How Are Resistance Bands Made – Learn Implications | Reduce Anxiety

Here I am going to provide you with some useful insights into the making of resistance bands which shall help you understand their dynamics and key features

This information shall develop the right mindset for resistance bands so that you keep realistic expectations from resistance bands.

So how are resistance bands made? The resistance bands are made from raw sticky syrup produced by rubber trees. This sticky rubber solution is further vulcanized with sulfur and other agents to cross-link loose polymer chains of natural rubber. This process transforms sticky and soft rubber into the stretchable material with elasticity to resist during resistance bands exercises.

However, the process of making resistance bands as mentioned above has several implications that have a direct correlation with the issues you may come up with during resistance bands exercises.

Here are few pitfalls of resistance bands, which you may observe sometime during your resistance bands workouts –

  1. Resistance bands always have a very short life span up to 2 years on average which may vary a bit according to usage and maintenance.
  2. Resistance bands may snap all of a sudden causing severe injuries.
  3. Resistance bands may become sticky over time.
  4. Resistance bands are prone to damage from moisture, heat, chlorine and sharp objects.
  5. Exercise bands may cause skin allergy.

Panicked! Don’t worry, It is the quiet normal

Here, I will explain to you how resistance bands are made in correlation to the issues you may face with bands (as cited above) so that you learn something and calm down anxieties by the end of this article.

Let us dive straight into the topic…

Here are some of the questions that are closely related to the making of resistance bands

 1. 

Why are resistance bands made from natural rubber in the first place when they have lots of drawbacks?

 2.

Why should I not panic due to the drawbacks these natural rubber bands have?

 3.

Are there any alternatives to natural rubber material for making resistance bands?

 4.

Why resistance bands come in flat, wide, tubular designs. What is so special?

 5.

Can I make my resistance band instead of buying from the market?

 

Let us discuss each query while I dive a bit more into the making of resistance bands. 

 


Why are resistance bands made from natural rubber in the first place when they have lots of drawbacks?

 

As said earlier, resistance bands are derived from purely natural rubber. However, this process has several limitations for future use as said earlier.

Let me first elaborate a bit more about how rubber comes into the form we use today to understand the reason behind the use of natural rubber

The maple syrup is collected from the rubber trees by cutting into the bark of rubber trees as shown in the picture below –

Natural rubber syrup being extracted from rubber tree

After every few days, rubber trees get recharged naturally and the above process of collection of syrup is repeated several times.

As per polymer solutions

The rubber syrup so collected contains long polymer chains that are scarcely connected. As a result, this natural rubber solution doesn’t have elasticity. Instead, this rubber syrup is way too sticky to be put into any practical usage.

Here comes the vulcanization process –

Through vulcanization, natural rubber is treated with sulphur and several other chemical agents that link those loose long chains of polymers together. The cross-linking of loose rubber molecules is responsible for making them super-elastic.

Let us come to our question: why are resistance bands preliminary made from natural rubber?

Natural rubber is one of the most stretchable materials available in abundance throughout nature.  Whatever we do with resistance bands is only because of their prime feature i.e. elasticity.

So, despite many drawbacks, resistance bands perform best when they are made from natural rubber.

 


Why should I not panic due to the drawbacks these natural rubber resistance bands have?

If there are issues such as stickiness, snapping and cracks coming up with your resistance bands, you are not the only one facing it.

There are some ways and tips to keep such issues to a minimum.

 

? Do check this article – Are resistance bands safe? to know the best tips to deal with the above implications. 

 

However, you can’t completely vanish all those drawbacks. Here are the reasons.

  1. The natural rubber used in exercise bands is bound to deteriorate over time. There is no way to prevent it from happening even when you store them permanently.
  2. Natural rubber is bound to loose cross-links between the polymer chains with time which pushes the latex rubber to their original state of rubber syrup from where it has originated. That’s why resistance bands become sticky over time and attract dust. There is no way to prevent this from happening.
  3. Natural rubber is a soft and flexible material. This flexibility of the material makes resistance bands a hell lot different from dumbbells, barbells and other machines. However, the flip side is their vulnerability to cracks and demand relatively higher maintenance.
  4. Natural rubber is prone to react with moisture, chlorine and other chemicals. You can’t use resistance bands in wet areas as rubber reacts with moisture and swells up.
  5. Natural rubber becomes brittle with heat and direct sunlight. It is always advised to avoid the usage of resistance bands under direct sunlight.

