifting heavy is the bread and butter of muscle gain.

Therefore resistance bands are naturally at a disadvantage compared to weights when it comes to building muscle and getting big.

Resistance bands disadvantages 2 is that is hard to quantify the weight you are lifting.

2. Hard To Quantify Weight Using Resistance Bands

Weight quantification refers to how you measure the weight you’re lifting.

Quantifying free weights is easy since the weight is clearly defined. You know exactly what you’re lifting with a 15lb dumbbell or a 100lb barbell, for example.

But accurate quantification is near impossible for a beginner using resistance bands.

That’s due to the linear variable resistance property of bands; they increase tension as they stretch longer.

Therefore you never truly know how much weight you’re lifting (unless you’ve been training with bands for a long time and have a good feel for them).

And this can interfere with progressive overload (the practice of increasing weight over time to promote muscle growth) since a good overloading routine usually requires small but regular weight additions with each workout.

Net result?

Generally speaking, weights are better than bands for smooth weight progression and fast muscle development.

Keep reading for more resistance band disadvantages…

Resistance bands disadvantages 3 is workouts can be boring.

3. Resistance Band Routines Can Be Boring

This expands on the previous point.

Since it’s difficult to tell exactly what you’re lifting with bands, it’s also difficult to see improvements over time.

In comparison, it’s very easy to see improvement with free weights; you may be curling a 15lb dumbbell this week and a 20lb dumbbell the next week.

This is one of the biggest disadvantages for resistance bands in my opinion.

As suggested by this 2013 study, a lack of measurable improvement is a BIG motivation-killer.

It makes it difficult to remain disciplined in keeping to your resistance band program.

And this takes a direct hit on the likelihood of achieving your goals (whether it be to lose fat, build muscle, or both).

If you’re interested, you can check out my other post for more details on how often to use resistance bands!

Resistance band con 4 is the risk of injury.

4. Risk Of Injury With Improper Resistance Band Use

Resistance bands may be relatively safe compared to a fully loaded barbell.

But that doesn’t mean they are 100% injury-proof.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite; they can be dangerous when used incorrectly (yet another disadvantage of resistance bands).

Think about it.

You’re training with a giant elastic band…

Remember how painful it used to be having an elastic band snap back onto your hand?

Well, magnify that 100x…

Resistance bands are under tremendous tension during use. And a band can snap back on you (violently) if they’re improperly anchored

If you’re interested, you can check out my other post to learn how beginners should use resistance bands.

Resistance band con 5 is they can be uncomfortable.

5. Resistance Band Grips Can Be Uncomfortable

Dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells all have handles. And those handles may even be designed with comfy grips and sleeves.

You can kiss goodbye to that luxury with bands!

One of the main disadvantages of resistance bands is their lack of a proper handle/grip.

Most bands are held directly on bare rubber. This can cause uncomfortable friction burns if you aren’t using gloves.

Some manufacturers add plastic handles to their bands. But speaking from experience, these are poorly designed, flimsy, and uncomfortable to use.

Both ways, you’re left with a product that’s hard to hold and grip.

This indirectly reduces the weight you can lift with bands and the effectiveness of your workout.

Resistance band con 6 is their low durability.

6. Cheap Resistance Bands Have Low Durability

You need to know this if you don’t already know; RESISTANCE. BANDS. SNAP.

Yup.

It doesn’t matter if you go for the cheapest brand or the most premium one, resistance bands will break when used long enough.

It’s just an unfortunate drawback of resistance bands being the cheapest way to work out.

Now, a good set of bands like these Undersuns (link for the cheapest price) will last much longer than a set of budget bands (mine have lasted 2 years and still show no signs of snapping vs my cheap bands which snapped within 6 months).

But even the best bands WILL eventually snap.

Remember they are just a giant rubber band…

Resistance band drawback 6 is they are not as versatile as weights.

7. Resistance Bands Are Not As Versatile As Weights

As cheap and convenient as they may be, resistance bands are just not as versatile as weights (in my opinion).

Weights can do most of the things bands can do, and more.

Bands and weights are great for toning, losing fat, and even cardio workouts.

But in terms of pure strength and muscle gains, weights are superior to bands for all the reasons given above.

And this is the biggest disadvantage of resistance bands.

Best Resistance Bands Right Now

Despite their disadvantages, there’s no denying that bands are still a cheap and effective way for beginners to train.

If you’re interested in getting some resistance bands, here are my favorites based on personal testing:

Conclusion

I’ve shared, what is in my opinion, the biggest disadvantages of resistance bands.

Most of the cons and drawbacks of using bands stem from the way they produce resistance, their simple ergonomics, and overall build quality.

Having given 7 disadvantages of bands, however, it’s important to also remember that they are still one of the cheapest and most convenient ways for a beginner to start working out.

And when used properly, they can give you a pretty good workout.

Will you be using resistance bands?

Let me know in the comments!

You may also be interested in the downloadable Kalibre Blueprint PDF which details exactly how I gained 40lbs of lean muscle (it’s 100% free!). It details the exact exercises and nutrition I used to go from skinny to ripped!

Thanks for reading guys!

Peace Out,

Kal

(Biochemistry BSc, Biomedical Sciences MSc, Ex-Skinny Guy)

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