The major purpose of exercise bands or  resistance bands  is resistance. Resistance band training will increase your strength and muscular endurance.
A complete exercise program will include both aerobic and anaerobic training. Aerobic training includes such things as walking, jogging, stair climbing, running, treadmill workouts, jumping, swimming, biking, elliptical training & aerobic-type exercise class style workouts that cause your heart beat and breathing to increase. They help improve the function of your heart and lungs but not necessarily your size or your muscle strength. They do not shape or tone your body.

Shaping and toning requires resistance training. You need to use resistance to shape and tone your muscles; running and walking won't do that. Resistance training causes your metabolism to increase and burn up the extra fat you are so anxious to shed. Your muscles burn twice the calories & fat simply to maintain themselves.

Resistance training is the same as strength training or weight training, but it's the term that best applies when the strength training exercises are performed using exercise bands  or exercise tubing Resistance training is essential to a successful fitness program. Not only does it boost metabolism and build strength, it prevents injuries. Strong muscles are less likely to get hurt. And of course, resistance training promotes strong, healthy bones-the more weight you can lift, the more you strengthen your bones.

But wait, there's more. The American Heart Association recommends resistance training to promote cardiovascular fitness and modify risk for cardiovascular disease. And a little resistance goes a long way. Studies have shown that two 15- 20-minute resistance training sessions per week are enough to get all the health benefits of resistance training, which include a reduced risk of osteoporosis and lower back pain, as well as improvements in lowering blood pressure, resting metabolic rate, and even decreasing insulin resistance, which can help prevent the development of diabetes. If you have loftier strength-training goals, then your resistance workouts will be longer and more intense.
Some clients may wonder whether they will get the same workout using a band or exercise tubing rather than resistance training using free weights or a machine. But the muscles will be working, don't worry about that. When you perform resistance training moves using an exercise band you'll get resistance in all directions, not just one direction, so each move can be more challenging than lifting weights on a machine. Another plus for resistance training with exercise tubing-it's portable. You can pack a tube in a suitcase for an instant workout when you are travel

For strength training,
resistance bands are arguably the easiest and most effective equipment to begin using. These bands can take you through a full body workout. They require minimal space and are cost effective. They are easy to take wherever you go. This makes them great for a trip whether business or vacations. They are not costly, which makes getting toned and fit easy on your purse.
Why use exercise bands or resistance bands?
What are Exercise Bands For?
exercise tubing or exercise bands
                       The major purpose of exercise bands or                    
resistance bands is resistance. Resistance band training will increase your strength and muscular endurance. This type of exercise will also increase your muscle size. The muscles have to work harder to accomplish movement than they would without the exercise band. This will affect your appearance by giving your body shape and definition.
resistance bands or stretch bands or exercise bands
Most exercise tubing comes with handles already attached. Whether you use both handles will depend on the exercise you are planning to perform. Many exercises require you to stand on the center of the band, with the handles in either hand. Make sure that the tubing is secured under your feet before beginning each exercise. DIfferent shapes of exercise bands facilitate exercises which shape particular areas of the body. You use different shapes to work different areas of the body. It is good to have at least one of each shape to use in your exercise program. Use the tube style for your arms, shoulders, chest, back, legs and butt. The cuff style works great for your legs. Try the "O" shape for Shoulders, Arms, Outer Thighs, and Hips. Use the figure "8" for your Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back, Hips, Thighs, Butt, and Legs.

Using the door attachment:
If the door anchor is required for the exercise you are doing, simply attach the door attachment to the door following the instructions that come with your door attachment. Shut the loop webbing between the door and doorframe by inserting the entire anchor loop between the door and the frame, the door should open away from you. Close the door tightly on the loop and pull to secure.The height of door anchor will be determined by the kind of exercise you are doing. When performing exercises where the bands need to be close to the floor, place the mounting loop below the lowest hinge. Do not place the anchor under the bottom of the door, as doors vary in height. The band could pull free and cause injury. The band height can be adjusted by simply moving the bands up or down along the hinge-side of the door.
Important Note: Always make sure the door is securely shut before beginning your workout.

There are also special types of exercise  bands which are used to strengthen and shape certain parts of your body.  For instance:
The Loop Style Resistance Band is for lower body shaping of legs, calves and hips.
The Tubing Loop Style Band is great for strengthening and toning arms and even leg work.
Ankle Cuffs also called Ankle Tubes are for leg work and help tone hips as well.
Figure 8 Style Bands also called Bow Tie Tubing and PhysioToners are great for arms and chest strengthening, toning and shaping.

What resistance level band do I need?

It will depends on your current strength level and your height. The taller you are, the more the band stretches and the harder it is to pull. It is best to purchase more than one resistance level because:
  It is difficult to gauge accurately the resistance you will need.
  Your workout will be more efficient since smaller muscle groups require less resistance while large muscle groups require more resistance.
  You will need a lighter resistance for warm ups than for strength training.

Basic resistance strength information:

1. Beginners usually start with the
extra light and light strength levels.

2. Intermediates use
light and medium.

3. Advanced users (athletes) go with
heavy and extra heavy.

Kick it up a notch - Increase intensity as you get stronger and need more challenge by adding heavier resistance bands to your workout program.

Other names for Exercise Bands are: resistance bands, fitness bands, exercise tubing, gym cables, stretch tubing, rubber resistance tubing, rubber tubing, resistance tubing,
& rhombus tubing.

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