Most of the articles that discuss this topic would start with the benefits of exercising, but I am assuming that you already know that. You are reading this article because you want to get the best result from your workout, so I won't waste your time. So, which is better, resistance bands or free weights? I would say resistance bands are better, but they are not the best! Then which is the best? You will come to know that soon, just take a look below.
Resistance bands have an upper hand over free weights. Why? Just consider the points mentioned below:
Immunity to Gravity
When you use free weights, you are working against the gravity, and this helps you build muscles. You can develop your muscles if you maintain the right posture (form), and use only the targeted muscles throughout your workout, but as you all know, maintaining the right posture after a few repetitions is difficult, you start seeking the assistance of other muscles, and use momentum to lift the free weights, and thus the effectiveness of the exercise reduces considerably.
You do not have to worry about gravity when you use resistance bands, as you work against the resistance of a resilient band, rather than gravity! Other muscles are unable to assist you, when you run out of steam. The exercise tends to be focused at the target area even after multiple repetitions, thus making the exercise more effective. Maintaining the right form is easy with resistance bands, as they do not pull you down.
Free weights allow free motion. There are several variations that you can perform using them, when compared to machines. The progressive resistance that free weights offer, along with the variety of exercise that you can do using them, makes them very popular.
Resistance bands also provide all the benefits of free weights (free motion, progressive resistance, etc.), in addition to that, they also eliminate the gravity-restriction from your free motion. This means that you are able to move your hand in any direction while using resistance bands. This is the reason why they are used by several athletes (boxing, baseball, etc.) while training.
Reduced Probability of Injury
As I mentioned earlier, momentum tends influence your repetitions when you exercise using free weights. This might also lead to uncontrolled motions. Such motions increase the risk of injury to a great extent.
Resistance bands provide better control, thus the chances of injury are reduced considerably. The first time I was doing overhead triceps extension using a dumbbell, I was constantly worried whether the dumbbell would fall on my head, if I accidentally lose grip! Well, when you are using resistance bands you do not have to worry about such injuries.
The Portability Factor
Free weights are great to use, but can you carry them when you are traveling? No one would want to stuff their luggage with weights, but you cannot afford to miss your exercise either. You do not have to worry about missing your regular exercise, if you carry resistance bands, they are compact and light in weight, so you can easily carry them anywhere you want. In addition to this, they are also affordable.
Now you know why I say, exercising with resistance bands is better than working out with free weights. Are you still thinking, which is the best? Well, the answer to that is very simple, what works for you is the "best" for you! Personally I feel that variation is the key to a great body, so keep changing your exercise routine periodically, and see that you do not injure yourself while working out.