Traditionally, elastic bands are used as a form of “resistance”, which is great for rehab, resistance training and high performance work. But, they can also be used as “assistance,” helping to de-load the body when performing bodyweight exercises.
Using Bands for Assistance
There are several ways to use bands for assistance:
1. Regressing Exercises:
If you are too de-conditioned for a certain exercise, a band can be used to regress that particular exercise until the necessary amount of strength or endurance is achieved. You’ve probably seen this method used when someone is training to achieve a Pull-Up or Chin-Up. In the Pull-Up example, the assistance band is anchored on a high bar and the feet or knees are placed in the band, which will “de-load” some of their bodyweight. The exerciser can then decrease the thickness of the band as they get stronger, until they no longer need the band at all.
2. Mastering Difficult Bodyweight Moves:
The bands are also an excellent tool for even an experienced bodyweight athlete. They can be used when an exerciser is attempting to learn a more advanced move, like a single arm push up, handstand push up or even a muscle up.
3. Full-Body Dynamic Training:
We can also use the elasticity of the band to help improve speed of movement without taking the full impact of your weight on the joints. It’s almost as if we are decreasing the amount of gravity acting on the body, while allowing us to still achieve high power and speed output with less impact. We call these Full Body Dynamics and they open up an entirely new paradigm of training. (You can get a glimpse of this style at the end of the video).
Upcoming Videos and Bands Training System
We’ve been getting so much out of this style of training that we’ve decided to make a full-length video all about using band training as assistance for beginner to advanced bodyweight enthusiasts.
You can see that in this video on the Plyometric Push-Up, we are using typical “resistance” bands (sometimes also called Super Bands), turning them into our “assistance” bands.When choosing the band best for you, you want to make sure it is long enough to stretch so that you can reach the ground, while still be strong enough to provide you with the level of assistance you need. Make sure to check it for no tears – you are putting a lot of pressure on the band and don’t want it to snap. Putting a small, folded towel between the band and your body can help make it more comfortable if you find the band digging in after a while.
You can find resistance training bands at some on-line sites. These Resistance Training Bands are similar to the ones I use. (In the video, I’m using a band that is 41″ long and 1.75″ wide). When we come out with our bands video in a few months, we’ll also be releasing a line of specially bands made specifically for this use.
So, check out the video below, and stay tuned for what’s to come!