Hmmm ….. why would they? I like them both for the benefits they each provide. I know that there is sometimes a ‘the only piece of equipment you ever need’ mentality but I would not use one at the exclusion of the other.
There are clients who are initially less intimidated by bands; they often used them in physical therapy. In that case it may be a good starting point.
They are two different concepts, both have their place, so I would say no also.
There is no stead fast “rule” on strength training, my theory is mix it up, keep things challenging, keep the muscle groups surprised, don’t do the same thing over and over again, and use all of the wonderful modalities we have today!
Hi Gus. Since your question is should they EVER replace dumbbells, I would answer “yes,” since I can think of many reasons why you would substitute the bands for the dumbbells. For example, for a beginning, in-home exerciser where the trainer cannot easily transport weights (for example, I recall one trainer on this site who stated that she performed in-home training using public transportation) bands CAN be an adequate substitute for dumbbells. So, where cost, space, or the ability to transport the weights are an issues, I would say that bands could serve as a substitute.
That being said, I’m not sure that you would want to EXCLUSIVELY use bands with a healthy client who has the ability to progress with their strength. Eventually, introducing weight such as dumbbells makes sense for a progressive way to improve their strength.
I hope this helps.
It seems that the consensus is that exercise bands and dumb bells both have their uses and their place within the realm of fitness improvement. I would be hard pressed not to agree with this consensus.
We must keep in mind that dumb bells are acted upon by gravity. Gravity pulls on a line that is perpendicular to the plane of incidence (the floor in most cases). So dumb bells can be a little more versitile than barbells in that we can arrange our clients in different orientations to gravity. In this way, they can incur musculoskeletal stressors that will bring about muscular development in areas and ways that might not normally be encountered.
That having been said, exercise bands can take this ‘orientation to gravity’ a step further. For example, if someone is in a stabilized lunge position, bands can be anchored in various positions. The angle from which the band is anchored and the manner in which the muscles and joints involved are working can elicit muscular stimulation that cannot be (normally) achieved with just dumb bells.
I think that dumb bells, for general strength, cannot be beat. However, the use of exercise bands can enhance the strength and core stability of the experienced exerciser. Also, as was stated earlier, exercise bands are a good starting point for the novice exerciser.
This was a good question and I hope that I was able to add to the discussion.
Harold E. Rose, Jr.
Ab-Sutra Health and Fitness Coaches
Be Healthy, Be Ageless, Be You.