How to Add Resistance Bands to Y Workouts

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Adding bands to traditional lifts can breathe new life into old exercises and take your workout intensity to a new level.

Unlike other flavor-of-the-month fitness trends, resistance bands — specifically superbands — seem even more valuable today than they did a decade ago. From mobility exercises to dynamic warm-ups to band-only exercises, the versatility of these inexpensive and portable devices makes them an MVP of the weight room.

An effective and underused training strategy is combining bands with traditional gym lifts, and two different techniques have been embraced by strength athletes over the last several years. Both train body control and strength, and they may help you smash through plateaus while simultaneously beating boredom.

Accommodating Resistance Training

The problem with weight training is that 100 pounds is always 100 pounds, no matter where you are in a rep — at the weakest part of the force curve (such as in the hole of a squat) or at the strongest (such as at the top of a bench press). If you service the weak part of the motion and go lighter, you might not stimulate the muscle properly. If you load the bar for the strong part of the rep, you run the risk of injury. Enter the superband.

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Superbands provide “accommodating resistance,” meaning they are easy when you are at your weakest and challenging when you are at your strongest. Take a bench press for example: Secure a superband on either end of the bar to the floor, then get into position. When the bar is on your chest, the bands are nearly slack, but as you press the bar to lockout, the resistance increases as the bands are stretched. This adds effort and intensity without adding load, protecting your joints while adding a layer of accountability.

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