Archive for “bands” Tag

How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 3

Using Bands to Conveniently Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program

Resistance bands are easily the most convenient and effective way to work on first step speed mechanics as it relates to acceleration and deceleration.

Not only are bands easy to attach to the body but their ascending resistance allows athletes to load both acceleration and deceleration phases of running.

7. First Step Acceleration

It’s a well known fact that if an athlete can win the first 3 steps during a play in a game, they are probably going to experience good success continually throughout the game and probably win the event.

Resistance bands make it very easy to train large groups of athletes to increase first step speed and reaction. As a coach, partner-based first step speed training requires minimal setup or space to implement and is relatively easy for athletes to quickly learn.

As for the athlete, they are able to instantly feel the difference it makes on their quickness and agility within only a couple of training sessions. These two factors alone instantly make it successful.

These drills are typically done in a partner attached setup with athletes alternating while performing 3 or 4 sets of 5 reps. Because these drills will emphasize acceleration, the athlete only has to focus on getting out quickly against the band resistance.

Once learned, coaches can build in reaction starts through the use of whistle start hand signals.

Shuffle Acceleration Drill

 

8. First Step Deceleration

Once acceleration training is mastered, athletes can begin to work on deceleration by training under what is called a pre-loaded band setup. Performing the same drills, athletes now focus on learning how to decelerate under band-driven momentum.

Just like applying weight to increase strength, the band applies a resistance that the body has to overcome in order to become stronger at decelerating or slowing down momentum.

Shuffle Deceleration Drill

 

9. Partner Resisted Running

Once first step acceleration and deceleration speed drills are mastered, longer amplitude linear speed training can be implemented using a training approach called partner resisted running.

With partner resisted running, partners work together to challenge each other to run under a controlled resistance for 15 to 20 yards.

Partner resisted running allows athletes to now take their first step speed training through longer amplitudes of movement.

Here Is An Example of Partner-Based Forward Running

 

10. Implementing Non-Traditional Strength Training

The final way that resistance bands can be implemented into an off-season strength program is by using them to simulate non-traditional strength training drills like resisted crawling, towing, pushing or lunging.

In many cases these types of drills are used with specially designed equipment that increases cost and the need for greater training space. With a flat band’s ability to attach onto the body in multiple ways, it allows them to provide resistance to non-traditional movements that, in turn, challenges total body strength and coordination.

Non-Traditional Speed-Strength Training

Flat continuously looped layered bands, like the Quantum Band, provides coaches and their athletes with the ability to train all aspects of performance. They also allow them to simulate specific exercises and unique training approaches that historically required specialized equipment and additional resources.

Resistance band versatility makes it very easy and convenient to implement key aspects of an off-season training program without the need for added equipment, space or resources.

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.

How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 2

Using Bands for Versatility in Your Strength & Conditioning Program

The ability to combine bands with free weights, create efficient metabolic circuits and safely be used to introduce strength training to younger middle school athletes adds to their off-season versatility.

4. Contrast Free Weight Band Training

Most off–season strength training programs are built around 6 or 8 week cycles that are designed to gradually improve absolute strength. In many cases after a cycle of this nature is completed the body needs what is called a de-load week.

This is a week where an athlete is allowed to let their body recover, heal and re-energize after performing a multi-week cycle of heavy gravity-based free weight strength training. It is during this de-load week that resistance bands play a significant role in allowing the body to continue strength training while still allowing muscles and joints to recover.

During this phase, barbell–band contrast training or band only exercises are implemented. This change of pace training allows the body to experience a completely different strength training stimulus while continuing to improve on common strength training patterns of movement.

Here are a few examples of easy to implement contrast band training exercises using bands in conjunction with frequently used barbell exercises.

Barbell-Band Bench

Barbell-Band Squat

Barbell-Band Dead-lift

Barbell-Band Push Press

5. Circuit-Based Metabolic Training

As the off-season progresses, metabolic conditioning becomes increasingly more important in preparing the high school athlete for their upcoming pre-season.

Resistance band’s ability to simulate any strength exercise while providing unlimited resistance and lightweight portability allows easy station circuit-based workouts to be set up and implemented anywhere.

