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Resistance bands vs. Dumbbells
Old 12-22-2019, 03:17 PM   #1
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Resistance bands vs. Dumbbells

Now that my knee is well on the way to recovery from replacement surgery it's time to consider improving my exercise routine.

It's important that they be easy and quick to use. I am thinking of a 30 minute strength building routine four days a week.

I have been considering getting a set of dumbbells or resistance bands. I am wondering about the pluses and minuses of each. If you have experiences with one or both, I would love to hear what you think.
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Old 12-22-2019, 03:40 PM   #2
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I like and use both.

Neither is an expensive purchase so I would say get a set of bands and a pair of dumbbells with just 5 pound weights. Try them out (tons of good exercise tips on YouTube) and see how you like using them. You can easily add more weights to the dumbbells later if you want.
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Old 12-22-2019, 04:50 PM   #3
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In your case, with the knee replacement, I would suggest not carrying any more weight than needed. Resistance bands would be safer for your new joint.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:18 PM   #4
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I would ask your physical therapist what would be best for your situation.
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:34 PM   #5
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I have done a little with the weight machines at the gym since my surgery (which was about a month after yours). I keep intending to do more!

Right now I have been mainly focusing on the machines which are cardio for most people I guess; the stationary bike, the seated elliptical, and the Nustep crosstrainer. Since my leg muscles were so weak after surgery, these have been helping my leg strength as well as cardio.

If it gets to the point where my legs are strong enough that they are no longer increasing in strength with these cardio machines, then I'll spend less of my gym time with the cardio machines and more with the weight machines I suppose. So much of weight lifting (in general, whether machines or free weights) seems to focus perhaps more on the upper body, but there are weight machines that exercise the legs and knees and can be set to very low weights to begin with. And then, my upper body could use some strength workouts too. I do lift heavy things around the house now so there's that.

I've never tried the resistance bands, although I know they are inexpensive. I guess I feel like the weight machines are a more controlled and predictable lift. I have 1, 2, and 3 pound dumbbells but I can't figure out how to get much benefit from them for my legs. My legs are still too weak to use the strap on ankle weights quite yet.

How about climbing stairs? I have noticed that really is quite a workout for me these days. I climbed up a flight of stairs briskly last Saturday and it took me two days before I felt human again. OK it was to the second floor of my gym, which has 20-30 foot ceilings on the first floor, so that's my excuse. I plan to try that again in a few days.

I love that after all we went through, we are now talking about our plans to increase workouts and strength!!
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:53 PM   #6
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I've used both in the past. The bands weren't exactly the popular ones but similar as they were part of a machine. But eventually they broke so now I use dumbells.

I prefer dumbells but both worked for me.
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:35 AM   #7
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I use both for shoulder maintenance and rebab when injuries occur. I am sure both have a place for leg/knee strengthening as well.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:15 AM   #8
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My preference is for dumbbells as I think they provide options that bands don't, but either will work when used correctly so pick the ones you like the best and that you are more likely to use on a regular basis.

Also, I always take at least a day of rest when lifting (sometimes 2 or 3 days) to give the muscles a chance to recover.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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I do free weights and machines at the gym. Bought resistance bands with four different weight designations. Take them on vacation. Work great
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:59 AM   #10
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Depends. I own the Bodylastics resistance bands and have access to dumbbells, barbells etc. at my gym. For travel or a home workout, the bands are great - plus they are are much more “transportable”. For certain exercises, I prefer the dumbbells/barbells - but moving a rack of these from point a to point b would be a real hassle. Both have their strengths and you can accomplish a decent workout with either.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
...I have 1, 2, and 3 pound dumbbells but I can't figure out how to get much benefit from them for my legs. My legs are still too weak to use the strap on ankle weights quite yet.

How about climbing stairs? I have noticed that really is quite a workout for me these days. I climbed up a flight of stairs briskly last Saturday and it took me two days before I felt human again. OK it was to the second floor of my gym, which has 20-30 foot ceilings on the first floor, so that's my excuse. I plan to try that again in a few days...
Hey W2R -

There are a lot of body weight exercises you can do to work your legs...with no need for a gym:

https://www.mensjournal.com/health-f...exercises-legs

https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a...ithout-weights

https://www.livestrong.com/article/1...scles-at-home/

Some of the more difficult exercises can be modified to help you get started. If you buy a cheap (i.e. < $10) leg band, you can then add all kinds of glute exercises too:

https://www.self.com/gallery/resista...an-do-anywhere
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I have 1, 2, and 3 pound dumbbells but I can't figure out how to get much benefit from them for my legs. My legs are still too weak to use the strap on ankle weights quite yet.

How about climbing stairs? I have noticed that really is quite a workout for me these days. I climbed up a flight of stairs briskly last Saturday and it took me two days before I felt human again. OK it was to the second floor of my gym, which has 20-30 foot ceilings on the first floor, so that's my excuse. I plan to try that again in a few days.
IMO, ankle weights provide little benefit and will alter your gait in a negative way.

Climbing stairs will be more beneficial and is also a good cardio workout. Carry a pair of dumbbells up and down the stairs to get an arm and core workout at the same time.
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