Archive for “resistance band training” Category

Strength Training with Resistance Bands for Women’s Basketball

Strength training with resistance bands can be a training solution for many sports.  When implementing a women’s basketball strength training program at a high school or small college program, there are several challenges that often stall progress.

  1. Access to weight room for the female athlete is a universal issue among many high schools and small colleges with the male sport dominance. After school the weight room is often dominated by off-season football or power-lifting making it difficult for female sports to access and in most cases weight room size does not allow both programs to train simultaneously.
  2. Striking a balance between skill training, game planning and strength training is always a constant struggle for many head coaches especially if court time comes at a premium.
  3. Travel is more of an issue at the college level versus the high school level. Being able to build in short strength training workouts on the road may be needed in order to maintain strength levels.
  4. Most strength training equipment is not designed for the female athlete. As a result most female athletes are relegated to portable equipment like dumbbells, medicine balls or kettle bells.
  5. Motivating the female basketball athlete to strength train can be challenging especially if they have not been provided the necessary training instruction or been fortunate to have access to a weight room setting early in their career.

 

A viable solution for women’s basketball strength training

As a result of these challenges strength training with resistance bands have become, for many coaches, an effective strength training alternative that eliminates many of the above barriers that come with creating a consistent women’s basketball strength training program.

Train on or off the road

First of all, the portability of a resistance band allows training to occur anywhere there is floor space which instantly makes the basketball court a weight room option. In turn this also eliminates the concern for weight room accessibility on or off the road. This same portability factor also allows coaches to quickly and efficiently build into practice short strength training sessions without leaving the court or dramatically disrupting the practice flow. Often this change of pace not only keeps practice fresh but eases the struggle with balancing skill training, game planning and strength training.

Unlimited Resistance Options

41 inch continuously looped resistances Quantum bands come in a variety of strength levels and can easily adapt to all body structures. As a result resistance band training is a very female friendly strength training tool that comes with a short learning curve.

Adapts to any situation

When it comes to creating a women’s basketball strength training program there are several tools that can be used to get results. However very often it is not the tool but how well the tool can adapt to the circumstances presented. Resistance bands easily adapt to any circumstance and with their unlimited versatility make them a very viable women’s basketball strength training program option in season and out of season.

——

The following are 10 single band exercises allow you to perform strength training with resistance bands on the court as a strength circuit or as individual exercises.

Squat Press

Split Squat

Seated Row

Triceps Extension

Front Squat

Hammer Curl

Resisted Pillar

Dead lift

Pull-a-Parts

Reverse Lunge

To get Quantum Bands (and many other bands) for these drills go to ResistanceBandTraining.com.

 

About the Author:  Dave “The Band Man™” Schmitz, has been writing, teaching and training how to implement strength training with resistance bands for rehabilitation, fitness and performance since 1996. In 2008 Dave founded Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and with that launched Resistancebandtraining.com, the only online website exclusively devoted to training with RBT Quantum Bands. As a teacher and coach, Dave has authored and produced 100’s of articles, digital training resources and DVDs as well as creating the only online Resistance Band Training Certification and virtual band training membership site “The Band Gym.” All of these unique resources have allowed Dave the platform to teach 1000’s of coaches, athletes, therapists, doctors, trainers, teachers and fitness enthusiasts how to get their body looking, feeling and moving better training with continuously looped resistance bands. Since December of 2008, Dave has hosted the RBT newsletter and blog that today includes special weekly events like, A Minute with The Band Man, RBT Weekly and the Friday RBT Workout. Along being a national and international speaker, Dave also consults regularly with over 100 high schools, universities and private performance training business. As a result of his efforts in 2011 and 2012 Dave was recognized as one of Top 100 most influential Fitness Professionals in America.
Dave also gives back on a local level as the owner of G’Town Boot Camps and G’Town Fast-n-Fit while also volunteering his time since 2010 as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Germantown High School Athletics (Germantown, Wisconsin). Dave is a 1986 Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Physical Therapy with an emphasis in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Athletic Training.

ACL Injury Prevention in Women’s Basketball Players: Accelerated Deceleration Drills

ACL Injury Prevention is always an important topic with female athletes.  There are several reasons why a female basketball accelerated decelerationplayer has a 50% more likelihood of suffering a non-contact Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injury than their male counterpart. Many experts have looked into why and have rationalized several different theories that focus on possible biomechanical difference, hormonal changes, poor neuromuscular integrated strength or a possible decrease in ligament tensile strength.

Along with these theories there are also a few research facts that reflect:
1. A higher degree of thigh dominant versus hip dominant strength which can predispose female athletes to a higher neuromuscular risk of injury
2. A greater valgus knee angle with lateral movements which in turn places a greater strain on the medial compartment of the knee and the ACL.
3. Less active knee and hip flexion during ground contact events like jumping and cutting which in turn lessens the amount of deceleration control through the lower extremities and hips.

The fact is that 95% of all non-contact ACL injuries are a result of poor deceleration control of momentum and ground reaction sheer forces that occur as a result of change direction. This is why an ACL injury prevention program is so important.  Sheer is a simultaneous application of a vertical, rotational and horizontal force vector that has been show to be the exact force combination (mechanism) that results in the ACL being compromised.  Interestingly when evaluating strength and conditioning programs in women’s basketball specifically, the combination of a rotational and horizontal force vector training application is rarely seen. In most cases only body weight resistance is applied during these types of exercises.

This is where flat, continuously-looped, resistance bands can play a significant role in training and can assist in ACL injury prevention. Resistance bands are essentially independent of gravity and therefore can create a true horizontal-rotational force vector when attached around the hips. Using this attached set-up to perform multi-directional 2 step locomotion drills like shuffling, backpedals, crossovers and hopping, it provides the perfect training environment for female athletes to reactively strengthen the body, specifically the hips and core abdominal region, to increase control of deceleration sheer forces.

