Band Exercises to Make You a More Explosive Athlete
Power and deceleration are the keys to being an explosive athlete. Power plays a role in overall speed, quickness and acceleration. Deceleration helps you stop, cut and change direction. You can develop these attributes separately with plyometrics and sprints, or you can do it simultaneously with bands.
The Banded Broad Jump, Banded Lateral Push-Off and Banded Squat Jump all teach explosive hip hinge (power), but they also teach deceleration.
Master these movements without a band, then with a band.
Banded Broad Jump
The Broad Jump is a great developer of horizontal power. When you add a band, it increases the resistance, forcing you to produce more power. But when you land, the band wants to pull you back. To come back, do little bunny hops or pump the brakes back to the starting position.
- Attach two resistance bands. I prefer to use 1/2-inch or 1-inch bands.
- You can do this drill alone by looping one end around a squat rack, beam or any sturdy object. Or place one end of the band around your partner and have him or her sit behind you with tension on the band.
- Put the other end around yourself and proceed to do Broad Jumps.
Banded Lateral Push-Off
The Banded Lateral Push-Off is a versatile drill. How you do it depends on what you want to work on.
Developing Force/Teaching Soft Landing: When you push away from the band, you develop more force. The band also helps you decelerate, allowing you to make a softer landing when you jump away. Once you stick the landing, walk back to the starting position and repeat.
Developing Force/Teaching Deceleration: The only difference in this one is that instead of walking back to the starting position, you push off your plant leg back to the starting position. The band is over-accelerating you, so you need more stability and strength to stop.
- Set-up is same as the Broad Jump, except you face sideways.
- You can do this by yourself or with a partner using a ½- or 1-inch band.
Banded Squat Jump
This is a great drill I recently learned from Coach Dos. As it does in the other drills, the band provides resistance, making you generate more force to get up. At the top of your jump, when the bands are at their longest, they want to pull you back into that squat position. You have to use your muscles to bring yourself back down.
- Loop a 1-inch band around your waist, pulling one side through the other and making a loop.
- Loop another 1-inch band through the loop. Make sure the band is the same length on each side.
- Proceed by placing one loop around the middle of each of your feet. Then squat and jump.