Can Resistance Bands Break?

Resistance bands are all the rage these days. And I mean- it’s no surprise. Resistance bands have seriously revolutionized the way we have done our workouts. And yes, if you’re wondering if resistance bands can build muscle, yes- they can! But, can resistance bands break?

Well, unfortunately, yes. Resistance bands can break. Generally, however, resistance bands typically break from improper use. In fact, I would say around 90-99% of the time resistance bands break is because of improper use. This is mainly because when resistance bands are breaking down from use over time, you’ll notice. You can see cracks, tears, etcetera and know it’s time to replace it.

While you can’t always guarantee or know when your resistance band may break, let’s discuss some ways we can check for damage to the resistance bands, and let’s also talk about things to avoid doing with the resistance bands so they don’t break.

Can Resistance Bands Break? Yes Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
Can Resistance Bands Break? Yes Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The Fundamentals of Not Breaking Resistance Bands

Yes, resistance bands can break. But, typically, it is usually from doing weird things with them.

Here’s a simple list of things to avoid, AKA the fundamentals of not breaking resistance bands.

  • Avoid screwing around with the resistance bands. Use them for exercise, don’t do weird leaps or springs with them.
  • Don’t release the bands under tension, it can break them and injure someone fast.
  • Store the resistance bands out of sunlight and in a smart spot.
  • Don’t hyperextend the resistance bands.
  • Do NOT See-Saw the band around a pole, anchor it to an actual point.

Let’s cover these more in-depth and really explain them.

Don’t Screw Around With The Resistance Bands

To reduce the chance of breaking your resistance bands, just use them properly.

For the love of all things holy, my high school gym must have been nothing short of a nightmare for those poor resistance bands. I saw my classmates literally obliterate those things.

At one point, one kid used the resistance bands- anchored them to the pull-up bar, and literally launched himself into the ceiling and broke one of the tiles.

Needless to say, if I was ever a resistance band, a group of high schoolers is the last place I’d want to be.

Point is- don’t use these improperly. While I’ve seen these resistance bands go through tough things and survive, using them like that is only bound to ruin them. So let’s cover a few ways we can avoid breaking them.

Really, using the resistance bands to mess around with will only do things like hyperextend, damage, or ruin the bands. So, let’s avoid it.

Don’t Release the Resistance Bands Under Full/Semi-Tension.

I see this all the time, people bring the resistance bands all the way to the lock out point, then release it.

First of all, this is incredibly dangerous. Using basic laws of physics we can understand that if somebody is by the resistance band, there is a high potential they can be injured.

You see, when you release the band, the band inverts itself and can unattach itself from the anchor point and fly out rapidly. This can seriously hurt someone.

Anyways, if you’re selfish and don’t really care about other people, at least realize that doing this can seriously injure the resistance band.

That much energy exploding at once forces the resistance band through immense pressure, and furthermore, if it releases and hits another surface, it will seriously damage the resistance bands even more.

This is one of the laws of physics, when an object hits something, it receives the same amount of force back. So if your resistance band hits the wall fast, the wall will send back the same amount of energy which will damage the band over time.

Furthermore, most resistance bands are made out of latex or rubber, and while the material is generally pretty tough, hitting walls at high speeds can easily damage or crack the resistance bands!

Point is? Don’t just slam these things back, slowly release them- or if you have to drop them, try and do it as close to the ground as possible to minimize injury and damage to the resistance band.

Store The Resistance Bands Somewhere Smart and Out of The Sun/Light

Here’s my advice, store the resistance bands like you’d store a fancy belt. Most of us are going to straighten those belts out at the end of the night, store them in our closet, and keep them safe.

The last thing you want on your Gucci belt is gross stains, sunlight damage, and it being all curled up and broken.

So? Do the same with the resistance bands. Don’t leave them out in the sun all curled up all day, don’t just let food and stains or pets tamper with them all day. it’s going to damage them and increase the risk of injury.

A big problem is actually the sun! the sun will probably do some of the most damage you aren’t expecting here.

