Doing regular resistance and strength training is important for runners.
This is because such training can strengthen the core muscles, such as the hips and abdomen, and correct muscular imbalances. This will boost a runner’s performance and help to keep running injuries at bay.
Resistance bands provide an easy way to strengthen core muscles
And using resistance bands is one of the easiest ways to strengthen the core muscles in runners, according to Jaz Ang, 42, distributor for FlexiGrid Therapy and TheEarthElement resistance bands in Singapore and an avid distance runner herself. This is because they work on the muscles in the core, legs and glutes, as well as the small stabiliser muscles to keep the resistance bands in alignment.
Said Jaz, “Core muscles are important for runners, especially if you are a serious distance runner. Even when running shorter distances such as 5km and 10km, if your muscles are not strong, you will get injured easily. Common running injuries are at the knee and shin areas and they usually happen because a runner does not do strengthening.”
She added, “And the good thing about our resistance bands are that they are small and portable and comes with a bag, so that you can easily slip it into your handbag and carry it around without the bulk.”
Can also help runners who are injured
Besides strengthening the core muscles, resistance bands can also go a long way in helping runners who have sustained muscle injuries, with their recovery and rehabilitation process.
Said Jaz, “Pulling the affected muscles and using them in different ways with the resistance bands, will help to stretch them and loosen the tightness. This aids in the recovery process.”
Resistance band training is becoming popular in the United States
She added that resistance training is becoming increasingly popular amongst runners in the United States and other Western countries, but for runners in Singapore, they may not be aware of it or do not see the need to do such training.
Said Jaz, “Singaporeans may not know about core strengthening and resistance training and how it will help them with their sport. But people in the States are generally more sporty and they are experimenting with all types of exercise, including resistance training. But I strongly encourage more runners to try out this product and recommend it to their fellow runners.”
Resistance bands from FlexiGrid Therapy and TheEarthElement
The two brands of resistance band products that Jaz had given me to try, were the ones by FlexiGrid Therapy and TheEarthElement.
While the products for both brands are quite similar, the main difference is that TheEarthElement has an “Extra Strong” band in addition to the “Light”, “Medium” and “Strong” bands, inside the package.
According to Jaz, the two brands will cater to runners with differing fitness levels. She said, “If your legs are bigger sized, you can use the stronger bands, and if you have smaller legs, then start with the lighter ones. And if you are able to use the stronger bands means that you are actually very fit already.”
Besides that, the size that the bands come in are slightly different. The FlexiGrid bands have a diameter of 50cm and TheEarthElement ones are slightly longer, at 60cm. So the bands will cater to runners with different fitness levels.
I don’t usually do resistance training, so I tried out the “Light” band from TheEarthElement – as I am more comfortable with a slightly longer resistance band to start with. Though I haven’t used them for very long yet, I can definitely see how regular resistance band training, will help with my running.
Can feel the resistance almost instantaneously
This is because you can immediately feel the resistance and the pulling of the band as you are stretching your muscles with the band around the parts that you want to stretch. And doing about eight to ten reps of the same movements results in tiredness and fatigue for the muscles. This had certainly happened to me. Whenever I tried out the bands, my muscles were protesting after about ten minutes each time!
For review purposes, I also tested out the “Light” band from the FlexiGrid Therapy package. The feel and resistance of the band felt identical, but with the slightly smaller band, I made sure that I was a little bit more careful when stretching it – this is because according to the box instructions, the band is not recommended to be stretched to more than twice of its original diameter.
But that said, with a marginally smaller band, I also noticed that you do not need to stretch as much in order to feel the resistance as compared to the bands from TheEarthElement. But I suppose both of them have their pros and cons and it is all down to one’s personal preferences.
Says Jaz, “Doing resistance training for about five to ten minutes each day can help with injury prevention.”
Doing this over time for an extended period, I found that the muscles will fatigue much less easily, and soon it becomes much easier to work with the resistance band. And when this happens, you will probably need to upgrade to the next size.
But if you find that you don’t get the feeling of fatigue, though, this would probably mean that you will need to use a heavier resistance band! But with FlexiGrid and TheEarthElement, there should be a resistance band available for you regardless of what level of resistance training, you are at.
Where to buy the resistance bands from
Both the FlexiGrid and TheEarthElement resistance bands are available for purchase online, at Qoo10.
The FlexiGrid resistance bands can be bought here and they are going for $25.90 for three bands – Light, Medium and Heavy.
TheEarthElement resistance bands can be bought here and they are going for $29.90 for four bands – Light, Medium, Heavy and Extra Heavy.
But do note that the prices do not include shipping costs, though.
This is a sponsored post.
Thank you Jaz for the opportunity to try the FlexiGrid Therapy and The Earth Element resistance bands.