Banded Lifts: Creating Speed, Acceleration, and Power

How Banded Lifts Can Increase Your Lifts

Franco Columbu, bodybuilder and powerlifter, often used bands in his workouts.
Franco Columbu, bodybuilder and powerlifter, often used bands in his workouts.

Adding bands on compound lifts is a great way to increase strength and muscle size. Powerlifters often use this method to add speed and strength to their lifts. Unfortunately, most casual lifters never bother with this great method to increase strength and totals. Here’s how bands work, and how you can add them to your workouts.

Bands are large elastic bands(much like rubber bands) which can be looped around the barbell and then anchored to either the floor or power rack to add variable resistance. By adding these bands to the barbell you change the mechanics of the lift. For example, adding bands to the squat will make it more difficult to lockout. As you lockout the band is stretched farther and pulls back harder, whereas when your in the bottom of your squat the band has much more slack. This mechanic applies to both bench and deadlift. If you struggle with locking out your lifts, training with bands will help you immensely.

Using bands on your lifts will also add explosiveness to your lifts. For powerlifters, explosiveness is crucial to building a strong lift. However, bands can also help non competitive lifters. Bands force  you to focus on building an explosive squat, bench, or deadlift. By exploding out of the bottom of your lift you will carry momentum into the lock out of the lift. Explosiveness will build your fast twitch muscles and will make your lifts faster and more powerful.

Banded lifts can be added to your workout as accessories. Use a lighter weight since the bands will add resistance. How light you go depends on how thick the bands are and how many reps you do. Here’s a guide on how to add bands to your power rack.

Here’s some brands we recommend. We chose bands that were best rated on Amazon and the most cost efficient. Note: Always make sure your bands don’t become frayed or broken, broken bands can lead to injury!

Serious Steel Powerlifting Bands (Includes Starter Guide)

Draper Strength Powerlifting Bands

WODFitters Resistance Bands

POWERGUIDANCE Powerlifting and Mobility Bands (Lifetime Warranty)


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