Stretching and Resistance Bands
Resistance/Rehab Bands have many uses. They are used for resistance as staple of the Westside Barbell program, They can be used as mobility/rehabilitation tool and can be used to assist body weight exercises.
With traditional weight training, the load is constant over the whole range of motion, but in certain parts of the range of motion the mechanics of the lift make the weight easier or harder to lift. For example, in a press, because of the position of your arms, the bottom is the most difficult part of the movement. However, once the weight is above your head, finishing the movement is easier. When lifting with resistance bands, the dynamic of the movement is changed because the resistance of the bands increases as they are stretched. In order to finish the lift, you must have speed out of the bottom to overcome the resistance of the bands at the top. This not only builds speed and power, it allows you to build strength in parts of the movements that are normally neglected.
Often muscle imbalances lead to suboptimal joint mechanics. Mobility bands offer a safe way to stretch muscles and ensure bones are well seated within joints. Proper stretching using rehab bands can help reestablish a normal range of motion, which will not only improve performance, but can help prevent premature degenerative changes.
Many movements such as pull-ups and ring dips are more difficult to scale than barbell movements, because rather than adding weight to a bar, you need to subtract weight from the athlete. Resistance bands offer are an excellent tool to get athletes working towards unassisted bodyweight exercises.