There's a bit of a debate in fitness circles about the potency of resistance band systems over the use of free weights. Both can help you stay fit, build muscle strength or just get toned, but some say that the more traditional free weights are the only surefire measure to long-term strength building.

For those that wish to just exercise daily in order to stay fit and healthy, either will probably do them well, but are resistance bands just for beginners or intermediates?

Types of Resistance Makes the Difference

Free weights make use of the force of gravity to provide that resistance force. This is merely the opposing force that works your muscles during each movement and enables you to build strength.

Both resistance bands and free weights allow you to increase this force in increments as you desire. You can add another ring of kilograms to your dumbbells, or add another band of resistance to increase the force. That way, you can slowly build up to a desired strength goal – it can not be done all at once.

What I've found, however, is that resistance band systems offer a greater range of movement . Free weights tend to restrict you to up and down movements. With resistance band systems, you have a great freedom, and this allows you to mimic your natural body movements. This is important – the ability to copy what you do in everyday life is significant because it means you are not putting any unusual strain on your muscles.

Risk of Injury

With any exercise, there is an inherent risk of injury. You are working your body hard and using, in some cases, some heavy weights or machinery.

If you use heavy machinery usually found in a gym, there is a reduced risk of injury. However, not everyone has access to these machines, and that's why we're comparing free weights to resistance bands. Even those that get gym members often fail to go as regularly as they would like.

It is easy to cheat or deceive yourself when using free weights. You may do a move that is slightly easier just to finish all your reps faster. This may put strain on your muscle, or it may be working the wrong muscle group. In the end, you are just harming yourself. With resistance band systems, it is more straightforward. The greater freedom of movement means that it is usually more obvious if you are doing the exercise correctly.