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.
They 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 are meant for weaker or injured people and have no real value in the sports where athletes, who are considerably bigger and stronger, require more aggressive means of improving their strength and quickness.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Resistance band exercises are no different than any other exercise from the standpoint of effort that one has to put into them to be effective.
Resistance bands can be used as aggressively as the effort you desire to use. They can easily be combined with other stronger bands to withstand as much muscular effort as you can possibly deliver.
There are many advantages to including some form of resistance band training into your existing workouts. One of them has to do with the positioning of the exercise.
There are essentially an endless number of positions you can place your body in to expose a weakness in your muscles so they can be exercised, but not all of them are safe enough to grab a weight with your arms or legs and implement.
However, the light weight resistance bands make potentially vulnerable positions worry free when it comes to concerns about injury or the ability to adequately exercise in that position.
One of the downsides for athletes in using a resistance band to perform traditional exercises with repetitions has to deal with the variable elastic potential of the band.
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 this way 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 athletes muscles move into a stronger position, the band stretches and more resistance is created.
Eventually at 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.
There is nothing terribly wrong with this however by using the bands this traditional way 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. It is 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, 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 or position you like by simply altering your position making each one as difficult as you 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 force.
This will really expose a lot of coordination weakness and muscle weaknesses. You can see this happen when muscles start to weaken and begin to shake, and you are forced to fight and maintain the position of the exercise.
This shaking of the muscles occurs as the muscles weakens and wants to return to an un-contracted state. 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.
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 initially over-react and under-react and force an adjustment to these changes instantaneously.
If you want to see your strength, 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.