Trifocus Fitness Academy - resistance bands

Are Resistance Bands Better Than Dumbbells? Find out in this article.

Resistance band training and training with dumbbells, both offer feasible strength training alternatives. The better of the two is slightly subjective as both dumbbells and resistance bands are capable of building muscle.


With dumbbells, resistance is created by gravity. Owing to this, dumbbells can only offer resistance in a vertical plane (the direction of gravity – down!). So, because gravity just pulls the weight down, you need to position yourself correctly in order to work the muscle that you want to work.

Resistance Bands

With resistance bands, resistance is generated by elastic force. You aren’t depending on gravity to create resistance; you simply require tension. Force is created in the direction which you are stretching the resistance band. Owing to this, resistance bands can provide resistance in both horizontal as well as vertical planes, and in any direction and at any sort of angle.

Dumbbells Vs Resistance Bands

Let’s say that you are training your chest with dumbbells. For this, you need to lie down on a bench and utilise your muscles in order to press up as gravity attempts to force the weight down. You would never have the ability to establish resistance on your chest by pressing the dumbbells from a standing position.

With resistance bands, you can lie down on a flat bench and then stand. Both ways would generate the same resistance for your chest, as you are generating tension through tensile force as opposed to gravity which is only in the direction of down.

So, this fact makes resistance bands more versatile in terms of how you are able to create resistance.

If you think about various free weight exercises, you can imagine how you would be able to do the same exercise with resistance bands in both a vertical as well as horizontal plane.

Another example is if you were to hold a dumbbell with your arm at a 90-degree angle and to your side body, and you move the dumbbell in a horizontal motion (external as well as internal rotations), you won’t really be creating and resistance in that horizontal motion.

You will only have downward resistance, which will be you holding the dumbbell with your arm at a 90-degree angle. This makes an internal and external rotation ineffective with a dumbbell from the standing position. In order make this movement effective with a dumbbell, you’d have to get yourself into a position which the external/internal rotation is taking place in a vertical plane.

With resistance bands, conversely, you are able to anchor it to your side and perform this movement standing up, as the resistance will be there in the horizontal plane.

If you’re a newbie to exercise, a resistance band workout is a great place to start. Or (for all levels), make use of resistance bands for a full body stretching routine. Grab a resistance band and experience all the benefits resistance bands have to offer for shaping a stronger and leaner you.

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