Stretch Your Limits: The Benefits of Using Resistance Bands in Barbell Workouts

Stretch Your Limits: The Benefits of Using Resistance Bands in Barbell Workouts

Stretch Your Limits: The Benefits of Using Resistance Bands in Barbell Workouts

Perhaps you’ve seen a powerlifter doing a bench press workout with massive chains piled up on the end of his barbell. Maybe you’ve heard phrases like ‘variable resistance’ and rumours of how this can benefit your squat routine. In this article we’re going to explain why both of those scenarios can help you in your strength training. While resistance bands are not as rock’n’roll as chains hanging off the bar, they are an effective tool when incorporated into your barbell workouts and can provide a pathway to peak performance.

What are Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are lightweight, stretchable bands used for strength training and physical therapy. There are various types of resistance bands, each designed for specific exercises and fitness levels. The most common types include:

  1. Tube bands: These are thick, tubular bands with handles on each end. They are ideal for a variety of exercises, especially those that target the upper body.
  2. Power bands: Also known as loop bands, these are large, flat bands in a loop. They are primarily used for lower body exercises to increase mobility and strength.
  3. Therapy bands: These are thin, flat bands that do not form a loop. They are usually used for rehabilitation and low-intensity strength training.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on using power bands and their ability to add an extra challenge to your barbell workouts.

The Benefits of Using Resistance Bands

Resistance bands can be effectively used in exercises with an ‘ascending strength curve’, meaning the resistance feels less towards full extension. This ascending curve is seen in exercises like the bench press and squat, where the movement typically feels a little easier as you lock out at the top. Using a band in these movements will add variable resistance as you press or stand up, enhancing muscle engagement throughout the entire range of motion. In other words, you’re stretching your way into new levels of strength!

One particular study on the effectiveness of banded back squats found a significant increase in peak force and peak power when using bands in combination with barbell squats. This is why a lot of gyms and respected lifters (including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) have been incorporating these elastic tools into their programming.

The good news is that you can bring that kind of programming right into the convenience of your home gym workouts – let’s quickly look at a few examples of how to do it!

Resistance Bands with Squat Rack: A Powerful Combination

One of the most effective ways to use resistance bands for strength training is in
conjunction with a squat rack attachment. This combination allows you to safely
perform a variety of resistance band exercises with added stability and intensity.

Deadlifts with Resistance Bands

  1. Attach a resistance band to each side of the barbell and anchor it to the base of the squat rack.

  2. Position yourself for a regular deadlift: feet hip-width apart, back straight, and grip the barbell slightly wider than your hips.

  3. Perform the deadlift as you normally would, but with the added resistance from the bands.

Back Squats with Resistance Bands

  1. Secure a resistance band to each end of the barbell and attach it to the squat rack.
  2. Position yourself under the barbell, with the bar resting on your upper back.
  3. Perform a squat as you normally would, but with the added resistance from the bands.

Bench Press with Resistance Bands

  1. Position a bench inside the squat rack and secure a resistance band to each end of the barbell.
  2. Lie on the bench, grip the barbell, and perform a bench press as you normally would, but with the added resistance from the bands.

With each of these movements, you’re going to want to start with light weights or
even an empty bar – it’s going to feel different!

Summary: Stretch Your Limits with Resistance Bands

Adding resistance bands to your barbell workouts is a change-up guaranteed to get results. The variable resistance provided by the bands will increase the intensity of your lifts, helping you to overcome some of those classic sticking points that stop you from progressing. At ChasingBetter WOD Supplies we supply a range of bands, and we highly recommend using our Power Band Rail Attachment to ensure you have a safe and straightforward way to make the most of this upgrade to your workout routine.
So without further ado… go ahead and jump on the band-wagon! (sorry - couldn’t resist!)

Back to blog