Fitness tip of the week – Improvised banded workouts

by • 07/20/2017

Accommodating resistance is a great training tool when utilised correctly. It allows a lifter to develop strength in sticking points of certain exercises, most commonly the top-half of the concentric portion. It also works as a great way to introduce variation to a primary movement, due to the dynamic nature of accommodating resistance. Bands in particular, are common choice. Cheap, easy to find and even easier to handle, resistance bands come in various forms that allow for a great degree of customisation when it comes to implementing accommodating resistance. But a little ingenuity makes this training approach even more flexible!


For banded movements to work, they need to be anchored to a fixed point. While this isn’t a problem when it comes to bodyweight movements like push-ups and air squats, bringing it to loaded movements isn’t quite as straightforward. For compound exercises like barbell squats and bench presses, the bands need to be looped around the band post of a rack (a small cylindrical protrusion that extends out of the side of the frame at the bottom). The thing is, not every rack has these posts! And what if you’ve only got a squat stand to work with?


The solution is simple: create your own band post! I’m not talking about taking a welder and attaching a few pieces of metal to your gym’s rack; that’s a real quick way to get kicked out if you ask me. Instead, grab a pair of heavy dumbbells or kettlebells and repurpose them instead.


Location and equipment courtesy of TripleFit


By looping the bands around the handles, you’re able to achieve the same function of a band post even when there isn’t one. Remember to grab the heaviest dumbbell or kettlebell you can find; one that’s too light might end up moving around as you perform your set. I tend to favour kettlebells as they’re less likely to roll due to uneven flooring, but you’ve got to work with what you have at the end of the day. Wedging a thick towel under a rolling dumbbell is one way to get around this troublesome issue!


Not everyone wants to lug around chains in their gym bag and not every gym has them, so resistance bands come across as a much more practical choice as far as accommodating resistance is concerned. Make full use of this tip and you’ll never be held back by missing features ever again!


by • 07/20/2017