Over the past several years as strength coach of our local high school girls basketball team, I have implemented a resistance band training program for women’s basketball players that we refer to as “2 Step Accelerated Deceleration” Drills. These drills apply a pair of linked up Quantum Bands to create an “accelerated deceleration” training momentum that reflexively trains the body to handle increased momentum forces that requires a faster deceleration force response. Using short amplitude, multi-directional, 2-step movements allows athletes to gradually increase their band resistance force which increases the deceleration momentum force velocity. Like with any strength training program, as movement skill and strength improve, athletes developed a greater level of confidence in their deceleration foot work and strength.

The following videos demonstrate how to perform 2 Step Accelerated Deceleration Drills as it relates to a lateral, sagital and rotational change of direction. All of these drills require a pair of similar size 41 inch long continuously looped Quantum bands linked together using a link strap. This simple set-up provides athletes with 4 yards of total training distance which is more than enough to train two to three steps of movement.

Shuffle 2 Step Deceleration

Backpedal 2 Step Deceleration

Crossover 2 Step Deceleration

 

Typical Programming for Introduction
Initial programming involves using rep based sets that allow athletes to train at their own pace. I recommend performing 5 reps per set with a 30 second rest between sets. They will start with 2 sets performed with backpedals and in both direction when performing shuffles and crossovers. As conditioning and skill set improves, I recommend increasing to 3 sets. Once 3 sets are well established from a conditioning level I will switch to time based sets of 20 second work and 20 seconds rest to begin bringing in more of conditioning component.

Not only will these drills assist in ACL injury prevention, they will help improve the quickness and performance of the athletes.

To get Quantum Bands (and many other bands) for these drills go to ResistanceBandTraining.com.

 

ACL Injury Prevention Dave SchmitzAbout the Author:  Dave “The Band Man™” Schmitz, has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, fitness and performance since 1996. In 2008 Dave founded Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and with that launched Resistancebandtraining.com, the only online website exclusively devoted to training with RBT Quantum Bands. As a teacher and coach, Dave has authored and produced 100’s of articles, digital training resources and DVDs as well as creating the only online Resistance Band Training Certification and virtual band training membership site “The Band Gym.” All of these unique resources have allowed Dave the platform to teach 1000’s of coaches, athletes, therapists, doctors, trainers, teachers and fitness enthusiasts how to get their body looking, feeling and moving better training with continuously looped resistance bands. Since December of 2008, Dave has hosted the RBT newsletter and blog that today includes special weekly events like, A Minute with The Band Man, RBT Weekly and the Friday RBT Workout. Along being a national and international speaker, Dave also consults regularly with over 100 high schools, universities and private performance training business. As a result of his efforts in 2011 and 2012 Dave was recognized as one of Top 100 most influential Fitness Professionals in America.
Dave also gives back on a local level as the owner of G’Town Boot Camps and G’Town Fast-n-Fit while also volunteering his time since 2010 as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Germantown High School Athletics (Germantown, Wisconsin). Dave is a 1986 Graduate of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he earned his Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Physical Therapy with an emphasis in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and Athletic Training.

3 Team Training Resistance Band Drills for Basketball

Resistance Band Drills for Basketball

We got a sneak peak in to Dave “The Band Man” Schmitz’s basketball training session and wanted to share!

Check out these 3 awesome drills that will help your basketball athletes improve their game and mobility.

Basketball Drills #1

Basketball Drills #2

Basketball Drills #3

Like what you see? Share this blog!


Got Bands?

Order your resistance bands today by going to www.resistancebandtraining.com and use code rbtiyca15 at checkout to receive 15% off.
 

Killer In-Season Speed Training for Football

Football In-Season Speed Training

It’s summer which means there are 1000’s of athletes preparing for fall football. That also means there are 100’s of coaches and trainers working to put together in-season practice plans. For most of these coaches, working on first step speed training is probably not part of those practice plans for various reasons.

  • They don’t want to take away from fundamental skills training.
  • They are concerned it will take away for game planning.
  • They feel it will decrease game day performance.

Not performing some level of speed training during the season has never made sense considering all the time that is devoted to speed during the off-season. Obviously athletes are simulating football specific running activities in every practice. This is continually retraining the movement patterns but not actually creating a strengthening effect. Therefore, as the season moves along, speed (like strength) will decrease.

Resistance Band In-Season Football First Step Speed Training

A resistance band’s portability and versatility makes it easy to quickly set up and implement multi-directional speed training drills on the field or in the weight room. In most cases these drills can be performed in partnerships using a relatively small area. As a result, it becomes very similar to how most weight room in-season programs are designed.

By linking two similarly-sized bands together two athletes can perform a series of first step drills that include:

  1. Quick Forward Starts
  2. Lateral Shuffles
  3. Turn & Goes
  4. Backpedals
  5. Partner Resisted Running

Each of these drills can emphasize acceleration or deceleration while requiring no additional equipment, set-up or programming changes. Strategically implemented, any of these drills can also be used for metabolic conditioning thus eliminating the need to schedule additional conditioning during practice.

Ways to Implement First Step Speed Drills

Here are 4 ways to implement first step speed drills into a typical high school football season when games are played on Friday night.

Monday

Perform primary lifts of bench and squat. As auxiliary drills, athletes partner up to perform 5 sets of 5 reps alternating partners on every set while performing 3-step lateral shuffles.

Shuffles Acceleration

Tuesday

During Indy period all groups work on first step acceleration using various starting positions based on football position. These are typically 8-minute Indy sessions.

First Step Acceleration

Wednesday

Implement partner resisted running for metabolic conditioning post practice.

Partner Resisted Forward Running

These are all very time efficient ways to strategically implement speed strength training directly into your in-season football practice schedule. By combining it with traditional skills training or weight room work you don’t have to find additional time away from actual practice time.

Dave Schmitz – The Band Man


About the Author: Dave Schmitz

Dave SchmitzDave Schmitz (aka…The Band Man) is the Co-Owner of Resistance Band Training Systems, LLC and the creator of https://resistancebandtraining.com, the only website exclusively devoted to training with large continuously looped resistance bands.

