The benefits of resistance band training for athletes are far-reaching and can have a huge impact on their progression in their sport.
As an athlete, the faster you run, higher you jump, and quicker you move, the better you’re going to be at your sport.
I played sports in middle school all the way through college and, like you, I wanted to find how to get an edge in my training.
When I was in middle school I bought a vertical jump training program and in a couple of months increased my vertical 5 or 6 inches. It was incredible and I was hooked on finding other tools to improve athletic performance.
I bought a bungee resistance band in high school and used it throughout college to improve my speed and quickness - I absolutely loved it. Teammates of mine even started borrowing it so they could use it in their training too.
I found resistance bands to be a great tool for increasing athleticism and adding variety to your training.
Improved athleticism can take you from a bench player to a starter, a starter to all-conference, and all-conference to all-state or all-american.
Wouldn’t you want to do everything you can to improve your athleticism and give you the advantage over your opponent?
Yes, yes you would! This is why resistance band training is so valuable.
Who uses resistance bands?
Resistance bands are used by some of the top athletes in the world like LeBron James, Carlin Isles (Regarded as “The fastest rugby player in the world”), Alex Morgan, Allyson Felix, Serena Williams, Antonio Brown, and Dez Bryant (To name just a few) which also speaks to their ability to help athletes in varying sports.
They can also can be used by athletes of all ages, whether you’re just starting to train for your sport or you’ve been training for years. This demonstrates their versatility as a training tool and should give you confidence that you can use them regardless of what ability level you are at.
They can play a crucial role in your progression, and, when combined with a quality strength training program, will give you the edge you’re looking for to go out and dominate your sport.
So, why resistance bands? Why are they beneficial for you as an athlete?
Resistance Bands Benefit #1 - Increased Speed, Power, and Agility
The overarching benefit of resistance bands is that they’ll help you run faster, jump higher, and move quicker.
What could be better than that?
With a tool like the resisted bungee band you can work on acceleration from a starting position doing resisted runs or top end speed with overspeed training.
You can even develop lateral quickness with resisted lateral shuffles and explosiveness with exercises like resisted broad jumps or resisted lateral jumps.
A hidden benefit of these bands is the ability to work on deceleration as well. This is important for preventing injuries and you’ll learn more about that later in this article.
With leg resistance bands you are able to improve knee drive, lateral quickness, and explosiveness by adding resistance to plyometric exercises such as split squat jumps and high knees in place, as well as strength movements like lunges and step ups.
Mini bands are great for developing different muscles of your hip, a key component to athletic performance.
Resistance Bands Benefit #2 - Convenience (No Gym Needed)
The second benefit of resistance band training for athletes is that it’s versatile and convenient.
Resistance bands are easy to transport too, so they’re great for getting workouts in while you travel so you can stay consistent. Because, as you know, consistency is everything when you’re trying to progress as an athlete.
Lastly, resistance bands are versatile, allowing you to easily adjust the tension by using thicker or thinner bands. This also means an athlete can use resistance bands for years, adding more tension with different bands as they progressively get stronger.
Resistance Bands Benefit #3 - Getting More Out of Bodyweight Exercises
Resistance bands like bungees or leg resistance bands are great for progressing bodyweight exercises.
For example, you can use leg resistance bands to easily add resistance to:
- Step Ups
- High Knees
While a resistance bungee band works well to add resistance to:
- Lateral Shuffles
- Lateral Jumps
- Broad Jumps
Combined, these bands help you to get more out of bodyweight exercises, especially when utilizing contrast training, doing a few sets of resisted band work followed by a few sets without the band.
Resistance Bands Benefit #4 - Reduced Injuries
The most common resistance bands, ones with handles on the ends, are much easier on your joints than conventional weight lifting. They’re often used by athletes recovering from injuries or athletes who are in-season.
These type of bands can also be used to prevent injuries.
For example, you can substitute lots of traditional strength training exercises like presses and rows with resistance band exercises.
Overhead athletes such as baseball, softball and volleyball players, as well as football quarterbacks, can also use throwing mobility bands to help prevent injuries and strengthen their shoulders.
“Clangin and bangin”, as The Rock would say, is still incredibly important for building strength, but resistance band training has its place.
Resistance bands are just one of your tools as an athlete.
Should you only use resistance bands in your training? Probably not.
However, the benefits of resistance band training can’t be ignored and if you want to get faster, jump higher, and move quicker, you should include resistance band training in your program.
Your competition is already using this type of training, why aren’t you?
To get started, find out which bands are right for you, then begin to include resistance band training in your workouts 1 to 2 times per week.
In a matter of weeks you’ll see improvements and take your game to the next level!