What is a Superband?

Marlene de Wilde

A superband is a long, very strong resistance band used for upper and lower body training. The bands come in a variety of resistance levels ranging from those suitable for beginners to those used by heavyweight athletes. Incorporating these bands into an exercise workout causes an increase in the heart rate as the body weight is used against them. The most common exercise routines performed with the use of a superband are assisted chin-ups and dips.

Superbands come in a variety of resistance levels.
Superbands come in a variety of resistance levels.

The bands vary according to thickness and widths. The beginner superband is 3/16 of an inch (0.5 cm) thick and 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide, which gives 25 pounds (11.3 kg) of resistance. Some of the exercises that benefit from its use are squats, bicep curls, shoulder laterals, one-arm pressing and rowing, as well as crunches. The 1 inch (2.5 cm) band is the next level up and is recommended for experienced strength trainers. The resistance level is 50 pounds (22.6 kg). The effects of exercises such as compound rowing, chest presses, upright rows and rotations are enhanced with the use of this superband.

The 1.75 inch (4.4 cm) superband, which offers 75 pounds (34 kg) of resistance, is only recommended for very strong athletes who are looking to increase the resistance of exercises such as dead lifts, explosive pulls and resisted stationary running. The same routines benefit from the use of the 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) resistance band, but this level is only suitable for heavyweight super athletes, with 100 pounds (45.3 kg) of resistance. Shortening or lengthening the bands changes the tension and consequently the level of difficulty.

Superbands can be incorporated into any workout program with the aim of reducing fat and becoming more toned. Resistance training can be used in the pursuit of good health, as it enhances endocrine and immune function, builds bone density and maintains muscle mass. The effect of aging is also reduced as resistance training builds strength. As superbands are lightweight and easy to carry in comparison to weights, athletes can take them wherever they wish to workout.

The movements required in the use of resistance bands compared to weights and weight lifting gym equipment are smoother, with less chance of injury. The key to an effective workout is to choose the right width, one that is neither too easy nor too hard for the level of fitness.

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