Dave has a unique professional background and vast experience as an orthopedic physical therapist, performance enhancement specialist, certified strength and conditioning specialist along with 27 plus years of living fitness and performance training.

All of this has allowed him to turn a simple 41-inch resistance band into an incredibly multi-faceted total training experience for 1000’s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the world—while helping 100’s of fitness professionals and coaches get their clients or athletes BETTER with BANDS.


Got Bands?

Get 15% off bands by using code: rbtiyca15
 

How to Build a Year Round Band Flexibility Program

How and Why to Build in a Year Round Band Flexibility Program

Athletes young and old do not like to stretch and, as a result, create unnecessary trauma to their joints and muscles by not being optimally ready to perform high intensity ballistic type movements.

Why Athletes Don’t Stretch

Young athletes are not taught why it is important to optimally lengthen out the body prior to performing high intensity ballistic type movements.

Teaching a young athlete at a middle school level why lengthening out their muscles and mobilizing their joints will enhance performance, eliminate unnecessary muscle soreness and help eliminate injury will set a standard that will stay with them as their athletic career advances.

Coaches need to stay consistent and demand that dynamic flexibility training be part of all training workouts. For most athletes, stretching before a big game is well followed.

However, to make a long-term impact on flexibility, athletes need to do it consistently before workouts. Programming this into the workout is the coach’s responsibility.

Research contradicts the importance of stretching before workouts. This contradiction of importance makes it a difficult sell to older athletes and many sport coaches.

The fact is, muscles will not lengthen out and create permanent plastic changes unless they are routinely challenged to do so. Regardless of what research says, muscles that are short will stay short unless they are both lengthened and neuromuscularly taught how to control length.

Traditional body weight stretching is boring. As a result of the prior 3 reasons, a consistent emphasis on making sure muscles are frequently lengthened out prior to working out using a body weight approach has been less than successful over time—especially if athletes are not part of a large team structure.

Why is Resistance Band Stretching Effective?

Elasticity

Being elastic, bands provide for an accommodating resistance so muscles can gradually release into the band tension. This ability to slowly release into the stretch eliminates the inhibition that comes with most body weight stretches.

Ability to Contract

Bands allow the muscles to contract into an accommodating resistance. This ability to contract allows the opposing or antagonistic muscles to relax more effectively which, in turn, allows for better stretching of the targeted muscles.

Lightweight Construction

The band’s lightweight construction allows the stretching extremity to be unweighted. This, in turn, eliminates the influences of gravity which often creates stretch inhibition when doing traditional body weight stretching.

These are more of the physiological reasons why bands are a great flexibility tool. However, there are also some practical reasons that play a significant role in band stretching.

Physicality

The band is an actual tool and for many athletes they need some type of device, ball or equipment to exercise with. The band is a physical tool that provides them with a means for which they can improve their joint mobility.

Simple body weight stretching does not provide a tool that the athletes can use to challenge themselves and, as a result, these types of stretches become boring over a short period of time.

Portability

Bands are very portable so, like body weight stretching, band training can be performed anywhere. This high level of portability allows band flexibility training to be performed on the court, field or weight room as well as on the road during competition.

Varying Resistance Levels

Bands come in various resistance levels so as with strength training, athletes can gradually challenge themselves with greater passive over pressure stretching as their muscle flexibility and joint mobility improves. For a competitive athlete the ability to measure and visually see progress is highly motivating.

How to Implement a Year Round Resistance Band Stretching Program

The most successful way to incorporate a band flexibility program is by starting to implement it prior to every off-season workout regardless if it is a strength-based workout or speed and conditioning-based workout. The initial band stretches should focus on improving the hip complex since this is the true power center of the body.

Over the years of implementing the band flexibility program into numerous athletic teams, the following sequence of band stretches should be followed to make the learning curve as short and efficient as possible.

Stretch 1 – Hamstring Series

 

Stretch 2 – Hip Rotation

 

Stretch 3 – Hip Flexor Quadricep

 

Stretch 4 – Ankle Mobilization

Allow athletes to master the position and integration of an active rhythmical-based stretching approach before progressing onto the next stretch.

A complete band hip flexibility program will require about 4 or 5 training sessions to fully implement. It will require approximately 10 training sessions before sport coaches will see a consistent flow from one stretch to the next.

Another key tip to creating early success with band stretching is allowing athletes to stretch with a band that they can easily control. Stretching with a high resistance band will quickly create muscle inhibition to the stretch and not allow it to optimally lengthen.

Once band stretching has been mastered for the hip and ankle, this sequence of stretches should be used prior to any practice, workout or competitive event.


Best Band Package for Band Flexibility Training

The best band package for band flexibility training is now 15% off using code “rbtiyca15”.

The Medium Single Band Package provides athletes with 4 levels of band resistance. This will allow them to progressively improve their hip and shoulder flexibility by gradually increasing band resistance as their flexibility improves.

Medium Single Band Package

Medium Single Band Package
 

Crawling for Strength Training?

Crawling for Strength

That is right. In this video, Dave “The Band Man” Schmitz takes you through progressive concepts when it comes to strength training with bands…by teaching the crawl!

You may think…“everyone knows how to crawl”…but when you watch this video, you will realize that crawling can take your athletes to another level when taught with bands!

Pro Tip: Many kids don’t have the trunk and core stability to crawl. Crawling is a fully integrated movement that The Band Man breaks into its components to develop crawling ability, core stability, upper body stability and strength. He does this with a band to assist him against the number one thing that he can’t overcome…gravity!

Thanks for watching!


Get Your Own Bands Today to Implement in Your Youth Training Programs

Grab your bands today at resistancebandtraining.com and get 15% off using the Coupon Code rbtiyca15.

