The Reason for Band Training:
Many years ago the only way to get stronger, bigger and in great shape was to pump iron. Body weight training, kettlebells, and bands were not on the strength training radar for me and many others.
However, the more I learned about how the body functioned the more I realized dead-weight training was not the only answer. In many cases, dead-weight is ineffective at helping clients get back to doing what they truly wanted to do and in most cases it can be a painful experience. Once I discovered resistance bands, my ability to broaden my demographics, (Post Rehabilitation, Office Training, Youth and Aged Training, Remote Training etc.) grew substantial.
Why Train with Bands
Bands strengthen your neuro-muscular structure where it’s the weakest which is at the end range of movement. Considering how often we function in the end range and that 95% of injuries happen when our legs or arms are lengthened out away from our center of gravity, it makes sense to train our body to be strong and stable where it counts the most.
Bands allow you to train the body with true horizontal vectors where dead-weight can only create a vertical gravity dependent force vector. Knowing how much our body has to deal with horizontal vectors created mostly by running or walking momentum, it becomes very important that we challenge our body with resistances that generate horizontal force.
Life is all About Horizontal Vectors
A band’s ascending resistance trains our body how to accelerate and decelerate against a resistance by increasing resistance the further we go into a range of motion. With a progressively harder resistance it trains us how to accelerate movement when performing the concentric or working phase of the movement and how decelerate or slow down by having to handle a an accelerated eccentric phase. This is a very important neuro-muscular skill that is needed when you look at how often we must speed up or slow down our body throughout the day.
Why Learn how to STOP
Bands allow us to train like athletes because we can simulate movements that are very athletic like shuffling, jumping, running, throwing or hitting. Bands also allow us to do basic movements like pushing, pulling and pressing while in a standing posture. Being able to train using athletic movements allows the body to maintain balance, coordination and muscle integration.
Each band creates a 15 to 300 lbs of variable resistance that will push the strongest and adapt to the weakest of individuals. It also allows you to quickly change resistance on the fly to maximize each rep, set and workout by keeping resistance at a challenging level at all times. Again dead-weight resistance remains constant and does not adapt as fatigue sets in.
The following facts make answering why train with bands even easier
Flat continuously looped resistance bands are the most convenient and portable training tool on the planet. Its light weight and unlimited resistance allows training to take place anywhere and any at any intensity.
The pliability of resistance bands allow them to simulate any strength training movement as well as any functional movement allowing muscle coordination and integration to easily trained
Bands are a simple tool which makes them a very user friendly and non-threatening strength training option that can provide an optimal resistance challenge when individuals are ready to get more aggressive with their training.
As the body ages, strength training must adapt as it relates to allowing muscle and joints to recover while also allowing movements to be modified. Resistance bands provide for all of these situations thus making it a joint friendly training approach for all ages.
I understand that many individuals that exercise and specifically strength train regularly either do not understand the impact resistance bands have on the body or are only willing to consider them as a last alternative to strength training.
As it relates to the seniors community, it’s far more about staying mobile, agile, and heart healthy versus just strong.
Free Weights, Body Weight, Sandbags, Kettle-bells and Machine based resistance all create the same neuro-muscular response on the body. On the contrary resistance bands create a completely different and unique response enhance the strength created by dead-weight. Training with dead-weight tools has not been shown to improve power, flexibility, balance, muscle coordination and distal joint stability as well as resistance bands can. In addition resistance bands are easier on your joints and muscles thus allowing older individuals to strength way beyond retirement.
Here at The Richardson Program we take a subjective approach to each of our clients programs. We understand that there is a time and place for all forms of training.