Band Training and Hybrid Olympic Lifts
Teaching hybrid olympic lift movements to younger athletes can be difficult for multiple reasons:
- Cannot lift the bar
- PVC does not offer any resistance to load the posterior chain
- Poor awareness of how to accelerate the bar
- Poor scapular setting with the vertical pull and overhead lockout
- Generating power through the hips
- Poor RDL
- Awareness of getting a good vertical line of pull
Band training offers an option to using the bar with young athletes or less experienced older athletes who lack olympic lifting movement skills.
The First Movement Drill
The first movement is a simple band RDL. By wrapping the band around the feet, it allows you to shorten the band to create an effective resisted load at the bottom of the RDL. It also teaches the athlete how to perform an effective lock out of the hips and firmly set the glutes.
Too many times our athletes get too much knee flexion and do not allow the hips to migrate posterior or simply let the bar slide down their thighs. The band eliminates the bar hitting the knees while still allowing the athlete to place the hands in the correct position.
The Second Movement Drill
The next movement skill that seemed to be difficult for our athletes was the idea of pulling from the hang position. Many of our athletes wanted to pull the elbows posterior versus vertical.
The other issue was that some of our younger athletes could not lift the bar. To address this with band training, we created a modified version of the band high pull. By wrapping the band around the foot one time it shortens which, in turn, causes the athlete to be taken into a hang position. We also take a wider hold on the band.
These two modifications allow us to get athletes into the hang position with a resisted load. Obviously, this can be adjusted based on the height of the athlete.
Now as they pull, the elastic nature of the band provides a need to create acceleration which is what many of our athlete’s lack. Also, it allows the athletes to emphasize a good scapular set by pulling the band apart at the top.
The Last Movement Drill
The last band training drill we implemented with bands was designed to improve overhead stability with the snatch. A band push press or even better a band jerk press—where the emphasis was to secure a locked out position overhead while performing a lateral hop against the band—has helped teach our younger athletes 2 things.
It has helped the athletes learn first what it felt like to complete the lock out overhead and second, where their base of support should start and end. Also, by being able to push the band apart at the top, they learn to set the scapula to improve overhead stability.
Band training olympic hybrid movements can be used to teach young athletes not ready for the weight room or older athletes that lack olympic lifting skills.
How to Implement
For many strength coaches, these exercises may appear to be to low level due to resistance level. Also, our athletes at times struggle with understanding the importance of move skill practice. Last, finding time to implement this is and can be challenging.
Our solution to this was a twice a week mini-band warm up where we implemented the high pull, RDL and jerk press. Upon completion of their band stretching and dynamic warm up they were instructed to knock out 1 set of 20 reps of each exercise. This took about 2 minutes or less to perform.
Also, it is not uncommon for us to sometimes include these drills in our Friday metabolic day as well.