 


About the Author: Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield (1)Julie is the Executive Director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She grew up as an athlete and played collegiate softball at Juniata College. She currently owns and operates her own youth fitness business pouring into young athletes. Her areas of expertise are youth sport performance, youth fitness business and softball training/instruction. Julie grew up on a dairy farm and can challenge the best of the best in a cow-milking contest. 😉

 

5 Common Resistance Band Training Misconceptions

Dave “The Band Man” Schmitz gave us access to a 30+ minute instructional video on Resistance Band Training including mistakes, when you should start implementing bands with kids, progressions and so much more in our Exclusive IYCA Insiders members site.

It was so good that we had to take a snippet of information and share it with you for free!

Common Resistance Band Misconceptions

  1. Bigger is BetterDave
  2. Quantity over Quality
  3. Bands Don’t Need Progressions
  4. All Bands are Created Equal
  5. Band Training Doesn’t Need Guidelines

 
Size matters when it comes to bands and bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to working with youth.

Quality trumps quantity in almost all aspects of training kids, but especially when it comes to resistance band training.

Pro Tip: Band training is about high quality recruitment, and great recruitment leads to great movement.

If you think you can just throw an athlete in a band and expect good recruitment, you are wrong. Proper progressions and guidance are needed to provide the best results for your kids.

Get progressions in “The Band Man’s” instructional video exclusive to Insiders members. Also, get free access to “The Band Man’s” Quick Kids Series when you become a member.

Learn when to implement bands into your programs and how to get the most amazing results using this compact tool!

Thanks for reading!


Join IYCA Insiders Today!

Join the exclusive IYCA Insiders today and join a team of coaches doing great things for kids!

Learn More


About the Author: Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield (1)Julie is the Executive Director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She grew up as an athlete and played collegiate softball at Juniata College. She currently owns and operates her own youth fitness business pouring into young athletes. Her areas of expertise are youth sport performance, youth fitness business and softball training/instruction. Julie grew up on a dairy farm and can challenge the best of the best in a cow-milking contest. 😉

 

2 Secret Speed Training Weapons For Teams and Camps

Secret Speed Training Weapons

How would you like to be able to train over 100 kids at a lower rate and get the same results?

Resistance Band Training President, Dave Schmitz, has been known to train more than 120 athletes for Speed, Agility & Quickness…all at once!

Secret Weapon #1: Resistance Bands

Resistance bands allow coaches to train all aspects of performance, flexibility, foot quickness, agility, linear or lateral speed, stability, power, strength, endurance and first step explosiveness…to name a few.

Secret Weapon #2: Tennis Courts

This quick and easy location to do training with bands is essential for many reasons, some listed below:

georgia-68640_640

  1. The surface on a tennis court provides optimal traction for deceleration training.
  2. It allows quick set up of partner band stations.
  3. Using the court lines for speed training allows optimization of the space.
  4. Poles and “doubles” lines allow for ideal strength & core training locations.
  5. Maximizing both sides of the court with 24 athletes or 12 groups of 2 makes coaching and monitoring movement quality much easier.
  6. Once band training is complete, doing simple 5-10-5 shuttles or some other shuttle variation for neuromuscular retraining is already set up by using the center line and the inside singles line.

 

Great Sideline Activities

Squat jumps, lunges, frog jumps, power skipping, mountain climbers, core work, etc.

Here is a quick video on how to use the local high school tennis courts for lateral speed day. Keep in mind that the goal of this camp on this day was first step speed training.


Dave Schmitz

dave-schmitz


Like this blog?

Check out the blog 5 Reasons Performance Coaches LOVE Resistance Band Training.

5 Reasons Performance Coaches Love Resistance Band Training

If you don’t use resistance bands in your training already, here are 5 reasons to start implementing them today!

Reasons to Implement Resistance Band Training

Reason #1: Versatility

RBT Band TrainingResistance bands are one of the most versatile tools aside from the body itself. Their versatility allows for unique implementation for individuals and teams alike.

Develop your athlete’s speed techniques, upper body strength, lower body power, rotational strength and so much more with this one continuous looped band!

Reason #2: Control and Stability

Resistance bands allow athletes to learn how to control their bodies, which requires a “boat load” of stability and core engagement.

Why is this important? Think of how universal it is for athletes to be able to control movement. No matter the sport, timely control is demonstrated by your best athletes.

Reason #3: Variety

Sometimes coaches just have to change it up. Plus, with all of the competing stimulation for youth, they need some variety as well. Bands are a fun, effective way to train that also helps performance coaches add some variety in their programs.

It is an exciting tool that the kids love!

Reason #4: They’re Compact & Easy to Transport

LuggageSeriously, they can go anywhere! Resistance bands don’t take up a ton of space, and they aren’t heavy or hard to transport. Stick them in your trunk and use them in every session! (They are 100% TSA approved so you can even fly with them.) 😉

On a similar note, resistance band training requires little space. So if you are stuck in tight quarters, they are the optimal tool to bring more value to your training.

Reason #5: Results

You can literally feel the results immediately. Resistance bands allow athletes to dynamically move, have resistance and establish strong systemic bodies.

Bands allow athletes to improve posture, feel the correct mechanics and provide a range of resistance that challenges anyone who uses them.

If you are a performance coach and want to learn how bands can make your programs better, check out the IYCA Resistance Band Training Instructor Course today.

What are you waiting for? Train with bands today!


Want to get started?

Grab your bands today at resistancebandtraining.com and get 15% off using the Coupon Code rbtiyca15.

RBT Coupon Code


About the Author: Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield (1)Julie is the Executive Director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She grew up as an athlete and played collegiate softball at Juniata College. She currently owns and operates her own youth fitness business pouring into young athletes. Her areas of expertise are youth sport performance, youth fitness business and softball training/instruction. Julie grew up on a dairy farm and can challenge the best of the best in a cow-milking contest. 😉

 

Easy Games with Resistance Bands

No matter what age, athletes love games. If you really want your young athletes to enjoy your sessions, then you need to implement some sort of game play into each program.

