Replacing dumbbells, with resistance bands?


Well-known member
Guardian from Kavala, Greece
Pronouns: He/Him
Posts: 104
Hey everyone,

I wanted to ask if a program or workout that utilizes dumbbells or weights in general would have the same effectiveness if they were replaced with resistance bands. I'm thinking of purchasing a set of resistance bands to use for pull-ups and also considering using them for workouts or programs that utilize weights. What do you think?


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Ranger from Australia
Posts: 1,742
"Motivation is temporary. Discipline is forever."
Don't forget that the more you stretch resistance bands, the harder you have to work. They're not the same as weights which are the same at the top of the lift as they were at the bottom. That said, bands can make a workout a lot of fun, and that increasing/decreasing tension can be used to your advantage. There wouldn't be the same effectiveness as if you were using weights, but you would still get effectiveness, and given how affordable bands are compared to dumbbells, you could also significantly increase the "weight" with bands. You can also use bands and weights together, giving yourself a harder workout if you want one.
Bands have a greater variety of uses, I think, than dumbbells, so I'd say, get the bands.


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Honeybee Posts: 155
They don't work the same way as weights, but can definitely be useful and work for some of the exercises that weights can't. It's also much more affordable, easy to carry anywhere, and fun and versatile, too.

But weight is a lot more durable. You can tear a band but not a piece of metal. In a long run it might take more money for bands.

I believe weight challenges your core and stability more than bands as you have to hold it during various movements. It can strengthen your grip, too.

The other side of the coin is that with bands you don't have to worry about things like core stabiity if all you want to do is strengthen a muscle. For example I see people using super heavy band for squats. You can imagine how with bands you don't have to stabilize yourself like how you would need to with a 100lbs dumbbell. Avoid injuries, too. At least it takes away significant amount of potential lowerback strain, in the case of squats.
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Shaman from Italy
Posts: 3,423
"“Keep an eye on the staircases. They like to change.” Percy Weasley, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone."
It is not the same thing pulling a rubber band or lifting a weight, just as it is not the same thing using light or heavy weights, aesthetically you can achieve the same result but those muscles will be able to do different things because they have been trained differently.
I realized this when I tried to squat with a barbell, I was able to do hundreds of bodyweight squats but I could barely lift 50kg (I weigh 63kg for 1.65m tall).
Perhaps first of all you need to clarify what you really want to achieve, it is just my opinion :)


Well-known member
Honeybee Posts: 155
Then maybe go for bands if you have budget issue. Just get the more durable ones, or you fold the band which make it harder to be torn and twice as challenging.

You can substitute dumbbells with other weights, too. I don't know if this sounds obvious but use stuff you find in the house. Milk container for example. You can fill it up with water and sand if you can get to a beach.
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