Mini bands activate your glutes, which helps prevent other muscles from coming into play during exercises like deadlifts and squats to compensate for mediocre glute activation.
These mini bands are 9 inches in length. Wrap them around your ankles and wrists for a dynamic and functional warmup that will help your muscle fibers fire more effectively. $4–6, spri.com
When to use: Before working sets, especially on lower-body days.
How to use: Step through the loop and secure the mini band just above the knees.
Lateral Shuffle: Stay in an athletic stance and keep tension on your glutes; don’t allow your feet to touch.
Split-stance Walk: With one foot staggered, walk forward while maintaining a split stance.
Glute Bridge: Lie supine with your feet planted on the floor and the band looped just above your knees. Thrust your hips into the air, focusing on pressing your knees outward.
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VARIED RESISTANCE: LOOPED BANDS
This band variety can help assist with pullups and dips and move you past sticking points—weak portions of the lift—by increasing resistance on compound movements to strengthen the weak area.
When to use: Before or during a training session.
Band-resisted Pushup: Wrap the band around your upper back and hold each end in your hands. Rep out your pushups.
Pullup/Dip Assistance: Loop the band around a pullup/dip bar and place one foot on the looped band.
Band-resisted Back Squat: Loop two bands on either end of a barbell and secure the other end to the top of a squat rack (pull down) or to heavy dumbbells placed on the floor (pull up). These are best used with compound movements like the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
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FUNCTIONAL MOVEMENT: GRAY COOK BAND
The Gray Cook Band is used for stretching, reinforcing proper form, and improving functional movement patterns. Having a partner hold the band increases the number of moves you can perform.
Renowned athletic trainer Gray Cook created this band to help lifters improve movement patterns and stretching capabilities. For use standing upright, supine, or virtually any other position you can think up.
When to use: Pre-, intra-, or post-workout to get a pump, as a standalone exercise in your current routine, or as a high- volume finisher.
How to use: Find a sturdy anchor point—door frame, pole—or stand in the middle of it for curls and extensions. Perform exercises, supersets, add moves into your routine, or end your workout with a high-volume finisher.
Overhead Extension: Stand on the middle of the band; grasp the ends in each hand; press overhead. Keep your arms in place; lower your hands behind your head until your forearms break 90 degrees. Press back up.