Monday, July 6, 2009

Combining Bands & Weights

New studies have shown that combining weights with exercise tubing and bands can provide three times the sculpting power of ordinary weight routines. (i) The reason is the band provides resistance throughout the entire move while the weight and band combined fatigue your muscle in far fewer reps, increasing strength, muscle density, and metabolism.

Sounds pretty good? So how do you do it?

Combining your resistance band with free weights isn't rocket science, but it's very individual. Most people can hold onto the handles of a resistance and small dumbbells at the same time without sacrificing form or safety. If your bands are the "Pilates" style ones that are flat and don't have handles, you can usually wrap them around the dumbbell handle. But if you find these options too uncomfortable, you can probably rig your band to your dumbbells in whatever way suits you best—just make sure it's secure, you can grip the dumbbell without risk of dropping it, and you aren't sacrificing form to try this technique. Be creative when it comes to exercises. You could add dumbbells to nearly every exercise that uses a resistance band, or the other way around. (ii)

You can also do some funky moves with the band such as "sword draw", "tabletop balance," and "scissor press." Click on this link for pictures and descriptions -

If you're short on time this can be a really effective way to tone and increase your metabolism without buying a lot of extra equipment. All you need is a pair of hand weights 5-15 pounds each and a band. For a really inexpensive band go to a medical supply store and have them cut you a length of tubing. It will cost less than a dollar and be perfect for wrapping around the weight.

Happy toning,


(i) "Speed Shrink your Trouble Zones" by Melissa Daly, Prevention Magazine, June 2009

(ii) "Dumbbells Plus Bands Equals Twice the Results" by Nicole Nichols -


  1. I saw this in Fitness magazine...never thought about combining the two together...just always "change up" the use of one or the other. Will give it a try!

  2. I need to remember to try it too. It's kind of funny at the gym, people look at you like your nuts!
    Thanks for stopping by,