Games come in different forms, from old-school games like tug-of-war to games that your own athletes co-create, they all play a role in the “fun factor” and “success factor” of your sessions.

We all want successful sessions that our athletes continue to WANT to come back to…right?

3 Benefits of Game Play

Note: Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of the page, as Guest and Resistance Band Expert, Dave Schmitz provided us with an awesome example of games to play with bands.

Games

Game Play Benefit #1:

FUN! Life is way too serious for most athleteseven some of the youngest take their sports to the extreme. A reminder that sports and training should have a “fun factor” is very important for youth.

Implementing 5 minutes of fun into your sessions will increase those “feel good” chemicals and lead to more productive, happy athletes.

Game Play Benefit #2:

COMPETITION! No matter the game, adding a bit of competition simulates what athletes may face in their sport of choice…or in life.

When training becomes competitive, athletes are able to reach a different level of performance, similar to real life game-day situations.

Pro Tip: Create games that encourage performance and reward effort.

Game Play Benefit #3:

IT ISN’T WORK! Let’s face it, training is hard work and occasionally met with resistance. Have you ever met a kid who would rather do sets of squats than play a game? Well, there is always one…but the majority don’t look at games as “work”.

Pro Tip: Games eliminate the “thinking component” of training. They allow athletes to think less and act more. When performance becomes instinctive…the real goals are achieved.

Play Games!

Check out these Resistance Band Games from Dave Schmitz:

 


Want additional games to help develop better athletes?

Check out 3 fun, exciting games from Youth Performance Expert Dave Gleason that will increase your athletes’ speed and agility.

Learn More


About the Author: Julie Hatfield

Julie Hatfield (1)Julie is the Executive Director of the International Youth Conditioning Association (IYCA). She grew up as an athlete and played collegiate softball at Juniata College. She currently owns and operates her own youth fitness business pouring into young athletes. Her areas of expertise are youth sport performance, youth fitness business and softball training/instruction. Julie grew up on a dairy farm and can challenge the best of the best in a cow-milking contest. 😉

Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands

The Most Effective Way for Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands in 4 Key Areas of Training

Dave Schmitz is an expert in resistance band training.

By Dave Schmitz

When it comes to progressing athletes with resistance bands, we need to first identify the 4 elements of performance that resistance band training targets the most effectively:

  1. Acceleration
  2. Deceleration
  3. Agility and footwork drills
  4. Strength and Power development training

Depending on which one of these elements of training your session is going to focus on will dictate the resistance bands you use and how you will progress. That said, let me briefly take you through my thought process as it relates to choosing bands to train these elements of multi-directional speed and first step explosiveness with resistance bands

Choosing the correct bands is very important because it will be that first experience that sets the stage for making sure your athletes have a positive experience training with bands. It will also dictate how you progress athletes to stronger bands as training continues. Most athletes want to go heavy, but understand that overloading too much only inhibits the neuromuscular system and leads to compensation.

Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands on Acceleration Training Days

On an acceleration day, my preference is to move towards using higher level resistance bands once drills are mastered because I am focusing on getting athletes exploding out and there is minimal concern with them handling the return phase of the running drills. As a result, I am not concerned about their ability to decelerate safely because we keep that aspect of training very controlled.

With acceleration training, we will do drills like:

  • Partner run variations
  • Repeat Starts
  • Tug of war
  • Towing Drills

All these drills primarily focus on force production versus force reduction. As a result, I can ramp up band resistance using black bands with my middle school athletes and purple and green bands with my high school athletes without putting them at risk of being overloaded.

One important thing to remember with acceleration drills is that you always want movement to look good and be explosive. I want pop and burst. If athletes begin to labor or start looking like they are towing the exercise bands versus exploding with the band, you want to increase rest time or decrease band resistance. Obviously, I am not referring to grinding-type drills like partner towing or tug of war drills. These are low velocity drills designed to only work on acceleration strength not neuromuscular reaction.

Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands on Deceleration Training Days

To me, deceleration training in bands is what sets training in bands apart from any other training device. No other tool can speed up deceleration momentum the way exercise bands can. However, deceleration training in bands is where as a coach you must err on the side of caution until athletes really start to show good body control. That said, I will train in black or purple bands for my male high school athletes and red or black for my middle school or female athletes.

Deceleration drills are pre-loaded elastic band drills, which means the first movement will transfer the kinetic energy from the band into the athlete on the fly. I want athletes to feel confident and not be concerned or anxious that the band could overpower them as they are pulled into having to decelerate. It is similar to doing over-speed training for acceleration: If you make it too much of an overload, the body will inhibit the movement, and you will get too strong of a breaking effect instead of quick transition.

Deceleration drills include:

  • 1-Step Drills
  • 2-Step Drills
  • Run and recover drills
  • Acceleration Stop Drills
  • Partner Reaction training
  • Visual or Verbal Reaction training

I highly recommend you allow athletes to remain fresh during these drills by:

  • Keeping Reps at 3-4
  • Do all drills off whistle starts
  • Keep drill very short amplitude (1-2 Steps) early in training
  • Keep band tension low

By keeping athletes fresh it will allow you to maximize band strength without inhibition occurring. The goal with deceleration drills is to slowly build up deceleration neuromuscular strength and transition speed. That takes making sure everything is well integrated and timing is perfect.

Also keep in mind that these drills are done well within the 2-yard band stretch parameter. Actually, when you see your athletes exploding out of a decelerated stop, it is a strong indication that they are ready to move up to the next level of band.

Progressing athletes with Resistance Bands

Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands in Agility and Footwork Training Sessions

Agility and footwork training is typically done in conjunction with either an acceleration or deceleration session. It is how I get my athletes’ CNS excited and prepared for advanced training. These drills are characterized as very short amplitude or small-space drills designed to teach athletes how to keep their hips or center of gravity over their base of support.

