6 Ways To Progress With Resistance Bands by Dave Schmitz

  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.
  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/kettlebe/public_html/enhancedfp.com/includes/unicode.inc on line 311.

 I was recently reading an article from a colleague of mine where he discussed ways to vary or progress exercises and it made me evaluate how I create progressions using resistance bands. 

Most people do not look at resistance band training as having progressions and often feel they are not a legitimate means of strength training because of that.  However, muscles are dumb and as I have said many times, they react and adapt to any resistance that makes them work.  In reality muscles do not know the difference between deadweight and elastic resistance and therefore will just adapt as needed.  Therefore there are progressions with resistance band training, just like with any other strength training device.

In training with bands over the past years I have found it to be very easy to quickly and effective make adjustments in 6 specific training variables to either make the exercise easier or harder.  Interestingly enough most of these modification take minimal time to implement and can literally be done on the fly.

 

Progression #1 – Changing Base of support

 

By changing your Base of Support (BOS) while training in bands, it immediately changes the impact on your center of gravity (COG) which is primarily controlled by the abdominal muscles and in turn will immediately make the exercise harder or easier.   For example by implementing  a very narrow parallel BOS versus a very wide parallel BOS, the primary muscles that are working will have to work even harder because the body will be forced to move slower to avoid lose of balance and stability. 

Here are a few ways to change your BOS going from easiest to more challenging.

1.  Parallel stance – Feet are approximately shoulder width apart in a parallel alignment. By narrowing this stance, it immediately becomes a more challenging exercise position.

2.  A Laterally Off-set Staggered Stance – One foot is 12 to18 inches in front of the other foot with back foot position more lateral to the front foot.

3.  A Staggered Stacked Stance – One foot is 12 to18 inches in front of the other foot with back foot almost directly behind front foot

4.  An Elevated Staggered Stance – Back foot is elevated onto a surface which in turn causes front foot to burden a larger portion of weightbearing

Now each of these stances will not necessarily fit every band exercise but in most cases BOS #1 through #3 can easily be modified while you are actually performing the exercise which makes progressing on fly a challenge by itself.

Best way to determine difficulty is by making small changes in your base of support as you train and see how it impacts the intensity of the exercise you are performing.

 

Progression #2 – Changing resistance

 

Obviously the easiest way to make a band exercise easier or harder is by adjusting the resistance.  With resistance bands this mean doing 1 of 3 things.

1.  Stepping further out or back

2.  Changing to a stronger band

3.  Adding a second band to the exercise

 

Changing band resistance on the fly is very easy and quick.  As a result the ability to do descending sets, where you continually keep decreasing the band resistance after each set, is simply a matter of stepping back a few inches.

The key to making sure the band resistance is right for you is by making sure your ability to always complete a full range of motion is occurring.  When range of motion is not fully completed, it typically indicates a need to decrease band resistance.

 

Progression #3 – Changing Speed of exercise

 

Resistance bands have long been identified as a great tool to perform speed reps.  Assuming you are using a ground based exercise; by increasing resistance band rep speed you immediately increase abdominal and hip stabilization demand.   Speed causes the body to be place under greater momentum forces which in weightbearing will challenge COG control.  Also increasing resistance band rep speed increases metabolic workload which in turn increases cardiac output and respiration.

There are 3 ways to increase resistance band rep speed.

1.  Increasing acceleration speed is the easiest and safest way to increase band training speed.  In this scenario, the focus is on performing a relatively faster acceleration motion as compared to the deceleration motion.   Unloading quickly and reloading slowly.  

 

2.  The second option to increase resistance band rep speed has you emphasizing a faster deceleration phase as compared to the acceleration phase.  Due to higher need for deceleration control, this will place a much greater stress on tendons and soft tissues.  Therefore this is much more advanced training approach and should only be done after several months of resistance band training.  

