How Do Power Bands Work?

November 3, 2014
How Do Power Bands Work?

Elastic resistance training bands boost strength and versatility. Power bands, occasionally called jump-stretch bands, are resistance bands on a significant dosage of anabolic steroids. Athletes make use of these thick, heavy duty, tear-resistant bands for sport-specific speed, dexterity and power training, while bodybuilders connect them to pinheads and barbells to heighten their currently difficult workouts.

Research

Combined elastic-band and free-weight training activates greater strength and power gains than weight-training alone, reports Corey E. Anderson, lead author of a 2008 research published in the ‘Journal of Strength and Conditioning Study.’ Anderson and his study team recruited 44 student athletes from Cornell University. The control group performed a seven-week barbell training program. The elastic training group attached power bands to the barbell training equipment, which activated a couple of times higher strength gains than the control group.

Westside Barbell

The bodybuilding market credits Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell for developing the power band training module. This widely known bodybuilding fitness center includes Eastern European Olympic training techniques into its power workouts. Athletic coach Dave Williams of Liberty College very first suggested the addition of power-band training to Louie Simmons, who experimented with connecting them to the barbells located on the bench press and squat machines. Westside Barbell members reported massive strength gains within a couple of months of this type of training.

Strength-training Conundrum

Your muscles and joints vary in strength and stability along different areas of the strength curve. They’re normally at their weakest at the beginning of a movement, but gain strength and leverage as your muscles contract. A 50-lb. barbell always weighs 50 lbs. It could be too heavy at the start of the exercise, but appropriate when your muscles reach peak tightening. A 45-lb. weight could offer acceptable resistance at the start of the workout but not enough throughout peak contraction.

Accommodating Resistance

The strength-training quandary causes lifters to either use too much weight and bad type to begin the workout, or not adequate weight to effectively challenge the muscles. Louie Simmons used the accommodating resistance theories of Russian kinesiologist Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky to show how power-band training works. A resistance band provides less resistance at the starting point of the workout, however increases resistance as it’s stretched. Power bands connected to a 45-lb. weight for that reason properly accommodate all parts of the movement.

Eccentric Resistance

Picture exactly what occurs when you do a biceps curl with an incredibly heavy weight: When you get to the top of the contraction, you might drop the weight and make use of the force of gravity to go back to the beginning position. The return movement – called an eccentric contraction – lengthens the muscles as they contract, and engages the opposing muscle group – in this case, the triceps muscles, explains Lee E. Brown, author of ‘Strength Training.’ Dropping the weight and using gravity therefore loses one part of the exercise. In contrast, the power band remains to apply resistance throughout the eccentric phase of the motion.