Complex Strength Training with Bands

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Using Bands for Complex Strength Training

Strength training using complex movements is typically limited to using free weights only. Resistance bands can also be used to perform complex multi-joint movements. The benefits of training using complex movements has been well documented.

  1. It creates the potential to do a high level of work in a short period of time.
  2. Movements challenge multiple muscles and movements at one time which trains the body the way it was designed to function.
  3. It can be used to train strength, metabolic conditioning or fat loss by simply changing the load.
  4. It does not require the utilization of multiple training tools and resistance levels which makes programming and planning easy.

Problem With Complex Training Using Free Weights Only

To date, training with complexes is typically associated with using only free weight tools.

However, as discussed often in this blog, training with free weights only has its disadvantages, especially as it relates to training the active aging population or those individuals who have a long history of lifting weights.  

Here are a few issues that may occur in these populations when complex training is done with weights only.

  1. Joints may not tolerate free weight training.
  2. Using free weights will require the use of bulky equipment that is not conducive to portable, anywhere training which is often important for busy working adults.
  3. Using free weights only allows force to be applied to the body along a vertical plane only, which can lead to inflexibility and overuse injuries over time.

Why Consider Doing Resistance Band Complex Training

Resistance bands are not often consider the tool of choice when it comes to strength training using complex movements. However in reality, resistance bands actually create more ways to train complex movements than weights due to their exercise versatility and portability.

As a result, they can provide the following benefits that free weight complex training can’t.

  1. Easier on joints
  2. Can bring in multiple planes
  3. Force can be applied along multiple planes
  4. Resistance can be applied to both the upper and lower body simultaneously
  5. Resistance bands can easily combine with other free weight training tools
  6. Movements are not limited to just traditional strength exercises but can also apply resistance to running and jumping

Examples of Complex Strength Training with Bands

The following videos demonstrate ways to train using complex movements while incorporating band resistance. While viewing the videos, notice that complex strength training with bands is not limited to traditional strength training movements or having to follow single plane movement patterns.

However, the definition of complex strength training still exists in those movements which are multi-muscle and multi-joint.

Bringing in Multiple Planes

Bringing in Multiple Lines of Resistance

Loading Upper and Lower Body Simultaneously

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