ELASTIC BANDS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE 🌈
Hi everyone, and welcome to this new article on sports bands! 😄
After having written an article on"starting and progressing with rings", today we are going to talk about bodybuilding elastics.
If you didn't know what elastic bands were used for before, chances are that since 2020, we've heard a little more about them. In any case, it's an equipment that allows a lot of things and thanks to which you will be able to :
- Warm up
- Recovering gradually from an injury
- Correct your posture
- Doing strengthening exercises
- Weighting down on bodyweight exercises
- Work on mobility and flexibility
As you can see, there are a multitude of possibilities with these elastic bands.
In this article, I will try to give you as complete a guide as possible on how they work or how to use them, and you will even find a small training program with them at the end of the article!
Usage & Dynamics:
An elastic band is easy to carry, it's not fragile and it weighs nothing; especially considering the levels of resistance and therefore weight that can be achieved with it, which vary with the type and thickness of the band.
The resistance will depend on the level of tension applied. So the tighter the band, the stronger the resistance and the more difficult the exercises will become. What follows from this is that this level of tension will vary within each repetition; this explains the weight range you will find indicated on some bands.
This dynamic is very important to consider depending on the exercise you are using them for. Whether it is to assist or weigh down :
As a general rule of thumb, it is best to have the tension of the weight training bands at their maximum when you are in the most difficult position of a movement. (Example: for a classic push-up, it's at the very bottom of the movement that it's most difficult, so it's good that the band's assistance is at its maximum, which will help you get stronger more quickly to do your first push-ups without a band).
Elastic bands are suitable and effective for the vast majority of body weight exercises; both assisted and weighted. We will discuss them next.
They also have the advantage of forcing a certain amount of sheathing and control over each part of the movement "going" and "coming" as they are constantly trying to pull us towards their attachment point. This also helps to improve proprioception, the ability to be aware of your body in space. For classic strength training exercises, adjusting the weight is the best parameter to vary the difficulty. But it is also possible to use chains and elastic bands to modify the resistance during an exercise. We will not lie, it concerns only some advanced athletes who have very precise objectives and programming, often in some sports like powerlifting or work with elastic band, will often be integrated, especially because it is effective to improve explosiveness 💥
Vary the resistance of the elastic bands:
There are several ways to vary the level of resistance when using weight training elastics:
- Stretch it out more, moving further away from the band attachment point before starting the exercise:
- By shortening the part of the strip that will actually be stretched:
Work with unilateral exercises one leg or arm after the other:
Double the bands. However, this will reduce the range of motion, so it's not for every exercise, but it's always good to keep in mind:
- Switching to a thicker band is an obvious possibility to increase resistance:
- Using several bands at the same time, which will quickly allow you to reach even wider resistance ranges without really needing to buy 14 different bands:
And it's because extra bands quickly become redundant that I decided for mine to offer only 3 well-chosen bands with about 100 kilos of cumulative resistance, which should already be more than enough for most! 💪
If you need material, equipment and you find value in my work, a good way to thank me and provide you in my store which guarantees you very good quality equipment intelligently designed by someone who knows how to use it.
Before moving on to the exercises, you're going to need some attachment points for your bands. You can wrap it around an object, attach it to something by making a loop with it, or use your own body, of course. My own little trick for attaching the strip to the height I want at home is very simple, just :
- Get a running bag with handles and place a full bottle inside
- Stuck the bag in the door frame and closed it
- Place the elastic bands inside and perform the exercises you want
I also have a free sports program 30-day routine, without equipment, to do at home. If you'd like a little more inspiration, and without further ado, I leave you with this little parade of exercises.
We arrive at the exercises that will be separated into different categories:
Strengthening the upper body with elastic bands
Strengthening shoulders :
Strengthening triceps :
Back reinforcement :
Lower body reinforcement :
Before I give you a little routine you can do at home with the elastic bands, I'll answer a very common question:
Can you really gain muscle just by pulling on elastic bands?
So first of all, pulling on elastic bands is already much better than doing nothing at all. It will be very practical for a beginner who doesn't have access to a gym or who doesn't want to go there; but who wants to start gently to do sports and build up a little bit of muscle. On the other hand, in this case, I would quickly advise to do body weight or to integrate it as much as possible, because it will allow much more polyarticular exercises and a greater range of variation to continue to progress.
But as far as muscle gain is concerned, it will be reserved for the most beginners, those who are not used to loading their bar at 100 kilos at the gym. In normal circumstances, a small program like this with body weight and elastic band will be more than enough to maintain muscle mass, and even to progress in one way or another, if only by strengthening the joints or the functional side of the muscles.
I leave you with this strengthening routine as promised. It mixes pure body weight and the use of elastic bands with alternatives to make the exercises easier or harder depending on your level:
This remains a generic routine that won't suit everyone, so feel free to modify it as you prefer. sports programs on my website.