Last week, we talked about the P90X workout system endorsed by vice president hopeful Paul Ryan. One of the components of that complete kit is resistance bands. One important factor is that they’re light and easy to pack and transport. That’s surely a big bonus to purported “fitness freak” Ryan, who’s often moving around on the road on the campaign trail. If you’re someone who likes to travel but can’t always rely on staying in hotels with 24-hour gyms, or if you’re just someone who wants to continue your Pivotal Fitness Greenville gym commitment when you’re at home, you may also want to invest in a set of resistance bands.

The key advantage to resistance bands is that you’re using your own weight in order to test and improve your muscle strength. The bands simply allow you to leverage your weight, rather than relying on pressure from an outside force, such as the case with free weights (hand weights) or machine weights. Ultimately, your only limitation with resistance bands is your own desire and ability. And the stronger you get, the more you get out of your workout with a resistance band.

Resistance bands are also extremely versatile. You can work out your arms, legs, abs, back and more with a series of simple exercises. You simply need to secure the bands to a stable force at their center of gravity in order to create balance — or, alternately, you can hook the bands around your own body to create the necessary tension to get results (for example, stepping on the middle of the bands and then pulling the handles upward with your arms in order to exercise your biceps and triceps).

You can buy resistance bands with varying amounts of flexibility or tautness depending on your strength and skill level. Or you can own and rotate several types of bands in order to shake up your resistance band exercise routine and keep it interesting. Introducing diversity in your routine can help you get the best possible results — but staying motivated is also a big part of that, which new equipment and routines can facilitate.