Posterior Chain Metabolic Circuit

6. Middle School Strength Training

One of the safest ways to implement a middle school strength training program is through the use of body weight exercises. It teaches body awareness as well as core stability while still working against gravity.

Unfortunately not all young middle school athletes can effectively perform simple body weight exercises like squats, push-ups, pull-ups or single leg squat variations.

Resistance bands can supplement a body weight strength training program in 4 ways.

First, they can be used to assist body weight exercises to allow athletes to learn how to properly perform basic body weight exercises through full ranges of motion.

Second, bands can be used to apply added resistance to body weight exercises by quickly attaching the band onto the body.

Third, bands can be used to create unique exercises besides body weight movements that can increase exercise variety while influencing movements body weight exercises can’t.

Last, since most middle schools are not able to properly outfit a strength training room, resistance bands provide a highly cost effective way to introduce young middle school athletes to a simple strength training program.

Part 3 will turn the focus towards using bands as a speed development training tool to enhance both acceleration and deceleration while training both linear and lateral planes of movement.

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.

How Resistance Band Training Can Impact a Strength & Conditioning Program – Part 1

Impacting a HS Year Round Strength & Conditioning Program with Bands

As a strength and conditioning coach of a local high school where I have over 80 young high school athletes training in our weight room 4 days per week, I am constantly evaluating our efficiency and results.

Resistance bands have easily been our most versatile and cost effective training tool to date. Not only do the kids find bands to be extremely challenging to train with, but they also enjoy the ability to improve their free weight training results.

Anytime we can provide a training tool that motivates high school athletes to work harder, train more frequently and enjoy doing it, only good things happen.

I would like to share 10 ways, as a coach, you can implement continuously looped resistance bands into a high school strength and conditioning program.

1. Dynamic Flexibility Training

No question the greatest impact on keeping young athletes healthy, besides strength training, is making sure their joints and muscles are able to move freely through a full range of motion on demand.

A majority of youth injuries are directly associated with flexibility deficits due to frequent growth spurts. Unfortunately athletes do not like to stretch and if they do stretch, it’s often using simple body-weight movements performed poorly.

Band stretching allows athletes to use the band to passively and actively lengthen out key muscles of the hip and shoulder. Using a tool, in this case the band, to stretch seems to provide athletes with an added motivation to routinely perform a dynamic stretching routine.

This series of band stretches performed before every lift or running workout allows athletes to follow a routine program. Over time it creates permanent soft tissue length changes that athletes quickly recognize.

What’s even more interesting is the longer athletes perform the band stretching routine, the more they begin to appreciate the importance of flexibility and how it directly impacts improvement in strength, speed and power. These are not often recognized as flexibility benefits.

Dynamic Band Stretching with Young Athletes

2. Trunk and Hip Activation

The importance of establishing good activation of the trunk and hip stabilizers pre-workout is pretty well documented.

Using the same single band that was incorporated in the band stretching routine, athletes can quickly perform a series of resisted planks or hip stabilization exercises that will optimally prepare them for any running or lifting workout.

This series of band stabilization drills makes it convenient and easy to flow directly from stretching into a muscle activation series of exercises.

Simple Core Activation Exercises

3. Auxiliary Training

Free weight training should be a key part of any high school athletic-based strength program. However, regardless if that type of program emphasizes the use of kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells or sandbags, the type of resistance remains the same in that it is a gravity dependent constant resistance.

Resistance bands provide an ascending resistance that is not reliant on gravity. As a result, continuously looped bands can be used to create auxiliary exercises following different planes of motion or movement patterns while impacting muscles significantly different than free weights.

Combining straight plane free weight movements with multi-plane, multi-resistance vector band strength training allows the body to eliminate weak links in what is a total kinetic chain, tri-plane structure.

5 Best Lower Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training

5 Best Upper Body Band Exercises for Youth Strength Training

Stay tuned for Part 2 which will cover how to use resistance bands to improve barbell strength and sport specific conditioning as well as using them to develop a safe and effective middle school strength development program.

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.
 

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. 😉

 

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