Strike Up The Band

Tough not to admire a good band.

A good band has that innate ability to explore and integrate different concepts, practice them and put it all together into a smooth sounding performance. A good band isn't measured by the instruments they use but the sound that they can make with what they have.

Like a good band, the weight room can have all of the instruments in the world but your ability to use them will decide whether you are making music or just making noise.

Some instruments are more self explanatory than others. Some may be simple in their appearance yet much more complex in their application. A little more thought, exploration, practice and application may be required for such instruments. What cannot be denied however is their ability to make some very sweet music.

David Patrone @Jimmy Luv's San Diego, CA

I've had a long lasting love for one such instrument as of late. One that can make a big sound out of a small concept. One that just so happens to be...well.... the band.

A big part of my training world exists where patterning precedes pressing and where pain reduction precedes personal records. Even on my own or working with folks who are ready to get after it, long gone are the days of warming up with 135 until it feels light enough to start stacking.

For that reason the band has become a simple instrument that can handle numerous complexities. For some, the band may suit exercise pairing, others it may be exercise preparation. Depending on how you use it, the band can be straight up exercise.

My hope with the drills below is to show what I have really come to appreciate with the band. A sweet in between when it comes to striking the hands and loading shoulders. Enough tension to produce force paired with enough elasticity to put it in the right places.

In other words, many ways to make music depending on how you strike up the band.

Upright Row, External Rotation, Overhead Reach

While I am not all that partial to the traditional upright row, the light resistance paired with the ability to pull apart makes this variation a lot more comfortable. The rotation and the overhead sequencing with the band resistance I have really taken a liking to as prep for any overhead work. Or this is the overhead work.

Rowing Variation


When it comes to loading the shoulder with pulling, the use of the hands reminds top of mind with me no matter the weapon of choice. Once again when looking to load the mid back, the pulling apart motion paired with the ability to externally rotate the shoulder by way of using the hands provides some answers to what should be thrown in the mix with various horizontal pulls. Some great prep work for any horizontal pushes paired with a crash course in pulling.

Reaching, Hinging, Squatting

Three terms that get tossed around a lot in my day to day. I can say that it is very rare that these movements aren't practiced in some capacity when I am in the gym. Once again the ability to produce force onto the band allows the shoulders and mid back to light up in the right places. Once the reaching with the band reaches a point of total competency, being able to integrate the hinge and squat into the mix provides continued practice, a serious warm up and one hell of a workout if you really want it to be.

Band Practice

My biggest case for the band is it's ability to approach resisted movement from a skill acquisition standpoint. If it is time for a breather from the heavy stuff, if you're on the road, or if resistance training is a relatively new concept for you the band is a cost effective, portable and extremely versatile tool you can keep in the mix no matter where you are training or where you may be in your training.

A visibly simple instrument with endless movement complexities. A device that can make the light stuff feel heavy which carries over quite well to the heavy stuff feeling lighter.