The resistance bands are quite different from their counterparts, such as dumbbells and barbells. We all understand that using dumbbells and barbells inside the swimming pool can corrode the steel rod over time.
However, most of the people forget to understand that the resistance bands are also prone to corrosion from moisture.
What! Please don’t say it. (This is how you may react)
After all, there is no iron content inside the exercise bands that may get corroded with repeated exposure to moisture.
You are right…
But resistance bands can also lose elasticity due to the prolonged usage underwater.
Here I am going to explain to you the scientific reasons which shall make your decision easier to avoid the use of resistance bands in the swimming pool.
Further, I shall also provide some bonus tips on using resistance bands in the swimming pool if you are damn adamant about using bands during swimming classes.
So, can I use resistance bands inside the swimming pool? People often assume resistance bands to be water repellent. However, the opposite is true for resistance bands. The natural rubber used for making resistance bands is non-inert. As such, it can easily react with outdoor environmental variables, including swimming pool water. However, there are some alternatives like applying appropriate lubricant over resistance bands before use in the swimming pool or by just using non-latex resistance bands.
As stated, follow me as I go a bit deeper while explaining the chemistry behind the material of workout bands. I shall provide some fantastic tips & alternatives by the end of this article
❝ Hi, I am Ravi, your companion and a passionate fitness athlete, cyclist, runner, gym enthusiast who just loves the concept of resistance bands for their extreme flexibility. I have been using resistance bands as one of my primary fitness equipment for the last many years ❞
Let’s begin –
Don’t get overwhelmed by the thoughts of facing medical jargon in the rest of the article. I shall keep my language and words as simple as possible to let you absorb the information easily.
To explain to you the scientific reasons for avoiding the use of bands underwater, let me first brief you about the material of resistance bands and their origin.
It would help in understanding how resistance bands react to moisture over persistent usage.
Which material is used for making resistance bands –
The resistance bands available in the market are made from the three types of material –
- Latex (natural rubber)
- TPE (non -latex rubber)
- A mixture of latex and cotton fabric
To keep the discussion simple, I would be explaining the case of the latex bands only as over 90% of resistance bands sold in the market are made from latex rubber only.
📑 To know more about the difference between the latex and non-latex materials, I would suggest you bookmark this article I published – Latex vs Non-Latex Resistance Bands – Which Is Best Material To Choose.
What do you mean by latex rubber and how it comes into the present form? –
The latex rubber is the most natural form of rubber, we can find on mother earth. It is extracted from the rubber trees by collecting them in the containers. The natural rubber in its original form is made of loosely arranged carbon chains.
The white soupy liquid, as extracted from the rubber trees, is therefore non-elastic due to the poor bonding between the molecules.
It is subjected to chemical treatment with sulfur and various other chemicals to convert this white rubbery liquid into a more usable form. The presence of sulfur and other agents improves the bonding/connection between the carbon chains/molecules. This process is referred to as vulcanization.
The increased adhesion/bonding between the molecular chains forces the rubber to come back to its original shape when released after stretching.
The natural latex rubber used in the resistance bands is just made from this chemically treated white liquid solution drawn from the rubber trees.
📑 Here is an important article which covers the origin, types, and implications of the material of resistance bands – How Are Resistance Bands Made – Learn Implications | Reduce Anxiety
What happens to the natural latex rubber when exposed to swimming pool water repeatedly?
The natural rubber, as explained in previous paragraphs, is a natural material that undergoes vulcanization. The natural rubber, as such, is prone to reaction with UV rays, heat, salt, moisture, etc.
When the resistance bands are subjected to swimming pool water, the researches have shown that the natural latex rubber of workout bands absorbs water and swells.
📑 Here is one such research published – The absorption of water by the rubber citing the effect of water on the rubber.
The swelling of natural rubber means the weakness in the bonding of polymer chains inside it. As a result, the resistance bands start losing elasticity over time with overexposure to the water.
👉 PRO-TIP –
This is why it is always recommended to clean resistance bands ( when used in outdoor places) with a wet cloth only. It is strictly advised not to rinse the resistance band directly in water or making use of a soapy solution.
It is also the same reason that synthetic rubber (non-latex rubber) came into existence for medical applications in equipment and gloves for their high resistance to the environmental parameters.
📑 Here is a vital resource I made for this purpose providing tips to get the maximum out of your investment in resistance bands – How Long Do Resistance Bands Last – Practical Tips For Longevity.
Bonus tips for using resistance bands underwater in a swimming pool or ocean shore
If you are an aspiring swimmer using resistance bands to resist swimming strokes or using bands just for fun workout inside the pool, here is the good news.
There is some workaround possible.
In such cases, there are water repellent lubricants available in the marketplaces. Such lubricants are chemically inert to ensure the safety of resistance bands.
Silicone-based lubricants and gels can be applied over the surface of resistance bands before using the exercise bands underwater. These lubricants form a water-resistant coating over the resistance band’s body and avoid direct contact with swimming pool water.
📑 More details about the kind of lubricants to be used for resistance bands can be found in this vital resource I made – How to Lubricate Resistance Bands – Best Lubricant (Research)
I have seen members at various forums discussing the use of lubricants to prevent resistance bands from drying out. It is a gross mistake. Additionally, It is entirely impractical to lubricate resistance bands with the few exceptions here and there. Using resistance bands in the swimming pool is one such exception.
👌 FACT –
Underwater photographers also lubricate rubber seals of camera units to seal the outer surface of their expensive gadgets.
A fantastic alternative for swimmers who are looking to improve their reaction time and speed with resistance bands –
For swimmers, there are also some unique resistance bands available, which can be used to do dryland swimming practice without even entering the pool.
📑 The swimming resistance bands sold by us at Unique Addict are such innovative resistance bands that can simulate butterfly, freestyle, breaststroke, and backstrokes on dry land.
These bands are especially important when you must frequently stay out of the home place for livelihood. You can retain your swimming muscle mass intact by practicing strokes in a hotel room with these creative swimming resistance bands.
Closely Related Questions
How do I clean my resistance bands?
The resistance bands attract dust when used over the dirty surface, which can make their surface rough and promote deterioration. The best way to clean resistance bands is to gently wipe them with a wet cloth piece without using any soap or detergent.
📑 More details about the same can be found in this article published at Unique Addict– How To Clean Booty Bands – Common Mistakes | Tried And Tested Methods.
Should I lubricate resistance bands to retain moisture after using under direct sunlight?
The lubrication serves several purposes, such as sealing the joints, preventing wear and tear of seals. However, when applied over resistance bands, they become slippery. It is also not practical to wipe the lubricated exercise bands before every use to clean left-over traces. Further, the risk of slipping of resistance bands under tension after lubrication is multiplied.
📑 Here is an article where concerns regarding lubrication of resistance bands have been addressed effectively – Do We Need To Lubricate Resistance Bands – Here Is What We Found
How do I store resistance bands for longer shelf life?
The resistance bands should be stored in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Further, avoid entangling resistance bands with each other and hard objects. It is a good idea to buy a resistance band stand (readily available at Amazon) or use an almirah or door hanger.
📑 The innovative tips and ideas for storing resistance bands can be found in this article I recently made for our readers – Best Ways To Store Resistance Bands – Home Made | Exclusive
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