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Building Explosive Athletes with Band Resistance


You are pretty lucky if your gym has band pegs on your power rack. And, you’d be more likely to start a rock band with a Sasquatch then find band pegs on your bench.

But, if you are trying to get more explosive, improve your reactive strength potential and rate of force development (RFD), you can use this simple band setup at a commercial gym for your squats and bench press.

So, what do you do if you want to do some band-resisted speed work?

As an important side note on longevity for older athletes, band-resistance can be ‘more comfortable’ than straight weight for some pulling and pushing exercises due to the reactivity and “elastic feel” of the movement.

With static straight weight, there is a zero potential to overcome at the transition (isometric | amortization) between the eccentric and concentric phases of a rep that can be hard on beat up elbows and shoulders – so adding a little “spring” to the movement can be a game-changer for your higher volume supplemental or accessory work if the goal is to build muscle.

Setting up the Bands

In this quick and easy setup (we used Savage micro bands), you will anchor each end of the band around the handle of a dumbbell and place the dumbbell on the floor. Then, take the loop of the band and put it through the hole of a 45lb plate and lay the plate on top of the dumbbell. You might need to put more plates on top of the setup depending on the tension (of the band and distance from the bar) you’re using for the exercise.

Finally, you will grab the band loop and place it around the end of the barbell. This setup works for a squat setup, bench setup, military press setup, and a lot of other exercise variations. You can get really creative.

Another Important Note

When setting up the location for the band anchor, make sure it will not pull you out of your groove when your squatting or bench pressing. This means it is not placed directly below j-hooks. It should be slightly back so that it is directly below the bar when you walk out your squat or pull the bar out of the rack over your chest when benching.

By on April 6th, 2017


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