Banded deadlifts, squats, bench or chest press type exercises, kettle bell swings—and the list goes on and on—are among my favourite-banded strength exercises. It’s easy to target exercises with a greater load, for a given range of motion (ROM), for many of your favourite conditioning exercises using the COREFX Strength Band and Landmine.
Often, banded resistance allows you to target and load a specific part of the ROM that is not usually resisted to a great degree at a particular ROM when gravity (e.g., free weights, barbells, kettle bells etc.) is a key contributor to the load. Remember, the effects of gravity and absolute load determines the force curve of a particular exercise using equipment like free weights, through its ROM.
Banded (variable resistance) exercises enhance development of the entire strength curve exhibited by the muscular force expressed through a movement’s entire ROM. It’s not perfect, but it is different and effective compared to training against gravity and free-weight type load. Because of this enhanced loading at various parts of the ROM, injury prevention, stability and strength power gains may be increased for any sport or conditioning activity. The athlete must stay engaged throughout the movement, especially during the lowering or eccentric phase, which begins when the concentric phase ends. This type of focus, or what I refer to as “deep” practice, is enhanced with the increased eccentric force that is created by the band during the movement, and again, this begins just as the concentric phase ends.
For example, many gravity-loaded exercises (e.g., if you were to drop a weight, it would fall straight down) have too little load at the beginning of the ROM and not enough load at the end ROM because of gravity’s effect. Adding a banded variable load to the beginning of a movement and the end ROM of a movement makes a lot of sense when time under tension (TUT) and optimal loading are considered, not to mention an enhanced effect/focus on the eccentric portion of the movement (where the muscle lengthens to decelerate movement speed).
As a band stretches, load or resistance increases. That allows for 1) more progressive load at the beginning of a movement that is not otherwise sufficiently loaded, and 2) increasing load throughout the ROM as the strength curve of a movement increases. Simply, this challenges the musculature to a greater degree at all points of the ROM. Banded training does not necessarily represent a superior form of training, but simply a different kind of training that helps to optimize beginning, mid and end range of motion loads.
Give these two banded exercises a try—
You, your athletes and your clients will appreciate the difference. Start looking at
other ways you can add banded strength training to your sport performance conditioning programs.
This is a guest post featuring Douglas Brooks, MS, Exercise Physiologist, Director of Education for COREFX®, is a former-Ironman® triathlete and former Athlete Conditioning Coach for Sugar Bowl Ski Academy where he works with elite junior and professional athletes. Douglas was inducted into the U.S. National Fitness Hall of Fame and has been honored by Can-Fit-Pro as the International Presenter of the Year. Coach Brooks is the author of numerous training books, and most recently, was the recipient of the IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year Award.