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Everything You Need To Know About Exercise Bands

November 18, 2016

Exercise bands are a great addition to any training regimen. They’re portable, easily stored, can be used to add resistance to free weights and body weight exercises, assist with certain movements, and offer a lower impact alternative to most traditional movements. When I was coaching high school football we used bands in place of weights the day before a game and the day after to keep our athletes neutrally prepared for competition and to facilitate blood flow and recovery the day after, but their use is limited only by your imagination.

Most gyms now carry resistance bands, either constructed in a loop like an oversized elastic band, or in a tube shape with handles at either end.

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Band Pull apart

If you spend eight hours a day hunched over a computer keyboard like I do then this is a must in your workout routine. It’s an incredibly simple exercise that will strengthen the back and shoulders, and greatly improve your posture, overall back and shoulder health, and give a boost to your bench press.

Assisted Pull Up

If you want to be able to do more pull ups, then you have to do more pull ups…okay great, but what if you can’t do a single pull up, then what? That’s where band assisted pull ups come in. The technique is the same as a regular pull up, but the band does some of the work. As you continue to get stronger you can use bands with less and less resistance, until eventually you can perform unassisted pull ups.

Band Resisted Bench

Without getting all sciency, the way a band resisted bench press works is by using the tension created by the band to create more resistance while you are pushing the bar through the range of motion. Let’s say for example you are training with 225 – lbs on the bar – adding bands will create added resistance forcing you to push harder against the weight. Later when you remove the bands and put 225-lbs on the bar you will be able to move the weight more explosively. Since the ability to generate bar speed translates to a stronger lift, using bands in your training can help boost your bench press significantly.

Band Resisted Pushup

Pushups are a great exercise. They involve multiple muscle groups, allow plenty of room for variety, and can be done almost anywhere. The thing is, once you get really good at doing pushups it becomes kind of tricky to make the exercise more difficult. Putting a weight plate on your back is an option, but that will likely require having a partner help you out, and keeping it from falling off might be an issue as well. Enter band resisted pushups. By adding a band to the mix you can create additional resistance to a classic exercise.