Resistance Band Tied In a Loop and Ready for a Workout
Resistance bands have a very unique physical property known as variable elastic potential. This means that the more you stretch the band, the more resistance that is applied.
The bands are able to resist upwards of hundreds of pounds of force yet they weigh only a few ounces. This makes them extremely safe to use.
Many people have a first assumption that resistance bands have no real value in sports where athletes who are considerably bigger and stronger require more aggressive means of improving their strength.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Resistance bands can be used as aggressively as the effort you desire to use. They can easily be combined with other bands to withstand as much muscular effort as you can possibly deliver.
There are many advantages to resistance band training. One of them has to do with the positioning of the exercise.
Using bands, there is essentially an endless number of positions you can place your body in to expose a weakness in your muscles so they can be strengthed. However, with weights, many of those positions are not safe or practical. That is primarily because weights use gravity for resistance so the direction of resistance is limited, while the resistance using a band can come from any angle or direction.
In addition, the lightweight resistance bands make potentially vulnerable positions worry free when it comes to concerns about injury or the ability to adequately exercise in some positions.
Most athletes tend to carry-over the same strategy with weight training and apply it to resistance band training — they tend to perform repetitions with the bands.
The problem with using the bands with repetitions is that when you start an exercise, athletes muscles are typically at their weakest position. This is also where an un-stretched band has the weakest resistance. As the repetition motion begins, an athlete’s muscle moves into a stronger position, the band stretches and more resistance is created.
Towards the end of the exercise, an athlete is in a much more dominant position, and therefore they are typically at their strongest to match the increased resistance of a more fully stretched band.
By using the bands this traditional way, with repetitions, you tend to only exercise the latter half of the muscle’s range of motion.
This is one reason why holding a resistance band steady along several places throughout the muscles range of motion is a much better strategy to use with the band.
It’s also why there is an advantage to using the bands with an isometric training strategy.
For example, to create resistance with the band at the beginning of an exercise movement, simply attach your band to a stationary object, move away from it to pre-stretch the band and hold it in a certain position for 10-15 seconds.
You can do this for any exercise position or resistance you like by simply positioning yourself so the band has more stretch and more resistance, making each exercise as difficult as you would like.
Perhaps the biggest advantage to using the resistance band with an isometric training strategy has to do with improving your speed and quickness.
Conditioning the Hip Flexor for Speed Using the Resistance Band with Isometric Training
When you perform an exercise using the resistance band with an isometric training strategy, you can get to a point while holding the position where your muscles start to weaken due to the resistance of the band.
This will expose a lot of coordination weaknesses and muscle weaknesses that are ignored when using traditional training methods with weights.
With isometric training using the resistance band, you can see this happen when muscles start to weaken and begin to shake, and you are forced to fight to maintain the position of the exercise.
This shaking of the muscles occurs as the muscles weaken and want to return to an un-contracted state.
This is where the effectiveness of this training goes well beyond anything weights can do when it comes to developing speed.
When the muscle starts to shake, even slightly, while holding the position, the changing length of the band alters the bands resistance level and the new resistance level is sent back to the muscle. The muscle then attempts to quickly react and adjust to the constantly changing force provided by the band.
With the band, the entire muscle is now exposed to new and different forms of resistance which it must quickly adjust to in order to hold the position steady.
This muscle training experience can never happen when using weights.
Even a muscle that changes its length in the order of millimeters will cause the resistance level of the band to change. Because many athletes are not prepared for this subtle change in resistance, the coordination of their muscles is initially confused and an over-stimulation of the fibers to readjust to this new level of force is immediately required.
You want to create as many new and different stimulus into your muscle to get them to over-react and under-react and force an adjustment to these changes instantaneously.
This is why athletes doing this type of training, which their muscles have never experienced before, quickly see amazing improvements in their speed in just a few days.
If you want to see your speed and coordination improve with lightning-like speed, using the resistance band with an isometric training strategy on new and unique body positions is exactly what you need!