Many people understand the benefits of resistance band training, but fail to recognize the dangers if used improperly. This article is to outline some of the potential risks, and how to minimize them so you can safely incorporate resistance bands into your workout routines.
I’ll start by pointing out that resistance bands are generally a very safe piece of equipment. However, if used improperly, accidents can and have happened. So be careful, and make sure you understand proper use before you even think about using them in your training. Safety, should be your number one priority at all times, whether you’re using bands, weights, or just your body weight.
I would always recommend reaching out to a personal trainer or fitness professional, if you’re not sure what you’re doing. As I mention in our Buying Guide, this is also a reason you should get the best quality equipment you can afford.
Some tips for safe use:
- Read the instructions for proper use.
- SPRI offers braided bands, which are less likely to snap.
- Bands with safety sleeve technology, like Fitcords or Slastix.
- Don’t overstretch the band.
- Start your exercise or movement slowly to make sure the band is in optimal condition before really going all out with it.
- If you’re working with a trainer or in a class, you never want to simply assume your trainer or instructor is telling you the correct way to perform an exercise. Do your own research to understand the proper way to use bands, and if you don’t feel safe doing a particular exercise, don’t do it!
- Also, don’t assume the bands at your gym are safe. Or anywhere else you use someone’s bands other than your own. ALWAYS check for damage, to be safe. You should also let the owners know if you notice damaged equipment. You might just prevent someone else from getting hurt.
- Don’t tie the band down. This can create unnecessary friction and shorten the life of it.
- One user (I forget where I read it), recommended cutting the toe off an old sock and using that to protect the band when wrapped around a square or rough object. I’ve never tried it, but may be worth a shot (if you don’t have bands with safety sleeves).
- Never release a band while it’s under tension.
- Don’t use soap or other cleaning materials on them, simply wipe them down with a damp cloth.
- Be careful around others who are using them, and be careful using them around other people. Make sure you have enough space to safely workout.
- Before every use, always take a few seconds to check for and feel for any tears or damage. Especially in and around the handles (if they have them). This is where most damage typically occurs.
- Wear some type of eye protection, or don’t look directly at the band as it’s being stretched.
- Don’t store it out in the sun, or in any moist areas.
- Don’t wear watches, rings or any other type of jewelry/objects that can potentially damage the band while using it.
- Don’t place your feet in the handles. Get ankle straps.
- Always wear shoes. Especially if you’re doing exercises that require you to step on the band (like bicep curls). And make sure your shoes don’t have abrasive soles. They can damage it. Make sure the floor is nonabrasive as well.
And hopefully, this list has helped you understand how to safely use resistance bands in your workouts, without running the risk of getting seriously injured – because it can happen. Any exercise equipment you use, has it’s risks. And as always, it’s best if you speak to your personal trainer or physical therapist before you begin training. Especially if you’re a beginner, and you’re still not quite sure, even after reading this article.
Now get out there and build some muscle! Jamon…out!