Agility and footwork drills include:

  • Low Box drills
  • Ring Drills
  • Cone Drills
  • Short ladder drills
  • Line drills

The key to choosing the correct band for these drills obviously comes down to not overloading the athlete but rather providing them with a small overload so they can still be training at 80% of maximal quickness with optimal balance. Often, I will do many of these drills in partnerships where I have 2 athletes in red or black linked up bands. The distance is always less than 2 yards, so putting a 200-pound athlete in a linked-up black band setup and going 2 to maybe 3 yards should be easily controlled by the athlete and not overstretch the band.

All my middle school athletes use red bands while my high school athletes (male and female) use either linked up black or purple bands. Make sure you teach the drill without bands first before applying the bands, regardless the age of the athlete.

Progressing Athletes with Resistance Bands in Strength and Power Development Training Sessions

When it comes to strength training with bands, you are looking at developing the ability to handle high levels of resistance at the end range of motion. That said, the key to choosing the correct band is to make sure the athlete has tension on the band at the beginning of the movement and is still able to push throughout the full range of motion.

Since most of my strength training in bands is done for either a set time or low reps, I will watch the athlete, and if he or she is not able to push consistently with constant tension on the band at both points of the range, I will adjust band size. The main thing is to not allow the band to snap back on the deceleration phase of the movement. This can result in soft tissue micro trauma or, worst yet, tendon damage. Movements should remain slightly faster on acceleration as opposed to the deceleration phase.

Strength drills that I key in on with athletes include:

  • Standing Chest Press
  • Overhead Press
  • Squat Pulls
  • Single leg Bench squats
  • Single Leg Dead lifts
  • Front Squats
  • Multiple variations of single arm push-pulls

When it comes to power training, it is all about speed of movement both concentrically (or unloading) as well as eccentrically (or loading). My biggest cue when it comes to power production is how fast an athlete can get through the “point of transformation.” In other words, how fast can they go from a decelerated eccentric loading phase to an accelerated concentric unloading phase without shortening up the range of motion?

I will typically err on the side of a smaller resistance band with power training because I want fast movement with no visual lag time seen at the point of transformation. That means red or black are what I will use with my high school athletes. I do not train power in bands with middle school or low strength level high school athletes. They must first show good strength as discussed above before I will even consider power reaction training.

Athlete Power Reaction Drills include:

  • Speed Squats (double and single)
  • Standing Reactive Chest Press
  • Reactive overhead press
  • Deadlifts
  • Chops
  • Hop drills

Hopefully this will provide you a guideline for progressing athletes with resistance bands.

Getting BETTER with BANDS!!

Dave Schmitz

 

Resistance Bands and Olympic Lifting

By Dave Schmitz

 

Wil Fleming recently wrote a very powerful article on “Why Olympic Lifts” that I found very thought provoking.

I agree with Wil that when you begin to discuss Olympic lifting with coaches, red flags immediately goes up about concerns for proper teaching, concerns for safety, and the stigma that Olympic lifting is only for the highly skilled or older athletes. For those coaches I understand their opinion and will not argue those points. Instead I will pose the question, is there a way to achieve some of the benefits of Olympic lifting without struggling with the teaching challenges or putting athletes at risk for injury.

As I read Wil’s article I continued to see a strong correlation between the benefits of resistance band training and Olympic lift training. Therefore as a follow up to Wil’s outstanding article, I wanted to touch on all 5 of Wil’s key points and relate them back to how resistance bands could assist young athletes and coaches with “improving” Olympic Lifting skill sets.

Please note that I am not suggesting you replicate Olympic lifting with bands but rather that you can get some of the neuromuscular benefits of Olympic Lifting by training with resistance bands. I also feel that performing certain movement with resistance bands will carry over to helping young athletes become better Olympic Lifting candidates.

(more…)

Resistance Bands and Olympic Lifting

 

Olympic Lifting and Resistance Bands


By Dave Schmitz

 

On September 10th, Wil Fleming wrote a very powerful article on “Olympic Lifting” that I found very thought provoking.

 

I agree with Wil that when you begin to discuss Olympic lifting with coaches, red flags immediately goes up about concerns for proper teaching, concerns for safety, and the stigma that Olympic lifting is only for the highly skilled or older athletes. For those coaches I understand their opinion and will not argue those points. Instead I will pose the question, is there a way to achieve some of the benefits of Olympic lifting without struggling with the teaching challenges or putting athletes at risk for injury.

 

As I read Wil’s article I continued to see a strong correlation between the benefits of resistance band training and Olympic lift training. Therefore as a follow up to Wil’s outstanding article, I wanted to touch on all 5 of Wil’s key points and relate them back to how resistance bands could assist young athletes and coaches with “improving” Olympic Lifting skill sets.

 

Please note that I am not suggesting you replicate Olympic lifting with bands but rather that you can get some of the neuromuscular benefits of Olympic Lifting by training with resistance bands.

I also feel that performing certain movement with resistance bands will carry over to helping young athletes become better Olympic Lifting candidates.

 

Type II Muscle Development

 

Elastic resistance is an ascending resistance that increases as the range of motion increases. As a result a young athlete quickly learns that in order to complete the movement using a resistance band they must accelerate out of their loaded posture. This mind set of acceleration is what not only recruits Type II muscle fibers, as Wil noted, but neuromuscular also teaches young athletes how to accelerate a force which is a key skill set necessary with Olympic Lifts.

 

Improved Coordination

 

Resistance band training incorporates the use of compound multi-joint movements like squat to press, hip hinge to high pull, and squat to row. All these compound movements require neuromuscular coordination to effectively complete the movement. Teaching young athletes these compound movements initially using resistance bands will provide them the neuromuscular training to learn how to coordinate movements similar to those required in Olympic Lifting.

 

 

Improved Power characteristics

 

Attaching a band around the hips to create a horizontal or vertical force vector will proprioceptively teach young athletes how to perform full hip and knee extension. Applying the hip attached set-up with bands while performing a dead-weight swing or board jump will reflexively teach the skill set of full hip extension and knee extension with an upper extremity arm swing. Using the band belt system will proprioceptively create a more vertical load while performing some of the band exercises shown in the previous video. In both cases it will allow young athletes to train the Olympic lifting skill of getting full hip extension and knee extension with an upper extremity driver.

