Speed bands have become a part of daily training for Olympic sprinters and professional athletes.
They provide added resistance for multi-directional movement, helping strengthen muscles and develop explosive power.
But even if you’re not a professional athlete, speed bands could be the missing piece to achieving your fitness goals. They offer an incredible piece of personal training gear that can support functional movements and all-round conditioning.
Although designed primarily for professional athlete, we delve into whether speed bands are actually one of the most effective pieces of exercise equipment for supporting lifelong fitness and functional movement for those over 50.
How Do Speed Bands Work?
Speed bands are a type of resistance band, specifically designed to improve speed, agility and quickness.
Speed bands force the glutes and legs to work harder due to the added resistance. They encourage the development of fast-twitch muscles, responsible for power and strength.
Having more power and strength in your legs is arguably one of the ultimate goals for those over 50 who want to stay active. Having more power and strength in your legs helps promote better balance, stability and mobility.
Speed bands work by attaching to each leg. The strap goes around either your upper legs or lower legs connected via a resistance style band. As you move each leg apart, the resistance from the bands forces your legs to work harder.
Different colour bands represent different levels of resistance. Beginners can use lower resistance bands and progress to higher resistance bands over time (which will offer more resistance).
Benefits of Speed Bands
Speed bands are very versatile and can be used in numerous ways to help achieve fitness goals.
Similar to resistance bands, they give you opportunity to get creative with your workouts and use them in different ways. This ensures your workouts stay interesting, engaging and challenge muscles in different ways.
The benefits of speed bands come in taking them off. Once you’ve trained wearing them, once you take them off, you’ll suddenly feel so agile and quick. Lifting your leg will appear effortless and your muscles will be well equipped for any type of movement without the bands.
Band training isn’t high impact like other exercises and workouts, so injury risk is lower too.
Speed bands help promote power within speed training. Improved power isn’t just something athletes can benefit from – everyone can enjoy the benefiting of having more power in their legs. From enjoying hobbies and outdoor activities, to competitive sports and exercises, having more power will help you live a more active life.
Speed bands can also be used in physiotherapy, rehabilitation and exercise prehab, to help manage and mitigate any injuries.
Speed Band Training and Workouts
Speed bands can be used in isolation or with other sprint training.
Using speed bands with something like agility ladders will create the ultimate in sprint training.
This sort of training is perfect to complement weight training or bodyweight exercises as it challenges the muscles in a different way. This ensures muscles are always getting forced to adapt and grow.
If you enjoy using speed bands, resistance band exercises and training may be worth delving into as well. There are so many potential exercises you can do, it offers a very versatile workout option.
The video below highlights some great speed band exercises to get started with. These can be done in the comfort of your own home or at a gym to help build explosive power in no time.
Speed Training Gear
As well as speed bands, there are a variety of great speed and agility training equipment designed to support fitness training.
Agility ladders, slider boards, and speed chutes are great bits of equipment to add to your home set up to use alongside speed bands. This will help take your speed training to the next level and feel the benefits of more power, stability and strength in your legs and core.