There are countless number of gimmicks or gadgets in the strength and conditioning world that help an athlete get to the next level of their game. Different tools target an athlete’s weak point of deficiency. In high-performance training center, you will have seen athletes working with bands. These bands can be tied to the person, their weights or even the machines. 

Bands give numerous benefits with regards to training adaptations. In this article we will break down few of the ways that bands can help you reach the next level. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond on the benefits about training with bands. 

Improve power

Of course, developing power is the first thing people think of when they are weight training in their sport. How can I train for power in the gym? How does power training in the gym transfer onto the field, track or court? 

Bands are very different from regular weights. Weights are only a constant resistance; against gravity. Bands, however, they are what is termed “accommodating resistance”. Think of a rubber band. As you stretch it more, the resistance increases. The band “accommodates” you as you move the weight. In other words, the resistance increases depending on your movement. 

To develop power, you must overcome the accommodating resistance by producing more power in an exponential fashion. Ultimately, it means to develop that burst of power, you need to outcompete the band by resisting it as well as pushing it back to it’s pre-stretch. 

Best applied to extensor chain movements 

So which exercises are bands best applied to? It’s simple: squats, presses and deadlifts. The reason for this is because these exercises have an ascending strength curve in the concentric range. This means as you move through the movement and your joint angle changes, the force required needs to increase. By applying the band, you challenge your force production even further. When you remove the band, your body and nervous system should have adapted to further strength gains. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond which movements you can add a resistance band to. 

Use for only the bottom 30 – 45 degree of the starting range 

If you are using bands for flexor dominant exercises (such as chin-ups) use them only for the bottom 30 – 45 degrees of the starting range. Think of the bands as an easy spotter. They give you a little bit of help at the bottom but after that, you must produce the required force. 

It doesn’t make sense to use the bands for the full range because you won’t need to produce that much force – the band will help you too much. 

Puts severe work on the tendons 

Band work puts a lot of stress on the tendons. This is simply a stability reason. As the band gets stretched in a movement, it takes a significant amount of stability in the body to keep the movement along its path. 

Where does this stability come from? The tendons that connect muscle to bone. These tendons need to work extra hard to stabilize the joints. To reduce the risk of injury, experts recommend using bands on one out of two workouts, for the same body part.  

In a rehab perspective, it is very beneficial and often to use a band. The main idea is to challenge an injured area (let’s say a sprained wrist). 

Beneficial to overload the strength curve 

For those who are looking to crack a strength plateau, it is recommended to use a band. You may even attach these bands to a hack squat machine or a leg press machine to attempt build strength. 

Some times to build strength, it is not always necessary to add weight to just “push through it”. There are tactics that help you break those plateaus. By attaching bands to a leg press for an example, you are able to work on the “lock-out” portion of the lift, which is the last 10 – 20% of the movement. As you get comfortable with this, you can remove the band and add weight that exceeds your PR. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond on other methods to overload the strength curve. 

 

Until next time, 

Coach Marco 

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