We know, we see you shaking your head, sighing in exasperation. It’s the boring stuff, trust us, we don’t want to talk about it either, but when it comes to your resistance bands, taking care of them is key to seeing them last for years and years. Nobody wants to be replacing their worn out bands every few months, now do they.
Resistance bands are designed for years of use, however, like all your gym equipment (and really anything in life), misuse and overusing them can cause them to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Essentially, if you look after them, they’ll look after you!
So here are some tips we’ve compiled, to help you care for and maintain a healthy set of resistance bands.
⦁ Always Examine Before A Workout
Before starting every workout session, it’s best to check your bands for any wear, rips, or holes. If there is any damage, no matter the size, it’s best not to use them until they’ve been fixed or replaced, as even a minor rip can suddenly turn into a big problem with a single stretch.
Bands with handles are especially susceptible to breakage where the handle meets the band, so make sure to thoroughly check for damage there.
If you’re working with other equipment, or exercising outdoors, using trees, poles, benches, etc., always check these objects as well, to make sure there is nothing around that may damage your bands. This would be any sharp edges, nails, glass, etc.
⦁ Wear Non-Abrasive Shoes
You’ll find that a lot of resistance band-related exercises will call for you to position the band around your feet, that’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re wearing non-abrasive trainers, to prevent wear and tear on your bands.
If you’re wondering then, can’t I just wear no shoes, the answer is a firm, please don’t. Because of the material being used, and the actions of most resistance exercises, pain can occur in the middle of the foot if no shoes are worn. So it’s best to just keep with your trainers.
Also try to avoid exercising on abrasive surfaces, for the exact same reason. Ground such as rough concrete, uneven paving, and splintered wood will most definitely tear your bands down, and increase the risk of injury to yourself during exercise.
⦁ Avoid Overstretching
This is by far the most common mistake made by people using resistance bands, and hey, we get it. They’re meant to be stretched!
However, there comes a point, where they can be stretched too far, and if you push them beyond this point, your bands will start to break apart. It’s vital to remain sensible with your bands, only stretch them as far as you have to, and if you feel them start to become overstretched, try using a looser band to get the stretch you want. The longer you overstretch them, the higher the risk becomes of them snapping mid exercise, causing harm to both you, and anybody around you.
We suggest never stretching your band to more than four times its resting length. Remember, some bands are naturally stretchier than others, so if you want more or less of a stretch, just swap them around.
⦁ Protect Your Bands Against Hard Objects
It’s science basically. When you put something soft (your resistance band) around something hard (a pole, bench, etc.), and force is created, the soft object will always come out worse for wear. If you place a soft cloth between your band and your hard surface, you’ll keep your band healthy and happy, and stretching for years!
⦁ Store Your Bands Right
Moisture is key when it comes to resistance bands, it’s what keeps them stretchy. When a band is exposed to heat for long periods of time, it loses it’s moisture and will become hard and brittle. Keep them in a cool, dry, dark place, like a cupboard, and avoid leaving in the back of your car, or a stuffy gym bag, where heat usually settles.
If you’re worried that your bands are starting to become too brittle, you can always try lubricating them. We suggest using a lubricant that contains silicon for this.
⦁ Avoid Metal and Wire
When using your bands in conjunction with equipment, try to avoid anything that is made of metal, such as the metal rings, or even the wire of a fence if you’re outdoors. This type of material is heavy abrasive and is highly likely to cut through the band, especially when you’re stretching it out to full length.
⦁ Keep Your Bands in A Clean and Healthy Condition
It helps to get into the habit of cleaning your bands after every workout to keep them tiptop. To clean them, use a damp cloth and just go over both sides of them carefully. Avoid soap, and other cleaning products as these can deteriorate the strength of the band. Once you’ve cleaned them, hang them to dry overnight. It’s very important that you don’t leave them to dry in the sun, as the heat will suck all the moisture out, and they will break.
If you’ve used your bands in a swimming pool where chlorine is found, this is okay, but make sure that after use you rinse them off with warm water, to remove all traces of the chlorine, as this will get into the fibres of your bands and eat away it, causing it to begin to fall apart.
Remember, your band may fade in colour over time, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that the strength or health of it has deteriorated.
Get into the habit of checking every time before you use them, and like your body, only push it as far as necessary. Don’t overstretch, and your bands, body, and booty, will thank you for it!