23 elite band exercises

You can add bands to your plyometric training in two ways: extensive or intensive.

Doing “deep” plyos means you’ll be doing each rep submaximally. It may seem counter-intuitive, but this is where most lifters should start. It helps create rhythm and timing. Most importantly, it builds tendons and lower body strength.

Resistance bands unload your body weight upon impact. Second, they allow you to jump higher at lower energy cost. It’s powerful, but it can also be dangerous if you haven’t yet developed the ability to handle the load.

Do extended sets of 10-20 jumps or 10-20 seconds with plenty of rest in between. Slowly increase the volume over time.

Intensive plyometrics is the opposite. Do them to the max to activate the CNS before a workout or a big lift, this is a game changer! Do the intensive exercises for the lower reps: 3-6 reps focusing on maximum power.

The set up

Make sure the bands are stretched evenly. Loop or tie the bands securely around a pull-up bar or power rack. The band you need will depend on the type of plyo you’re doing and maybe even your weight. If you are heavier, you may need a band with more tension.

When doing rhythmic extended plyos, you just want to pull the bands gently with your hands, giving yourself enough traction to complete the exercise unloaded. When performing the intensive variations, pull more aggressively, holding almost an isometric row at the armpits before initiating the jumps. This will give you the greatest carryover in jump assist.

Either way, it’s important not to rely solely on the band without sufficient lower body training and engagement.

This method is also great for assisting plyo or clap pushups. Loop a band over the safety pins of a power rack and get into a push-up position with the band on a comfortable spot under your chest.

Descend explosively before lifting off the ground and bouncing your body through the air. Follow the same guidelines as intensive plyos.

Evelyn C. Tobin