 

View Band Belt System

 

Band Belt combo training

 

Improved Force Absorption

 

Absorbing the force of the bar when receiving it overhead or at the chest requires the core to reactively stabilize in order for the body to maintain its center of gravity over its base of support and avoid excessive lumbar extension which can often be the case with Olympic lifts. This same reactive stabilization is seen when doing any type of horizontal vector upper body band exercise with the individual facing away from the band attachment site. For instance a simple horizontal chest press or overhead tricep press requires the core to reactive stabilize to avoid excessive lumber extension during the initiation of the concentric phase of the movement. Using bands to teach young athletes how to dynamic engage their core while performing an explosive upper body exercise with bands will neuromuscular replicate the core reaction needed with Olympic lifting.

 

Success Elsewhere

 

Bands are rarely seen in a high school weight room being used to augment or help train movement skills. Instead they are used to simulate machine based movements or assist with body weight exercises like pull ups. One of the greatest benefits of resistance band training is its impact in proprioceptively teaching young athletes how to feel movement, train movement and ultimately store it into the body’s muscle memory bank. Once permanently embedded into the muscle memory, these movement skills will easily transfer into any other lift or activity that requires that particular movement skill like with Olympic lifting or more field specific foot agility training.

 

Foot Agility Training Video

 

Resistance Bands are by no means a replacement for Olympic Lifts. However, incorporating them into a strength and conditioning program will not only allow coaches more training options but will also teach young athletes a skill set that could bring them closer to incorporating many of the movement skills needed to successfully implementing Olympic Lifts into their training program.

 

Special Thank You needs to go out to Wil Fleming for creating the original article on Olympic Lifting. ~ Dave Schmitz

 

Youth Fitness Resources From The IYCA

 

Youth Fitness Resources

 

By Wil Fleming
 

I get a lot of questions regarding what IYCA product other coaches should buy. To my inbox, in person, and on facebook the question is always “I am thinking of buying Product X, and also product Y if you had to rank them what would it be?”
 

Continuing education is one of my favorite things to spend money on. I know that there is a big return coming on the money spent on products that help me improve as a coach. So in truth, any information gleaned from a text or DVD is valuable for me, but if I had to rank them here is how it goes.
 

Youth Fitness Specialist Level 1
 

This product really is what sets the IYCA apart. There is no more complete text about youth fitness and training athletes from ages 6-18. This text defined for me what youth athletes need when it comes to training. It underwent a recent update and has been improved even more from the original.
 

http://youth-fitness-specialist.com/
 

IYCA High School Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification
 

This was the first product I was ever involved in creating and is the most practical text I have ever read about training high school athletes. There are dozens of done-for-you high school training programs. If they don’t fit the bill for your training situation, there is a huge text book giving you the tools to replace movements with ideal choices. The fact that it was written by Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey, and Toby Brooks makes it even better. Normal texts talk a lot about theory but this one really does tell you how to apply theory to make great high school athletes.
 

http://iyca.org/highschool/
 

The IYCA Youth Speed and Agility Specialist
 

Written by Dave Jack, Latif Thomas, and Toby Brooks there is not a better text about speed and agility available anywhere. It is required reading for all interns with me, and for all the coaches that work in my facility. The section on lateral speed alone is worth the investment. That being said I have never read a more practical de-construction of the mechanics of acceleration and high speed running than what is provided in this text.
 

http://youthspeedspecialist.com/
 

IYCA Kettlebell/Olympic Lifts/Resistance Band Instructor Courses
 

I grouped these together because there is always a weak point in coaches arsenal that needs to be improved. The IYCA has provided 3 manuals that can help you eliminate those points to become a better coach. There are no better kettlebell instructors than Jason C. Brown and Pamela MacElree at teaching kettlebells in an easy to process way. When it comes to resistance band training, no one surpasses Dave Schmitz in his knowledge, I have seen him train elite football teams with only resistance bands, creating some of the fastest and most explosive athletes I have been around. The Olympic Lifts course is designed by me, and in my honest evaluation, it is the only product that comes from someone with an elite Olympic lifting background that uses the lifts primarily to train young athletes and not competitive Olympic lifters. Each of these products can help make you a better coach in a chosen weak point.
 

http://iyca.org/kettlebell/
 

http://iyca.org/olympic-lifts/
 

http://iyca.org/bands/
 

 

There are plenty of other awesome products from the IYCA. The Youth Fitness Specialist Level 2 and Level 3 products can only elevate your knowledge, and are the most thorough texts I have ever seen on a given subject matter.
 

 

Top 4 Alternatives for Olympic Lifts When Training Young Athletes

Training Young Athletes Using Olympic Lift Alternatives

 

Youth Fitness Expert Wil fFeming on Training Young Athletes

 

As a coach and professional I know that I love the Olympic lifts when training young athletes. For good or bad I think that there is no EQUAL to getting athletes more explosive than the Olympic lifts.

 

Being married to a lift or movement places too many limitations on the program you are able to design and in particular limits the improvements that each individual athlete can make.

 

For the athletes that are exclusively training with me and are physically capable the Olympic lifts are the king of my gym. There is no BETTER way to get explosive.

 

As my training business has grown, however, more and more athletes find out and are recruited to train with me, the necessity is not to place my training on them, but to discover the best training methods for them.

 

This means that the athlete that are concurrently training in their high school and doing Olympic lifts 2-3 times a week need alternative methods to train explosively with me. My beliefs are not something that can supersede the needs, time or ability of the athlete.

 

training young athletes

 

This being the case when we are training young athletes, the Olympic lifts have been replaced with alternatives that replicate the explosive nature of these lifts.

 

Using Medicine Balls To Train Young Athletes

 

training young athletes with medicine balls

 

The broad category of medicine ball throws can be used for nearly every athlete to produce explosive strength. These throws provide a low impact to the athlete but a maximal force production.

