The bands, which run vertically down the legs of the pants, are meant to add a layer of “active resistance” over your muscles, making your muscles have to work harder than usual to do everyday tasks. They look mostly look like regular black leggings, with bands positioned over your natural muscle and ligament lines to move comfortably with your body.
The resistance bands in back run from the glutes, down the hamstrings to the ankle, and the front bands surround the knee to prevent any restrictions of mobility while also assisting in keeping your knee where it should be as you move. A set of stirrups go around your foot to stretch the bands into place. The pants come in two different resistance levels: +20, which is meant to be worn for smooth movements and longer duration exercises, and +40, which is best for shorter duration exercises and explosive movements. Here’s what my experience was like.
What’s it like to work out in resistance band pants?
Resistance band workouts, whether by way of fancy pants or old-fashioned rubber loops, have been on the rise of late. Not only are they a whole lot easier to carry them around than a set of 10 pound dumbbells, but research has shown that they can strengthen some muscles just as well as weight training can. Earlier this year, we even released an entire month’s worth of Trainer of the Month Club workouts that strictly used resistance bands, because there are a near-endless number of different things you can do with them that work your body head-to-toe. Proof:
While the effect of the pants is similar to that of regular-old resistance bands that have been sitting in your bedroom for the last three years, what makes them so great is that you can use them for the types of activities that you likely wouldn’t have your bands on-hand (or, really, on leg) for, like yoga, running, or even walking to work.
A sucker for efficiency (see: the time I attended a speed-dating workout mixer), I had to give them a try for myself. As soon as I pulled them on, I was exactly zero percent surprised to discover that the pants were neither comfortable nor flattering—let’s just say I would not have been caught dead in them at that workout-dating mixer. The stirrups were uncomfortable, so I had to cut small slits in them to make them bearable to wear, but once that was settled, I was ready to go.
I coincidentally chose to test the leggings on a day when I was running very late and short on time, so was really hoping that they’d make the 25 minutes that I had to squeeze in a workout even more efficient than usual. I started with a warmup that consisted of three rounds of 100 high knees, 100 jumping jacks, and 100 butt kicks. At least, I tried to. While I can usually get through the full circuit feeling pretty good, thanks to the pants I was seriously feeling it by the end of round one, and only made it through half of the second round before I had broken into a full-on dripping sweat. Unlike regular resistance bands, which only work in one direction, the bands contracted every time I moved my legs—no matter which way they were going. And man oh man, did that make the moves harder.
Next came time for some sculpting. I popped on a 14-minute legs and glutes workout (see above), and got to work on the mat. Surprise, surprise—it was much harder than usual. To finish off my 25 minute routine—which, mind you, felt exponentially longer because of how hard my muscles were screaming—I cycled through some sun salutations.
Since the brand also claims that the pants make even simple activities like walking feel like full-blown fitness routines, I decided to keep them on for the two-mile walk to my morning appointment to put that theory to the test. And, spoiler alert: the theory holds. Every step felt like I was lifting weights. I had briefly considered potentially running the two miles, but after a half of a block I quickly realized that wasn’t happening.
Now, here I am sitting at my desk and feeling the genuine burn of the pants well after my brief 25-minute workout was over. And while I likely won’t be taking the brand’s advice and “wearing them under my clothes” at all times, I will be bringing them with me to the gym, especially on days when I want to maximize my super-short workout sessions. Eight resistance bands are, I guess, better than one… unless you need to climb up stairs the next day.
While resistance band leggings get the “worth it” stamp of approval, CBD leggings did…. not. And if you want to reap the benefits of a resistance band workout without investing $130 in a pair of pants, here’s one that will get your core quaking.
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