They were originally used in nursing homes and rehab centers to train older adults thanks to portability and ability to effectively mimic resistance training load. But it’s not just grandma and grandpa that are benefiting. Athletes have also been partaking in the rubberized movement. Researchers at the School of Sports and Recreation at the Institute of New Zealand performed a survey of 167 strongman competitors — 65 were national level competitors — looking at their strength and conditioning practices. The study revealed that 38% of the athletes used elastic bands as part of their strength training programs. You’ll also see them used on the baseball field, in the strength and conditioning rooms of major athletic teams and college programs everywhere.
How Does The Stuff Work?
Our muscles have a natural strength curve that is bell shaped. This means that when we contract a muscle to move a weight, like a bicep curl, there exists a point when we are weakest-strongest-then weak again. In terms of the bicep curl, an isotonic exercise, these points would correspond to the beginning, middle and end of the curl. Ever notice how light the weight feels once you have curled it to its full position? Well, this is why. The strength curve is also referred to as torque. The torque produced by the bands are ascending and descending where they are also pretty well matched to our strength curve. This allows users to benefit as though they were using machines or free weights.