There's lots of discussion over whether or not lifting weights is essential for building muscle. But enough evidence has been released suggesting that you can indeed build strength and muscle just using your own body weight, or another force of resistance such as elastic, and fitness trainer Chris Heria can show us how it's done.
If the thought of learning how to deadlift properly with a barbell scares you, that's ok. The weights section of the gym can be intimidating and it can feel as though everyone knows what they are doing apart from you. Everyone starts off as a beginner – but if you're not ready to approach the weights just yet, some of the best resistance bands are all you need to start building serious strength across your entire body.
Fitness YouTuber, Chris Heria, broke down exactly what you need to know about strength training for building muscle in the video below. It includes some really useful advice, including a total-body resistance band workout to try.
Heria says that the benefit of training with weights is that the level of force that's being applied to the exercise is always going to be consistent throughout the entire duration of the movement. That means no matter if you are at the top or bottom of the exercise, you will still feel the full force of whatever weight you are working with.
He explains how resistance bands progressively increase the force as the band expands and as you reach peak contraction during an exercise.
"Free weights will feel heaviest at the beginning of the movement, while resistance bands make your muscles work harder at the peak of your contraction. Both are beneficial for building strength and muscle.
"But either way, your body is working against resistance and that's what gives your muscles an effective workout and allows you to see results."
WATCH CHRIS HERIA'S MUSCLE BUILDING RESISTNACE BAND WORKOUT
There are many positive reasons to buy a set of resistance bands. The obvious one is that they are so small you can take them anywhere with you. They aren't restricted to home use, you can take them to the gym or even take them outdoors and loop them around a bench or pole to work against.
They also come in different levels of resistance, much like if you had a set of some of the best kettlebells on a rack, you can move up or down resistance for each exercise or set.
Moreover, science has proven that strength training with resistance bands can provide similar strength gains as resistance training with conventional devices such as weight machines and dumbbells. The 2019 study (opens in new tab) concluded that they are effective means for growing and maintaining muscular strength.
If you already enjoy calisthenic style workouts such as using some of the best home chest workouts or some of the best glute exercises then adding some resistance into your fitness regime will be a nice way to boost your strength building.
Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition.
When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.
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