Incorporating resistance band training into a workout is one of the best ways to increase speed and agility. There are many reasons why athletes should be turning to resistance training more often, with the simple reason being that it is an extremely easy way to turn your everyday workout into a high intensity training plan. Most people know that skeletal muscles are made up of muscle fibers or primarily type 1 fibers (known as “slow-twitch fibers”), and type 2 fibers (known as “fast-twitch fibers.”) What most people don’t know, is how these fibers can be developed to achieve maximum athletic performance.
Slow-twitch fibers are used when an athlete is performing an exercise up to 25% capacity. These slow-twitch fibers are what allow Olympic marathon runners to set records and compete at a high level. Fast-twitch muscles come into play once an athlete gets over this 25% threshold. This is put on display when an athlete is sprinting, maxing out on the bench press bar, or even jumping to snatch a rebound while playing basketball. Great athletes tend to have fast-twitch muscle fibers that are bigger and are firing faster than that of their competition. Although athletes can’t determine the genetic mix of these slow and fast-twitch fibers, they can train them to be stronger so that when they are called upon in competition, they are ready for action.
Why Should I Start Resistance Training?
Resistance training is one of the best ways to train fast-twitch muscles as the primary driver of building these muscle fibers. Victorem's Speed & Agility Bands can help maximize your warm up intensity by adding resistance to every move you make, thus helping you get over the 25% threshold. Bands also activate these fast-twitch muscles during exercises that typically would only train the slow-twitch muscle fibers. This is essential to warming up by increasing circulation, body temperature, and bringing the heart rate up, while preparing the muscles for the movements they will perform during competition. Resistance bands allow athletes to increase the intensity of the workout while performing natural motions to their warm-up (high knees, lateral steps, etc.).
How Do I Incorporate Resistance Training Into My Workouts?
There are multiple ways to start resistance training today to increase the intensity of a warm-up or workout. Athletes can use the Speed & Agility Bands mentioned previously and go through some of these exercises prior to the workout:
High Knee Drive
During the actual workout, these same bands can be used for various speed training drills such as ladder, sprint, or cone agility workouts. Victorem also makes a Resistance Training Bungee Band. Athletes benefit from this as it raises the intensity of any workout by providing 360 degrees of resistance going against any motion an athlete makes. There are numerous drills that can be performed with this resistance band, which can be found here.
In order to increase speed and agility, muscles need to be put through high intensity exercises to ensure that fast-twitch fibers are being utilized and worked out. One of the easiest and most beneficial ways to do this is by incorporating a few resistance band products into a warm up and workout. Training with resistance bands gives the athlete an edge over their competition.