 

3. The third and final way to increase band training speed is by simply doing fast reps in both the accelerated and decelerated phases.   Typically called speed reps, this will require using a smaller band resistance while maintaining optimal ground based stabilization through the trunk and hips in order to maintain a consistent rep rhythm and control.  Make sure with this type of band training that range of motion is not being sacrificed.

 

 

Progression #4 – Changing planes of motion

 

Our body is able to move in 3 planes of motion; Sagital, Frontal and Transverse (rotational).  As a society we are typically taught to exercise only in the sagital plane which over time causes us to lose the ability to move in the frontal and transverse planes. 

Also as we age we also begin to lose rotational and frontal plane joint range of motion do a tightening of soft tissues.

Lastly our greatest power production which also is when we recruit the most muscle is done using a combination of the transverse plane and frontal plane.   If these are lost, so is our ability to produce power and increased workloads.

All this said to increase recruitment, strength, power, and workload; transitioning into more frontal rotational planes of motion versus always staying in a straight sagital plane motion will definitely benefit our overall performance.

Being that resistance bands are very pliable, it becomes very easy to quickly turn a sagital plane movement into a rotational plane movement by simply changing your stance or base of support as it relates to the line of pull of the band.    Also going from bilateral to unilateral or from simultaneous to alternating, we can immediately increase the impact the exercise has on our COG which we now know increases workload.

Here are some easy band exercises that allow for easy change of planes

Horizontal pushes

Horizontal pulls

Lunges with hip attachment

Hop with hip attachment

Running in bands

Overhead tricep extensions

 

 

Progression #5 – Integrating multiple movements

 

Our body is a total kinetic chain which is no surprise most of you reading this.  However are we training it to function that way? 

When I started seriously training with bands, the #1 thing that quickly became apparent to me was how easy it was to integrated or add in squats, lunges and step actions into upper body band training.  Also I notice how easy it was to band train hopping, jumping or running.  Arguably running, jumping, hopping, throwing and swinging are the ultimate in integrated training and can easily be simulated with band training.

When trying to bring integration into band training, understand it comes with progression.

It starts with stationary training where little movement occurs in the stabilizing entity.  For instance, if I am doing a horizontal push, I keep my lower torso and trunk locked in slight knee flexion, ankle flexion and hip flexion.  As I add in what I call mobility, I may add in a little squat or split squat, depending on which base of support I am using.  From there I can add in a step and push to create total movement integration.

Here are some additional progressions going from stationary to fully integrated:

1.  Front Squat isometric hold – Full front squat – Squat jump

2.  Split Squat Isometric – Split Squat – Split Jump

3.  Horizontal Row -  Squat Pull – Squat pull step back

4.  Push press – Squat Press – Parallel Jerk Press

5.  Tricep overhead press – Reach Back Press – Step back and press

 

Very often many of these mobility or integrated variations become automatic when you let your body follow how it wants to functionally move and you start to increase the band resistance.

 

 

Progression #6 – Training multiple force vectors

 

“Bands don’t make the dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag or medicine ball.  Bands make all of these tools better and more reactive”

 

In the “real world” our body is often simultaneously challenged by multiple force vectors that are directed at our body horizontally, vertically or rotationally.  However often with traditional training using machines or some type of dead weight we are really only being challenged by one vector which is most often a vertical vector.

Picture putting a band around your hips or over your shoulders and than doing     exercises like:

**  Kettlebell swings

**  Dumbbell push presses

**  Barbell or dumbbell squats

**  Medball overhead throw

 

Picture putting a band crisscrossed over your shoulders and doing exercise like:

**  Band horizontal pushes

**  Kettlebell cleans

**  Medball Overhead hops

**  Dumbbell Split Jerks

 

The fact is with resistance band training, making simple dead weight exercises into multi-vector total body training becomes a highly progressive step in getting your body totally reactive.

 

In summary you can see that resistance band training is not just a simple non-progressive way to train but rather takes strength training and fitness conditioning to an entirely new level.


Submitted by DMorgan on Fri, 05/28/2010 - 10:17pm.

| Related Articles