Tags: Hamstring, Grip, Conditioning
At Westside Barbell, we have the luxury of having access to some of the best powerlifting equipment and machines that money can buy. Over the years, Louie has invented and collected many different machines that play a major role in the development of our powerlifters, fighters, and athletes. Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to train at a facility as well equipped as Westside Barbell, but with some creativity, you can come up with different setups to mimic the desired training effect. One of the best ways to go about this is by using your Westside bands. Below, we will go over a few of the ways you can use your Westside bands in place of common pieces of equipment found in a gym.
Dumbbell Bench Press with Minibands
An excellent exercise to develop both pec and tricep strength, the dumbbell bench press with minibands is easy to set up and extremely effective. To set this exercise up, you will take a miniband or a monster miniband, place it in one hand, wrap the band around your back, and place the other side of the band in your other hand. This can be done by using the complete band at length for weaker lifters, or halved for stronger lifters. Once you have the band in each hand and wrapped around your back properly, you will then pull tension into the band and grab some dumbbells to press. Once you have begun pressing the dumbbells you will focus on controlled reps, squeezing the pecs and triceps against the bands as you lockout each rep. This exercise is great for building size and strength in the pecs, triceps, and shoulders.
One of the most common movements for hamstrings, the hamstring curl is a great way to develop strong and healthy hamstrings. The problem with hamstring curls is the fact you usually need a machine to do them correctly and effectively. If you own a small or home gym, spending the money and losing the space to a hamstring curl machine is not exactly the smartest move, so this is where a set of Westside bands come in handy.
To set this exercise up all you need to do is connect the bands to a rack or heavy dumbbell, get a bench to sit or lay on, connect the other end of the band around your ankles, and begin curling with your hamstrings. This exercise can be done by sitting or laying on a bench, or standing. To create proper tension you want to make sure you have the band stretched enough so there is no slack when you reset for your next rep. We recommend using a band that provides you with enough tension that you can do at least fifteen to twenty full range of motion reps. Do not overload the band tension and do partial reps, this not only reduces the effectiveness of this exercise, it increases the chance of injury as well.
Pressdowns / Pulldowns
Another great way to use your Westside bands is in place of a cable pulldown machine. Once again, many small or home gym owners do not have the space to have large cable machines in their gym, so having alternatives to mimic cable dependent exercises is necessary. By hanging your bands from a crossbar of a squat rack, you can get creative and pretty much mimic any pulldown or press down exercise that would typically be done using a cable machine. Whether you use a bench to sit down and do some pulldowns or rows to focus on back work, or use the bands to perform tricep pressdowns or face pulls, a set of Westside bands can save you a lot of extra money buying extra equipment that takes up more space than you have to give up.