From warm-up work to portability, here some of the unique benefits of mini resistance bands…
Resistance bands come in various shapes, sizes and levels of tension. But even if you’re an experienced gym-goer you can reap the benefits from the smallest design: the mini resistance band.
What is a mini resistance band?
A looped band that’s generally 30-45cm in length, they might appear a bit limited compared to longer power bands or those with handles on each end. But the benefits of mini resistance bands are plentiful, and they can be a very handy tool to have in your gym bag.
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Benefits of mini resistance bands
“I use mini bands with all of my clients,” says Darren Bruce, PT at Third Space. Similar to other resistance bands – where there are various levels of resistance available, depending on the colour band that you pick – as soon as you start to stretch a mini resistance band, the muscles under load are forced to start working.
“They are able to improve your muscle strength, can be used across multiple planes (unlike free weights which are just generally up and down), and are easier on joints, but there are specific uses where mini resistance bands come out on top.
2. Activation work
Bruce says that he predominately uses mini resistance bands for warm-ups and muscle activation, before continuing a workout with free weights or machines:
“With glute activation – so getting your hips ready for whatever you’re about to do – you can put mini bands either around your knees or ankles or both, and they basically start to activate the lower body. You could be on your back and doing glute bridges, or you can do side-to-side crab walks in them.”
3. Level up bodyweight exercises
They have their uses beyond the warm-up too, and can be used to increase the load of bodyweight exercises. For example, when a mini resistance band is looped around your quads during a squat, your muscles are engaged at all stages of the movement, rather than just during the lowering stage.
It’s not just bodyweight exercises either; they can perform the same stability-benefitting difficulty during a barbell exercise.
For some exercise inspiration, these are our favourite barbell exercises for every body part
4. Simple and effective
Finally, mini resistance bands are effective because, as their name suggests, they’re the smallest of all the bands. Compact, easy-to-store, and generally the cheapest set of resistance bands around, it’s possible to add some lower-body activation and stabilising benefits to your workouts without breaking the bank.