 

 ? Similarly, there are several restrictions over the kinds of storage for resistance bands which are covered in-depth in this article – Best ways to store resistance bands with some interesting DIY solutions.

As above, it can be safely accepted that some of the complications are inherent to resistance bands. 

This may have reduced your anxieties a bit for sure!

Still, believe me, the resistance bands are a way cheaper and effective alternative to free weights and expensive gym equipment.

 

?  Here are some of the most popular myths around resistance bands spreading online and offline which I have replied through the fantastic article – Myths around resistance bands (17 rumors)

 


Are there any alternatives to natural rubber material for making resistance bands?

Yes, there is, Of cause! This material is called TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer) which is also known as Non- Latex. You can also search for “Non-latex Resistance Bands” online and there are plenty of them in the market.

What exactly is TPE?

This is the non-natural and artificial material made from chemicals. A thermoplastic elastomer is much more resilient to high temperature, moisture, and chlorine.

Does that mean, we should be buying non-latex resistance bands instead of latex rubber workout bands!

Certainly ‘NO’! TPE material lacks elasticity where natural rubber shines like gold. So, as long as you don’t have any issue with a latex allergy, it is recommended to always purchase latex resistance bands.

? Find complete head-on comparison between the two materials here  – Latex vs Non-Latex resistance bands – which material to choose?

 


Why resistance bands come in flat, wide, tubular designs and colors. What is so special?

Different Shapes of resistance bands

Now, let us come to the design aspects of resistance bands.

The resistance bands are manufactured in several shapes, sizes, and colors.

The purpose of molding them in several shapes and sizes is their end goal which is the kind of exercise we can perform with resistance bands.

Take an example of power loop bands that are way lengthier and stronger then mini loop booty bands and tube bands. The power loop bands are best to work on major muscle groups such as the chest, back, shoulder and legs.

However, they are very uncomfortable while doing biceps, triceps, abduction, adduction, bridges, butt kicks etc.

Whereas small mini loop bands are works best for abduction, adduction, squats, lunges and butt kicks.

 

Here is the brief introduction to the two main shapes of resistance bands–

1. Flat resistance bands

These resistance bands are made with flat and wide rubber sheets. This flat and wide design makes them super durable and comfortable when used over the skin

Flat Resistance Bands Types

The Flat workout bands are always used directly over skin without any need for accessories such as door anchors, wall anchors, and handles. Power loop bands and mini loop bands are a perfect example of such shapes of resistance bands.

2. Tubular resistance bands

Such resistance bands are made in the form of cylindrical tubes that are hollow from inside in most of the cases.  The tubular bands have been designed to replicate the gym exercises with dumbells, barbells and other gym machines.

The tubular bands can do so, with the help of accessories such as ankles, cuffs, and handles. That’s the reason, tubular resistance bands come in form of kits with several accessories as under –

 

Tube Resistance bands kit along with their accessories

Similarly, there are different sizes and colors of resistance bands in the market which meet the typical needs of an individual.

 ? You can find detailed information about the variety of resistance bands and their design specific features in this article  – Types of resistance bands and their uses – An exhaustive guide.

 


Can I make my resistance band instead of buying from the market?

You may come up with such ideas, it is perfectly fine. After all, making resistance bands is not rocket science.

However, I don’t recommend doing so. Homemade resistance bands made from bicycle tubes are not designed for stretchability as desired in case of resistance bands exercises. 

Further, safety is also one of the prime issues. The resistance bands available in the market have come up with unique technological advancements which prevent the broken ends of bands from hitting you back.

? Here is the list of such anti-snap resistance bands curated by us – best resistance bands that won’t snap.

Modern resistance bands are made with improvised designs for durability. New resistance bands come with multiple layers of rubber stacked over each other to enhance durability and preventing resistance bands from breaking in the first place.

So, I always advise people to treat the purchase of resistance bands as an investment in your health. Buy only good quality resistance bands and get disease-free life as a dividend.

 

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