Resistance bands

It finally got to me. The social media spies knew that 1. weight training is a part of my fitness regime and 2. my gym is closed because of Melbourne’s strict lockdown. They didn’t know that I have a set of 25-pound dumbbells at home, but even if they did, it wouldn’t have stopped them.

I was bombarded in Facebook and Instagram with advertisements for resistance bands. At the start I ignored them. I possessed two bands which I used in my home workouts. They were ok. They served a purpose. I used one of them for bicep curls because my dumbbells were a touch heavy. I wedged the other one in a door and pulled it away from my body and towards my body with my upper arms pasted to my sides to work my deltoids.

But one of the reasons I love gyms is the availability of a variety of equipment. It would be nice to have a little more variety at home too. The price of weights had skyrocketed. I looked a bit closer at the bands. The ads all looked very similar, but I noticed a few differences. Some were cheaper than others, some had a few more pieces than others. How would I decide which ones to buy? I asked around. No one I knew had purchased them. No one I knew had a concrete opinion about them. A few were dismissive of them. Poor substitutes for weights was the consensus among those that had any opinion at all.

The ads continued to pour in. I looked at prices. They were different but close to one other. I found myself thinking, let’s not go for the cheapest or the dearest. Somewhere in the middle might be ok. The price was affordable, which was part of the trap to pull me in.

I bought a set for $39.99 (I ended up paying about fifty dollars). Six weeks later they arrived in a battered cardboard box that I found on my doorstep. I was probably at home at the time, but no one knocked. Maybe the state of the box prompted the deliverer to tiptoe in and tiptoe out. I guess the state of the box didn’t matter after I discovered that the goods inside were not exactly breakable.

But that’s not to say they were sturdy and heavy duty either. In fact they looked a bit fragile. the connections between the bands and the grips were covered by an opaque plastic sleeve. I gave the bands a pull. They seemed to respond, ‘go ahead, but don’t stretch beyond a certain point.’ I discovered the stretch limit of one of them the second time I used it.

Using the handy door connector, I positioned the band at the top of my bedroom door to do some abdominal exercises. On my knees, I pulled the band over my head as I bent over. The band parted company with the grip at both ends. It had been folded around the metal ring of the grip and fastened in place by a plastic tie, exactly like the ones I use to stake tomato plants. I had a few ties in the garage and used two of them to return the band to a functioning state. I still use the bands, but I am always conscious of their limitations. I suspect I am not getting full value from the exercises I do with them. Or maybe they are good only for certain exercises. The one that broke the band was depicted on the instruction sheet.

I would love to know from anyone out there what their experience with resistance bands was like. If you know of a sturdy, unbreakable product, please let me know.

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