 

Throws in the rotational plane can be used to develop a vital linkage of the upper body to the lower body through the core musculature. Correctly performed throws originate in the lower body and leave through the hands, a kink in the core armor will be very apparent if a delay occurs from initiation to delivery.

 

Regardless of whether athletes can do Olympic lifts or not, medicine ball throws are a vital part of athletic programs, nothing develops the all important power in the transverse plane quite like rotational medicine ball throws.

 

KB Swings To Train Young Athletes

 

training young athletes

 

Much has been written on the kettlebell and benefits of using it to develop explosive strength. The addition of elastic resistance can take this movement to an entirely different level.

 

The swing itself is an excellent tool to develop an explosive hip hinge pattern. Most athletes lack in the ability to feel the explosive hinge and the swing is the best movement that I have found to break knee dominant athletes of using the knee bend to initiate explosive motion in the lower body.

 

The end range of hip extension is one of the best ways for athletes to truly feel the maximum contraction of the glutes. The voluntary muscle contraction that most athletes have difficulty attaining through other movements is a must for athletes to achieve a total hip extension.

 

The addition of elastic resistance allows accomplishes 2 main objectives:

 

1) It spares you of having to buy an unlimited number of kettlebells. Our biggest kettlebell is 32 kg. Many of our high school athletes can toy around with this weight with little to no difficulty for 10-15 swings. By adding even a small band to the kettlebell, 10-15 swings becomes a much greater challenge.

 

2) The majority of resistance occurs at the top end, where athletic movements occur. The maximal contraction should occur at the top end of the swing movement. With just the dead weight resistance supplied by the kettlebell athletes are sometimes apt to use the top extension as a point of relaxation. The addition of band resistance increases the load as it travels away from the floor. This top “high resistance” position is also the position in which most athletic movements occur.

 

In general swings simulate overall athletic movement. A correct swing should have the athlete relax momentarily at the top of the swing after reaching full hip extension but before returning to contraction at the top. This contract, relax, contract pattern allows for greater recruitment on the next upward swing.

 

Prowler Sprints To Train Young Athletes

 

training young athletes with prowler sprints

 

The goals of Olympic lifting are varied. They can go from becoming a better competitor, across the spectrum to improving speed (I first noticed that I had become a much more powerful athlete due to Olympic lifting when my 40 yard dash time dropped .5 seconds in just 6 months) For the latter a great substitution is to do resisted sprinting with the prowler.

 

The idea of special strength training was popularized by USSR coaches, and in particular those coaches in track and field. My first exposures to it were as a hammer thrower, to us special strength training was literally training the specific event in which I competed with a heavier implement (can’t get much more special than that!). Prowler sprints are the perfect special strength tool for athletes looking to improve acceleration.

 

The sets are typically 8 seconds or less, and the athlete gets adequate rest. This timing both mimics the boughts typically seen in athletic competition, the length of time for typical Olympic lifts, and helps increase the alactic power an athlete is able to produce.

 

An increase in stride length will be seen for athletes training with resisted sprinting techniques. This increased stride length will be due to an increase in the athletes’ ability to produce more power.

 

Submaximal Front Squats or Deadlifts to Train Young Athletes

training young athletes with deadlifts

This is something that I have been toying with recently that has really improved the maximum power output that we are seeing from our athletes.

 

Loads of 40-50% 1RM on the bar and band resistance of less than 100lbs should be used. Athletes should be instructed to lift the weight with maximal force on the concentric portion of the movement.

 

Recently Bret Contreras wrote an excellent article on similar movements In it he describes recent research showing that maximal force produced during 40% of 1RM in the Hex Bar Deadlift is surprisingly similar to that produced in the Olympic lifts. (4800 Watts Hex Bar vs. ~4900 Watts in O lifts). While research has shown that maximal power production measured in watts can be achieved in the split jerk at nearly 6000 watts, this is very close when it comes to the big 2 Olympic lifts (snatch/clean).

 

Adding bands to the puzzle has not yet been studied but anecdotally my athletes have seen a large improvement in the ability to produce power top end hip extension. The greatest load is encountered at this point in which the athlete has the greatest mechanical advantage.

 

The bands pull the athlete down at a faster rate in the eccentric phase of the lift. To resist this greater speed the posterior chain must contract with a greater force. This is similar to the eccentric portion of plyometric action. Higher rate of contraction in the muscle spindles will lead to a greater force of contraction on the concentric portion of the lift.

 

Check these moves out next time your training young athletes and let me know what you think.

 

Learn how to become a Certfied High School Strength and Conditioning Coach by Clicking Here.

HSSC

Alternative Methods for Training Explosive Strength To High School Athletes

 

 

High School Athletes Strength Training

 

 

high school athletes

By Wil Fleming

Nearly all high school athletes, with very few exceptions, need to
develop explosive strength.

 

 

The instances in which the skill of explosive strength are used in
sports are endless, but when used “explosiveness” is very apparent.

 

A linemen firing off from their stance.

 

A soccer player rising above his opponents to head a ball toward goal.

 

A volleyball player making a quick lateral move to reach for the dig.

 

Instances of explosive strength are very vivid when used and typically are a part of a game changing play.

 

Typically I would now talk about the importance of Olympic lifts, but in some instances using a barbell is not possible due to equipment limitations or even the readiness of the athlete. In those instances, the need for High School Athletes does not diminish, but the need for creativity does increase.

 

(more…)

Connecting With Local High Schools

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post for all IYCA members on how to use bands to get involved with a high school:  Opening The Door To Youth Sports In Your Area

 

Youth Sports

I recently received this email from a local trainer that I thought was very appropriate to share with all of you.

 

If you are looking for a way to provide coaches with something that will not only make their athletes better but also provide them a solution to a very common problem, resistance bands may be the answer.

 

This could very easily be you sending me this email in the near future.

 

(more…)