I LOVE combining my resistance bands with strength training exercises because it adds another dimension to my workouts! Bands change how a strength exercise feels and how it affects your body. There are several valid reasons for combining resistance bands with strength training exercises.
1.Overloading the end range of motion
Did you know that in most exercises, things tend to get easier as you near the END of the available ROM (range of movement). This is because of leverage and how gravity affects the load you are lifting! Adding a band means the movement will activate your muscles more and sustain your muscle tension throughout the rep. As a result, there is less opportunity to rest between reps - meaning a more productive workout!
2. Make an exercise easier!
As well as increasing the difficulty of your exercises, bands can also make them easier (e.g. assisted pull ups whilst standing or kneeling on a band)! Using a band will help offset a percentage of your bodyweight exercises. This means learning new exercises will be so much easier - no more excuses for sticking to the same old routine, girls! As well as pull-ups, you can use a band to help with your bodyweight squatting form! The better and stronger you get, use lighter and lighter bands, until eventually you can do your chosen exercise without assistance.
Doing the same old exercises month after month, year after year, can lead to a progress plateau. Adding bands changes the so-called strength curve, which means the exercise will affect your muscles differently. If your progress has stalled, try combining bands with resistance training exercises to add a new dimension to your workouts.
4. Managing or preventing injuries
In many instances, the inner range of an exercise is where it is most likely to cause injury i.e. the bottom of a squat or deadlift, or the bottom of a bench press. Using light weights combined with bands means that you can unload in the inner range, taking stress off your joints as you do so, but still expose your muscles to enough resistance to make the exercise productive.
5. Instant drop sets
A drop set is when you lower the weight and pump out more reps until muscular failure! This invariably involves switching to a different pair of dumbbells, moving the weight pin, or taking plates off a barbell. Alternatively, you could do your initial set with added resistance from a band, and then release the band for an instant reduction in load. Saves time and is just as effective!
How to use bands with strength training exercises
With a little imagination, you should be able to combine resistance bands with a great many strength training exercises. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Squats – attach a band to both ends of the barbell, and then fix them to the bottom of your squat rack or a couple of heavy dumbbells.
2. Deadlifts – attach a single band to your bar and then stand on it. As you lift the bar, the band will stretch to increase the load at the end of the movement.
3. Push-ups – loop the band around your upper back and hold the ends in your hands. Adopt the standard push-up position to overload the end of the range of movement and, in particular, your triceps. This is a good alternative to bench presses.
4. Curls – using a barbell or dumbbells, hold the bands plus the weight and stand on the other end of the band. As well as overloading the terminal range of motion, you can carefully release the bands for a drop set.
You can now add my WBK Booty & Resistance bands to my workout programs!