Secrets of Speed and Quickness Training
Vol. 23 - Secrets to Faster Running Speed - Part 4
by Dr. Larry Van Such
Little Known Secrets of Speed Training That Will Make You Faster in Days
Part 4 of 4 - Resistance Band Exercises With Isometrics for Faster Muscles
Okay guys, in this video, I want to explain to you why it is important to include isometric training with the resistance band into your workout routines if you ever hope to be a faster athlete and take your game to the next level.
I am going to start with what I think is some pretty basic information about the resistance band that you may already know about, but then, I am going to give you what I consider bonus information here; information as to how dynamically your muscles respond when you use the resistance band with an isometric training strategy and how that will make you dramatically faster in a very short amount of time!
So, let's get started.
The Problem With Doing Repetitions Using Bands
Okay, first of all, when most people start to exercise with the resistance band what tends to happen is that the exact same types of routines that they normally do with weights tends to carry over with the resistance band.
What this means is most weightlifting exercises are usually done while performing repetitions with the weights, where the muscles are exercised through their full range of motion.
The biceps curl with a dumbbell is one example; while holding the dumbbell down by the side, the forearm is flexed at the elbow until the weight held in the hand ends up in front of the shoulder, and then lowered back down again. This process is typically repeated 8-12 times.
Through habit more than anything else this same strategy is carried over with the exercise bands. The most likely first attempt at an exercise when one is handed a band therefore is to do the same thing with them. Whether its performing biceps curls, triceps push downs, or seated rows, the band is typically used as a resistance aid, in place of the weight, to exercise a muscle through its full range of motion.
Certainly, you have seen others do this in the gym or perhaps even done so yourself, right? Well, there is nothing really wrong with this strategy - as all exercise has some benefit to an athlete, but there is something you need to be aware of.
First, with regards to training with resistance bands, you should know that when you start an exercise, your muscles are typically at their weakest point. This is because your joints are typically fully extended where you cannot get much leverage over the exercise and there is no momentum created from the exercise itself that you can initially take advantage of.
Now, combine this with the resistance band having not yet been stretched to a point where there's any real resistance from it, and you can see where the beginning of any exercise using an un-stretched band will have little or no effect on your conditioning.
As you proceed with the exercise, the range of motion of the joint starts to increase, and as that is happening, the band is starting to stretch, increasing in resistance. Remember, the resistance bands resistance is a function of its length when stretched; the more you stretch it the greater the resistance. So, you end up at a point in the exercise where your leverage over it is very high and the resistance of the stretched band is now also very high.
So, by using bands with a repetitive strategy similar to weight training, the only real affect they have on the muscle is during the latter part of the exercise.
if that is what you are after, then great, but there still is a far more effective strategy for using them, especially when you want to develop greater speed of contraction and muscle coordination.
Isometrics: A More Efficient Use of the Band
Now a more efficient way to use them is to position yourself such that the band is pre-stretched and is already giving you strong resistance at a point within the range of motion and then hold that position for 10-15 seconds without moving; this is considered an isometric contraction with the band and this is what was shown to you earlier in the Hip flexor exercise video.
Muscle Conditioning While Holding The Stretched Band Steady
Now when you hold the stretched band without moving, what happens after just a few seconds, if the resistance is high enough, is your muscles begin to weaken and soon after begin to shake and start to give out as you fight to maintain this position.
This shaking, however slight, does two things:
first, it instantaneously and continuously changes the length of the band, however small those changes are, and second, it changes the angle of the band's force as well.
The level of resistance and direction of force the band now supplies back to your muscle is also changing instantaneously and continuously, and again, this is because the force supplied by the band is entirely dependent on its length and the angle in which it is being used.
As a result, these ongoing and continuous small changes in force and direction by the band totally disrupts the isometric contraction that you are trying to hold; and it sets off all of your proprioceptors and stretch receptors within your muscles and tendons into a completely unique and different pattern.
Now this causes one of two things to happen in your muscles, and both are fantastic for your muscle speed and coordination:
first, It causes an immediate over-stimulation of the muscle fibers if the resistance drops and you have to make up for it.
