29/04/2021 | Andrew Tracey
Andrew Tracey is a long time collaborator with Bulldog Gear. A coach, writer and current fitness editor of Men’s Health Magazine, he has been in and around the fitness industry for the past 16 years. Having enjoyed and endured a number of disciplines from endurance racing, to strongman, to Crossfit AT enjoys getting neck deep in the practice just as much as the theory.
For many, the last 12 months have presented ample opportunities to get to grips with our heavy duty resistance bands.
From adding assistance to pull-ups for beginners, to ramping up the intensity of your barbell or dumbbell lifts; bands truly are such a low cost, versatile tool that it’s an absolute no-brainer to add them to your home gym arsenal or chuck them in your kit bag before you head off to the box.
Despite an almost unparalleled cost to benefits ratio, you may simply have become bored of your bands, churning out rep after rep on the rubber over the last year. If that’s the case, we’ve got a selection of fresh movements for you to work into your routine, some of which we’re hoping you haven’t even considered yet!
This is the final part of a four part series, last week we covered pushing movements, this week we're focussing on the lower body.
1. BAND ASSITED NORDIC CURLS
Nordic curls aren’t just one of the hardest bodyweight movements, they’re one of the hardest movements, period. Add a band into the mix to help you on your way to building bulletproof hamstrings. Anchor a band around a high point and kneel down, facing away from it. Hold the band with both hands, just behind your head and secure your feet under a something solid. Keeping your shins flat to the ground, slowly your body towards the floor, using the band to assist you. When you reach the bottom, contract your hamstrings as hard as possible, pulling you back upright.
Try 3 sets of 6-10 reps.
2. RESISTED EXTENSION SQUATS
Add a bit of spice to those bodyweight squat. Loop a band around a low anchor and step into both ends, position them around the back of your knees. Take a few steps backwards until the band tension feels as though it will buckle your knees. Perform your bodyweight squats, working hard to extend and stand up against the tension of the bands.
Try 4 sets of 20 reps.
3. BANDED ZERCHER RDL/GOOD MORNING
A hybrid movement that gives your entire posterior chain something to get worked up about. Stand on both ends of a medium to heavy resistance band, feet more than shoulder width apart. Squat down and pull both parts of the band onto your arms, working them into the crook of your elbows. Stand back upright. Push your glutes back, maintaining a flat back and hinging at the hips until you feel a pinch in your hamstrings, pause here before standing back up explosively.
Repeat for 10-15 reps, taking care to maintain perfect form.
4. BANDED PVC PIPE JAMMER PRESS
Speaking of explosive, this exercise was designed to build power, rapidly. Double a band over a high anchor point (or use two), pass a PVC pipe or broomstick through both ends. Hold the pipe with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip and step forward until the tension of the bands forces the pipe up towards your chest. Explosively press the pipe down and away from your body to full extension, return under control and repeat, keeping each rep dynamic. These work as a great warm-up/ primer ahead of your heavy pressing.
5. BAND RESISTED KNEE EXTENSIONS
A move you don’t see performed very often, but one that gives your quads a tonne of bang for not a lot of buck! Kneel on all fours, with a band passing around the back of your knees, with the ends held under your hands. Extend and the knees, straightening out your legs against the band tension, lower under control and repeat. Too easy? Raise your feet onto a box for extra range!
Try finishing your next leg workout with a hundred rep chipper!