The Nature of Elastic Resistance

The force of elastic resistance increases as the band is stretched.

When one end of the elastic resistance band is anchored the resistance gets progressively stronger as the connection point is moved away from the anchored point.

This movement creates a vector of elastic resistance between the anchored point and the connection point that gets stronger as the resistance band is stretched.

This means when working with elastic resistance that any point along a range of motion can be trained with controllable amounts of resisting force simply by changing the distance from the connection point to the anchor point.

The continual increase in resistance also means movements away from the anchor don’t carry momentum and thus resisted explosive moves are able to be trained effectively and safely because they don’t carry momentum, these capabilities are particularly useful for training sports specific ranges of motion.

The continual increase in resistance also means isometric exercises can be developed that efficiently provide precise resistance and ROM changes by simply changing the distance and orientation to the anchor point(s).

The increase in resistance force over distance also means additional resistance can be created at the end of a concentric movement by using body weight or other techniques to move the connection point further away from the anchor point while at the full concentric contracted position to create a greater eccentric contraction for the return. Simply lungeing away from the anchor at the end of the concentric contraction like the curl
illustrated above can create greater resistance for the eccentric contraction.

The change in elastic resistance depends on the length of the band, the longer the band, the more gradual the change in the resistance.

The long resistance band has become recognized as the most versatile choice for resisted movement training. The longer band not only has a more gradual change in its resistance, the longer band also has more useful resistances to work, a longer range of useful resistances and another unique characteristic, oscillation.

This ability to create a force that changes through oscillation will evolve into a host of interesting new approaches for a variety of needs. The ability to create consistently progressive resistance in any dimension and to work with static isometric force or work dynamically with plyometric force provides the capacity to utilize one tool for many uses.

An IMPORTANT aspect of working with elastic resistance is controlling the return. Poor form with any tool can hurt you, resistance bands are no exception. This is particularly true when doing conditioning work or training with overspeed.

It is always important to be mindful of the strength of the stretched band, ensure resistance is controlled in all phases.

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