The use of bands is likely a missing aspect of your programming that allows for many advantages that straight weight does not have. Using a band accommodates the “strength curve” meaning tension increases where we are strongest.
Furthermore, bands are a powerful tool for both strength development, activation drills prior to your training session, as well as reducing the risk of soft-tissue injury done for high-volume finishers.
Band variations are so effective that they are a staple in every single one of our programs.
Elevate your training with bands
Performing high-volume resistance band work has many advantages. For instance, this work will directly aid in strengthening connective tissue which will help prevent potential soft-tissue injuries.
Another benefit is greater storage of kinetic energy via the series elastic component (SEC) which includes muscular components – tendons constitute the majority of the SEC.
When the SEC is stretched during eccentric ROM the SEC acts as a spring which correlates to higher reversible strength (ability to go from eccentric to concentric contractions) thus improving the explosive strength capability of an athlete.
Here are some of the benefits:
- Can be done for high amounts of work with no risk of injury and/or delayed onset muscle soreness which is an added bonus if you’re trying to perform more work and not take away from your main training sessions.
- For those of you with lower training ages, these band movements will help improve your “mind-muscle connection” where it will be easy for you to feel the correct musculature working as you will not be limited by their lack of experience.
- Hypertrophic adaptations and the ability of the muscles to generate more force thereby increasing your overall strength.
- Highly effective when band-work is used to prepare you for the upcoming training session in your warm-up sequence – variations have a multitude of uses and are not just for “finishers.”
- Incredibly easy to teach and perform making them a great option for your clients if you’re a trainer.
Here are some examples.
Lower Body Training Days
Banded Glute Bridge: 3 x 10 as an activation drill
Banded Leg Curls – 4 x 25 each as a finisher
Double Leg Banded Leg Curls – 100 reps as a finisher
Prone Banded Hamstring Curls x 100 reps as a finisher
Banded Pull-Throughs: 100 reps as a finisher
Hip Flexor Pulls: 4 x 10 each in your warm-up
Upper-body Training Days
3D Banded Pull-apart: 3 x 10-15
Overhead Banded Triceps: 4 x 15-20
Banded Pushdown with a supinated grip x 100 reps or 3 x 15 as a warm-up
Banded Pushdown with a neutral grip x 100 reps as a finisher or 3 x 15 as a warm-up
Banded Triceps Complex x 50 each movement
Banded Pull-aparts: 4 x 15 in your warm-up
Banded Facepull-aparts – 100 reps as a “finisher”
Banded Triset – 2-3 x 10-15 in your warm-up
Banded Pulldowns: 3 x 15 in your warm-up
Standing Abs: 4-5 x 10-15
Banded Alphabets: 3 x 1 on each side.
Banded Plank Row: 4 x 8-10 each
Half-Kneeling Banded Pallof Press: 3 x 8 each
Half-Kneeling Banded Rotations: 3 x 8-10 each
Start with the lower number of reps at first and gradually increase your volume as you get used to these movements. In time, performing 75-100 reps without stopping will be feasible.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with how these are structured in your programming either. You can superset in an antagonistic fashion for 2-3 sets instead of just performing one movement until all of your reps are complete.
In terms of variations, you’re only limited by your imagination. There are several ways you can vary these movements, such as simply changing band thickness or the positions in which you perform your band work.
Things like banded pushdowns can be done with a single-arm variation, and banded pull-aparts can be done from a variety of positions: eye-level, behind the neck, etc.
Adding this extra work to your training multiple times a week will yield a great return on investment when it comes to improving your lifts and ability to steer clear of injury.