On countless occasions we have talked about the importance of elastic bands when exercising, since they allow us a certain autonomy. The rubbers provide resistance to our movements and are a good tool when exercising anywhere, because they can be good traveling companions. Despite this it is important that we review this device that will help us achieve better results and especially when it comes to work.
For many, the use of elastic bands is just that, a tool or a complement that we will use when we are not near a training place. But it is not only about this, since the elastic bands can be of great help in conventional training when it comes to increasing the intensity of the exercises with machines and obtain better results.
First of all: what is an elastic band?
In the first place, before entering thoroughly into matter, what we are going to do is explain what an elastic band is . As its name suggests it is a rubber band that offers resistance to our body , because to work with them we must stretch them and for this the action of the muscles of our body is necessary. But with bands you can do many other things that we can not lose sight of.
In the market there are different types of elastic bands . Almost all manufacturers agree on one thing, develop different levels of resistance. This degree of resistance will depend on the hardness of the material, because the more rigid the rubber, the greater the strength and strength that we must perform to stretch the rubber. All the manufacturers mark the level of resistance of the bands with different colors and with indicators that mark the intensity of them. That is why it is important that we take it into account when choosing and using them to train.
In the market we can find different types of gums with different thickness and intensity
Conventional uses of elastic bands
As we have already made clear from the beginning of the post, and as we have seen on countless occasions, elastic bands are used as a substitute for conventional training when we travel. It has always been one of the best ways to stay active on vacations and keep our muscles toned . But apart from that, there are new trends in which the bands have become a tool of training, and a complement to existing machines in the gym and we want to explain how.
In training halls the use of elastic bands is not so much directly through action or traction with the body, but can be used in machines or free weights as a different form of resistance . Especially for the force exerted by the band in some phases of the movement as the eccentric or negative in which we return to the initial position of the exercise. In this case the elastic band will play an important role.
Effect of the gums: greater braking and concentration in the eccentric phase
In this way, what we are going to achieve is a double effect. On the one hand, the load of the weight is compounded by the tension exerted by the rubber on the bar and which prevents us from lifting the load calmly. So we must experience a greater effort. But the thing is not only there, but in the eccentric phase is when we will most notice the effect of the rubber and we will see why.
The rubbers have an important effect in the eccentric phase, since they avoid acceleration and improve the control in the descents.
Normally in the negative phase we tend to avoid concentrating and slowing the fall or the return to the beginning. In this phase we must keep in mind that we can continue working the muscles. Therefore, the use of rubber bands is good because the rubber itself will force us, if we do not offer resistance, to go down much faster and we can hurt ourselves. In this way with the rubber we will force ourselves to brake in the eccentric phase and control the return at all times, making the tension is greater and the incidence in the muscles increases.
Effect of gums: More general resistance during exercise
To this braking or controlled descent we must add the resistance that the rubber will offer in this phase, and that is to try to return to its normal state, performs a kind of negative resistance that we must overcome by the strength of the muscles . The way to do it will be controlling the return to the posture, which will make possible the complete muscular work and a greater effectiveness and intensity of the exercise.
Elastic bands for pectoral bench press
First of all we will explain that the rubber bands in this case will be placed on the machines as a resistance. For example, we can place them in the chest bench press . The way to place them will be, once the weight is chosen, we will place it on the bar and on the anchors of the floor, so that the bar is tied by the rubbers to the floor and we must overcome the resistance of the rubber when raising the bar.
The example we have put is one of the most common, but there are infinite utilities that we can give to the elastic bands in the different machines or exercises with which we usually train daily. We have discussed its placement in the bench press for chest, but can also be placed in the multipower at the time of performing squats or shoulder lifts with this machine.
Elastic bands in multipower
The way to place the elastic bands on the multipower is simple and looks a lot like the press. The bar of the multipower is fixed on a rail, so the rubber is placed directly on the bar and hooked to the ground anchors . What we should look for is that the rubber exert traction force towards the ground. The important thing is that it supposes a resistance when raising the load and that it tends to accelerate the descent in order to exert an effect on our braking and the muscular tension that we are going to apply.
Elastic bands can be used in many machines and exercises and always represent a good way to improve the intensity and quality of the routine.
Elastic bands in free weight
We can also use the elastic bands when working with free weight as for example in the realization of the biceps curl. In this case the rubber will be placed anchored with our own feet and hooked to the bar that we must raise and in which we have already placed weight. The effect will be the same as we have seen in the previous examples.
Elastic bands in bottoms and push-ups
The same happens in other exercises such as funds or pectoral push-ups on the ground . In this case the elastic band will be placed on our body. That is to say, with each one of the hands that we are going to support on the ground we will hold one end of the rubber, that previously we will have passed through the back and the arms. In this way, what we will achieve is to exercise with the rubber a superior resistance that for exercise purposes supposes a force that pushes us down and that forces us to increase the intensity of the exercise and the muscular action when elevating our body through the push-ups.
Some general considerations on elastic bands
These are some of the most common examples, but there are many other exercises in which we can include gums and their effect. The same as many other machines and gym equipment in which we can use them. For this reason we want to highlight a series of general notes on the use of elastic bands in the different exercises of bodybuilding:
- It must be borne in mind that the elastic band supposes an extra resistancethat in many cases will vary the trajectory of the exercise. Therefore, perfect control of movements is necessary. If necessary, we recommend the help of a training partner to help us and correct the course of the exercise at all times.
- This extra resistance will make the loads that we will use in the exercises are not equal to those we are used to. Keep in mind that in addition to adding more resistance, we will not rest at any stage of the exercise, so muscle wasting is greater and therefore it is necessary to use lower loads that allow us to perform correctly at all times .
- Anyone can help the tires to improve and complete their training, but it is necessary to control the movements of each exercise and the placement of them in order to achieve the benefits we want with their use.
- As with discs or dumbbells, it is important that we alternate different types of rubber for their resistance to achieve some objectives or others depending on what we want to achieve, because as we acquire skills and facilitate their technique we will get overcome the resistance that these suppose and we will need to increase the strength of resistance.
- If we do not know its proper use or we are not able to do it, it is always advisable that we go to a professional who will help us learn the technique to train in this way and thus achieve the desired results.