Band Exercises have become very popular the last few years. A quick YouTube search for “band exercises” returns over 2,300 videos for every body part. Here, we cover four band exercises you need to be doing, but probably aren’t. These will work your whole body, and make you both a stronger and healthier athlete.
1. Banded Good Mornings really work your posterior chain from the base of your skull to your ankles. To perform them, place a light or average band around your neck, and step on the hanging end with both feet. You can put your hands at chest level on the band. Stand up straight to start the exercise. Arch your back and push your hips back, bending at the waist. Slowly bend over until your upper body is parallel with the ground, and return to the starting position by flexing your hamstrings and glutes. Try to imagine crushing a walnut between your butt cheeks. Do these for 3 sets of 10-20 reps
2. Terminal Knee Extensions are great for leg strength and knee health. They will also help improve ankle flexibility. Choke a light or average band around something sturdy, like a power rack or lat pull at knee level. Place one leg through the band and place it BELOW your knee joint on your upper calf, then step back from the rack until there is tension in the band. Flex both knees until your knee is over your toes, or your heel starts to come off of the ground. Return to the starting position by forcefully flexing the quad until your knee is locked out. Hold this position for a one count, and then start the next rep. Do these for 2-3 sets of 15 reps per leg.
3. Band Pull-Aparts are a great exercise for your shoulders and upper back. Start by holding a mini-band in front of your body slightly above shoulder level. Hold your arms rigid with your elbows slightly flexed and pull your hands apart until they are out at your sides. Hold this position for a one count, and slowly return to the starting position. Make sure there is tension in the band through the whole range of motion. Do 3 sets of 10-20 reps
4. Pull-ups: Band assisted pull-ups are a great exercise for your whole back. Athletes, regardless of their sport, need a strong back. Start these by choking a band around the middle of a pull-up bar. Depending on your bodyweight and strength level, you will need between a light and heavy band. Pull the loose end of the band down and place one foot in it, push your foot down, and place your other foot in it. Take your chosen grip, start at full extension, and pull your body up until your chin is over the bar. Start with 40 reps per session, and try to add 5-10 reps a week. Once you get to 60 reps per session, drop a band size, or see if you can perform 10 full reps. if you can do 10, start over with no band.