The Bench Press is a great exercise to build upper-body muscles—your pecs, triceps and deltoids. But without proper form, you could fail to strengthen, or even injure, the smaller muscles in your shoulders, which are just as important.
Jim Seitzer, national bodybuilding champion and creator of the BandBell Bar, says, “Most shoulder problems stem from a lack of balance and strength in the small stabilizing muscles in the joint capsule.”
This is how BandBell separates itself from the straight bar. Suitable for use in rehab and prefab as well as strength building, it targets the small stabilizing muscles around the rotator cuff, which support the joint capsule in the shoulder.
“It forces the stabilizing muscles to step up and deal with all of that shaky weight, and man, do they do it,” says Seitzer.
Instead of placing weight directly on the bar, the BandBell uses kettlebells (or weight plates) and bands. The bands are looped through the kettlebells and wrapped around the bar.
The BandBell increases the bar’s instability, causing it to shake from side to side and up and down. Your rotator cuff muscles work overtime to maintain control and stay on a consistent bar path when you perform the Press.
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When the weights move, they also generate oscillation kinetic energy, which comes into your body. By increasing your blood flow, this maximizes growth and healing of your muscles and joints.
The BandBell Bar we reviewed was the Earthquake Bar, which is designed to handle a large amount of weight, although it weighs only 5.4 pounds. It is made of hardened ash wood with a composite resin center. The ends of the bar have 2-inch grooves in the wood to hold the bands in place.
You can order the Earthquake Bar for $289, or choose from many other BandBell Bars shown on their website. To learn more, visit BandBell’s YouTube and Facebook pages.