Or second, it causes an immediate understimulation of the muscle fibers if the resistance increases and you have to lighten up a bit.
This goes on continuously for as long as you fight to maintain a steady position. These ongoing and small changes in the resistance bands force and direction are constantly being perceived by stretch receptors in your muscles and tendons and it causes them to have to instantly adjust themselves to re-establish the set isometric resistance point.
This also recruits a lot of the surrounding muscles to help stabilize joints. And now all of these adjustments in muscle contractions occur at such an incredibly higher rate than simply trying to move a dumbbell as fast you can through its full range of motion.
And if you held the dumbbell in a fixed isometric position the resistance of the dumbbell will always remain the same and the direction of its force is always the same too; which is straight down to the ground.
However, again, the bands resistance is based on the length when it is stretched, even if just millimeters, and it's force also changes based on THE ANGLE IN WHICH IT IS ATTACHED even within a degree; and because it always pulls back toward its attachment, it rarely acts straight down to the ground like the weight.
This means that the direction of force as well as the amount of force will continuously change, even with small uncontrolled movements, like millimeters, in the muscles and joints holding it.
This forces your muscles to learn to quickly react and adjust to these changing forces.
So now what you have to deal with is MULTIDIMENSIONAL force acting on your muscles, not a simple static weight force.
Any tiny change in muscle movement, WHETHER ITS slightly UP, DOWN slightly to the LEFT OR RIGHT OR ANY COMBINATION OF THESE, instantaneously alters the amount of resistance given back by the band and it alters it's direction of force as well.
And again, The proprioceptors in your muscles and tendons constantly perceive these changes in force and direction and cause the muscles to respond entirely differently than with other training routines.
Muscles and Tendons Quickly Become Stronger and Faster
This is how the resistance band with an isometric training strategy will give your muscles a more complete and mature development in a way that cannot be attained using weights or any other training techniques.
This is why athletes are quickly and dramatically improving in speed, precision and coordination in their sports skills in a short amount of time.
3 Additional Advantages to Isometrics With the Band
In addition to all this, here are three additional reasons athletes will improve their performance by using the resistance band with an isometric contraction strategy:
First, because each recruitment pattern of the muscle fibers holding the band is now new for your muscles, the forces supplied by the band will instantly expose your muscle's weakness and lack of coordination on a much deeper level than you normally experience with other routines.
It also creates new neuro-pathways, or muscle memory, within the muscle forcing it to immediately get stronger and with more precision and coordination than ever before.
Second, when you train the way we show you in our training manuals, the mass and weight of the muscle typically does not significantly increase. If it did this, extra weight on your body could potentially offset the gains in speed.
So, whenever you are able to increase a muscle's strength, quickness and coordination without adding any additional body weight, your speed and athletic performance will automatically increase.
And third, now imagine applying this strategy in not only conventional movements, as in the biceps example here, but also in ways and body positions you may have never thought of before or were perhaps limited to because of fear of injury from weights.
When you do this to your muscles, you will immediately expose and then eliminate even greater weaknesses in them leading to a vastly improved athletic performance.
Athletes Are Getting Superior Results
This is why, if you have read through some of the testimonials, athletes are reporting back with what sounds like crazy, hard to believe increases in their running speed, jumping ability and kicking distance after just a few days of training, but this is exactly the kind of results that would be expected.
So, here are the steps you can take right now to quickly improve your speed, and outperform your personal bests in running, jumping and kicking and reach your athletic qoals:
1. Click this link and get your own copy of the Run Faster, Jump Higher, or Kick Farther training programs, which all come with 2 resistance bands.
2. Read through the program manual, follow all of the instructions for each exercise and do them according to the training schedule.
3. You should then start seeing results in 2 weeks. Continue doing the exercises for as long as you see improvement and get additional bands when you need more resistance.
What To Expect
Following those steps will transform you into a better athlete. You will be beating all of your personal bests, even if you are already an all-star performer right now.
Your speed and new abilities will get the attention of coaches, scouts, teammates and others plus you will have more confidence in yourself, feel more in control and certainly have a lot more fun playing your favorite sport.
I hope you found this information helpful and I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you.
Always glad to help!
Dr. Larry Van Such