Why Do We Use Bands?
When added to a barbell like today, bands can be a very advantageous implement that make the lift easier where we are vulnerable and harder where we aren’t.
A deadlift is most challenging off the floor because that is when we are at our largest mechanical disadvantage. It’s the reason why most people’s sticking point is off the floor when trying to hit a PR, and why most people can complete a rep if they get it past that point and into a position where we aren’t at some a technical disadvantage (past the shins). While beneficial from a strength and central nervous system training and adaptation perspective, that point of disadvantage off the floor can also present its risks because that’s when the low back can be most susceptible. The hamstrings and glutes have not yet taken over the movement, and the low back is most active in this part. Especially in novices.
So, one way to make the deadlift more productive without increasing load is to add banded resistance. The band will naturally increase its tension as it elongates which for the deadlift is the closer you get to lock out. Off of the floor, the band is rather passive and not creating resistance but as the barbell moves further up your body, the bands will begin to create tension and resistance, making it harder. In a sense, the weight is lighter off of the floor and gets heavier further up, when you are at a mechanical advantage. It’s kind of like if you lifted off the floor with 135# and people stood to the side of you adding weight to the bar as you stood up.
The bands allow us to be a bit safer off of the floor while allowing more tension and benefit at the top of the rep.
It’s not a gimmick. Bands are very productive from a muscular tension and development perspective, but for this reason they are not as effective for pure strength since we are technically bypassing the hardest part of the lift.
8 Banded Deadlifts
8 DB Floor Press
8 OTB Plyo Skaters
8 Renegade Rows