Smashing Through PR's By Using Resistance Bands
Are you working hard in the gym consistently and find yourself hitting a plateau? Maybe its been a while since you hit that last squat PR. Good news, we're going to help you break through that stubborn plateau.
Elite level lifters all have one thing in common, they always change up their workout routine regularly to keep their bodies from being able to adapt to the workload. One of the best ways to enhance some of the most essential lifts, like the squat or bench press, are the use of resistance bands.
Squats have what's called an ascending strength curve. An ascending strength curve simply means that as leverage increases, the amount of muscular tension required to lift the weight decreases. From the bottom of the squat, the weight being lifted becomes progressively easier until the rep is complete. Hence, you can half-squat (doing just the top half of the squat) much more than you can full squat.
Several squat machines have attempted to resolve this issue, however, there is one problem. Instead of the machine adjusting to each individual, the individual is force to adapt to the range of motion and movement of the machine itself. Resistance bands have solved this issue perfectly.
The use of resistance bands allows the athlete to maintain their own comfortable range of motion and movement while continuing to increase the tension as you approach the top of each rep. By keeping the intensity high throughout the entire movement, more muscle fibers will be recruited, thus increasing muscle growth and helping you smash through that plateau.
Another essential lift that can be performed in conjunction with resistance bands is the bench press. Technically, the bench press is a longer range-of-motion exercise. Like most exercises that fall into this category, the muscle is under a maximal amount of tension for just a short time. Because of the longer ROM, your chest is simply working at submaximal tension for a greater percentage of the lift, while allowing the triceps to carry weight for the top half of the rep.
Like the squat, the bench press has an ascending strength curve, so the farther the weight gets from your chest, the easier it gets to lift. Once again, resistance bands will give you the edge you need to make sure you need to EARN every last rep and your chest will be working at maximal effort throughout the entire rep.
There's nothing more functional than using your posterior chain to pick up heavy weight off the ground and violently extend your hips to finish the job.
Adding bands to deadlifts combines the full range-of-motion benefits to the lower back and legs with the upper-back benefits of doing rack pulls. That's because deadlifts, like squats and bench presses, have an ascending strength curve. In the bottom position, where you are weakest, the bands have not yet started to pull tight, but as you lift the weight up and leverage improves, the band pulls tighter and tighter, increasing the amount of force required to complete the lift. This added tension will ensure that your upper back muscles are getting just as much of a workout as your legs and core muscles did getting the weight off the ground.