Truthfully, I see gyms across the country leave their resistance bands out in the sun all day. Usually, you can see the damage they’ve done to the resistance bands already, there will frequently be tons of little cracks and damage from the suns rays.

Also, don’t store the resistance bands in a weird way. Keep them normal with no tension, don’t try to like bend them or twist them weirdly to keep them wrapped up.

Don’t Hyperextend The Resistance Bands

Hyperextending the resistance bands is just a recipe for disaster. While the resistance bands are meant to be stretched, stretching them 3x more than their standard length is just a big mess. Honestly, I don’t recommend stretching them past 2x their length- although you’ll find this hard to do.

Truthfully, if you’re stretching the resistance bands too far, you’ll certainly know. It’s very difficult to actually hyperextend these unless you’re really trying.

Hyperextending the bands just forces the band way too far and can cause microscopic damage within the latex/rubber.

So just keep it simple and make sure you’re anchoring the resistance bands at a place that isn’t too far from you and try to anchor it with the included anchor in the box.

Minimize Friction/Don’t “See-Saw”/Axe Your Resistance Bands

A big problem I see is people anchoring their resistance bands to something solid like a metal pole. No, they aren’t using the included anchor point, they are just wrapping the resistance band around a flagpole.

While a lot of people can get away with this, it creates a lot of problems.

Friction is how most of these resistance bands are going to break. You keep holding the resistance bands at that point, and the heat starts to build.

This is actually a trick question for anybody that’s in physic/science classes. If they ask how to generate warmth when you’re out in the cold, the correct answer is rubbing your hands together to generate friction. The friction generates an immense amount of heat, even if it damages your hands a little bit.

The same thing applies here actually, when you hold the resistance band and keep stretching it against this point, it generates heat and a lot of friction. The more heat, the faster your resistance band is going to break down.

This can actually be really dangerous if you keep doing this and ‘see-sawing’ your resistance bands back and forth. Eventually, the middle can give out, and it can send you flying and/or getting injured by the whiplash of the resistance band too.

How To Check Your Resistance Bands For Damage

Before you use a resistance band, you should ALWAYS check them before using them. Generally, it will be pretty obvious if you shouldn’t be using a resistance band.

A ton of cracks and damage should be VERY obvious, but it can still easily be missed. Resistance bands are not something to be messed around with, as one snapping under max tension can cause great injury.

Always look the band up and down for new cracks, tears, or discoloration that wasn’t there before. I recommend taking a picture of your resistance bands when you first buy them so you can compare it.

Any of the following should lead you to replace the resistance bands:

  • Cracks
  • Tears
  • Discoloration
  • Strange rigidity
  • Very odd elasticity (way too loose or way too tight).
  • Very strange smell or odor suddenly (may indicate Latex has dried out)
  • Resistance bands that are way too old. I would recommend changing them every 2 years maximum, or less if you use them incredibly frequently.

How Long Do Resistance Bands Last?

You may be wondering, how long do resistance bands last?

Well, the answer isn’t that simple. It really depends on how often the resistance bands are used. In a high use environment such as a weight lifting team or yoga club, you might see these things only last 2-3 months. Meanwhile, if you use them somewhat frequently but not everyday, you might see years of usage.

It also depends on how you use the bands. If you screw around a lot, expect them to last a lot shorter than they normally would. Follow the advice above to lengthen the time your resistance bands last.

Resistance Band Injuries Per Year

While there isn’t an official amount of resistance band injuries per year, there are quite a few resistance band injuries every year. Most of them come from improper anchoring or trying to use the resistance band by anchoring it with a foot.

Most resistance band makers do not recommend using your foot as an anchor due to the increased risk of injuring yourself. I don’t recommend it either, if you are absolutely forced to by doctor’s orders- ensure you have a proper foot stance that doesn’t allow the resistance band to slip.

Conclusion of Can Resistance Bands Break?

So yes, resistance bands can break. Although most of the time it is related to improper use by the user, it is always important to inspect your resistance bands beforehand to make sure they are safe to use.

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