Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights

  • Ronny Bergquist, Vegard Moe Iversen, Paul J Mork, Marius Steiro Fimland
  • Journal of Human Kinetics, March 2018, De Gruyter
  • DOI: 10.1515/hukin-2017-0137

Efficacy of elastic bands for upper-body strength training exercises

What is it about?

Elastic bands are known as an alternative to machines, dumbbells and barbells for strength training. In this study we show that levels of muscle activity (EMG) in selected upper-body muscles during the exercises 'flyes' and 'reversed flyes' when using elastic bands, is comparable to muscle activation during training with dumbbells when resistance is similar.

Why is it important?

Efficacy of strength training with the exercises 'flyes' and 'reversed flyes' has not previously been investigated.


Ronny Bergquist
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

The study shows are when resistance is similar, muscle activation when using elastic bands in these exercises are comparable to that of dumbbells, meaning people can use elastic bands and get in a good work-out without going to the gym.

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The following have contributed to this page: Ronny Bergquist