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Hello there reader; welcome to my article where I’ll be discussing why loop bands benefit calisthenics. Calisthenics is a marvelous art form of developing a lean muscular body. You don’t rely on traditional handheld weights, just your body weight. Just as life has pros and cons, so does calisthenics, especially for a novice who doesn’t regularly exercise. There are various ways to exercise with your body weight. There’s compound, isolation, and isometrics, and every single one has its place in developing a stunning physique. For the novice, it can be challenging to perform the most basic movements, such as pull-ups or pushups. But there’s always a solution to a problem and that’s using loop bands to help with the learning curve. Let’s dive into why loop bands benefit calisthenics.
What are loop bands?
Loop bands are resistance bands that look like massive rubber bands. There are various versions of resistance bands like tube handles, mini bands, therapy bands, and figure 8 bands. They all have their place for different purposes for different people. Loop bands are the only applicable ones to help to perform various calisthenics exercises. Not only do loop bands assist with the learning curve in calisthenics, but they can also develop muscle mass. Resistance bands are similar to handheld weights or cable machines that can stimulate muscle growth. You can mimic movement patterns like that of using dumbbells or cable machines. An example would be doing a bicep curl or a chest press. The difference is weights rely on gravity, which only allows for one plane field, and that’s vertical. On the other hand, resistance bands allow three, and that’s vertical, horizontal, and diagonal.
Why do loop bands benefit calisthenics?
Loop bands benefit calisthenics because the apparatus takes away some body weight when performing vertical and horizontal movements. The reason is that the material is latex, a durable, stretchable material. When you place the band under the feet, the band recoils your body back up when performing vertical exercises. Another is when you’re hanging in a static horizontal position the band alleviates extra weight off to perform. All of this allows calisthenics practitioners to perfect the techniques to master calisthenics. For me, the most challenging part of calisthenics is learning how to perform difficult isometrics. I’m glad loop bands are available to learn how to perform these movements which take time to learn.
The most strenuous exercise in basic calisthenics is the vertical pull-up that beginners first try to do. The reason why it’s so hard is that you’re lifting the entire body weight off the floor. Most of the time, we don’t use our back muscles to pull anything in day-to-day activities. Many white or pink-collar workers don’t use their back muscles. But if you’re a blue-collar worker, you’ll use those back muscles for pulling and lifting. I’ve always been a blue-collar worker who had to use my back muscles to lift. Now, doing pull-ups wasn’t too hard because of the amount of time I spend doing blue-collar jobs. My lats, traps, and biceps were strong enough to handle lifting my body weight. I never applied the loop band to assist me to perform my first pull-up. I just did it when I bought my first pull-up bar.
Many people aren’t capable if they haven’t been working in blue-collar jobs. So I suggest using a loop band to assist you in the training process. Wrap the band between the pull-up bar and place the band under one foot. Before you do a pull-up, extend the thoracic vertebrae slightly and then perform a pull-up. Doing it like this will engage the lats more than if you kept the vertebrates neutral. I also suggest you straighten your legs while learning. When you perform your first pull-up, you’ll notice that the band will help spring you up while learning the technique. Practice using the loop band for a week and you’ll be able to do your first pull-up without the assistance of a band.
Similar to the difficulty of lifting your body weight doing vertical pull-ups, vertical push-ups are also strenuous to perform. The reason why is you’re elevating and lowering your entire body weight. The difference between a horizontal push-up and a vertical push-up is this. With horizontal push-ups, you’re not raising your whole body weight. The body is in a horizontal position where the feet and hands are stationary on the floor. When you’re flexing and extending the elbows in this position, you are elevating and lowering just the weight of the torso. Doing this push-up allows the practitioner to perform more reps than vertical push-ups. With vertical push-ups, you’re raising the entire weight of your body, which makes this more demanding. To compensate, use the loop band when you’re exercising on dip bars. Place the band on both handles, then place the feet on the band.
Doing this will assist your practice when learning the technique. As you progress in acquiring strength with the assistance of the loop band, you’ll stop relying on it. Once you stop using the band, you’ll be able to lift your entire body weight. Then the next phase of the process will be to perform more reps. It’s still more challenging to do more reps because of the entire body weight raising and lowering.
The Nordic curl and hold is a very demanding exercise for the hamstrings. It’s simultaneously an isometric eccentric, and isolation exercise. The way this exercise works is this. You anchor the posterior side of the ankles on something firm and place the knees on a soft rug. Doing this alleviates any discomfort when engaging in this exercise. To perform the isometric Nordic hold, you lower the torso by extending the knees. You further down the weight of your torso to a 45-degree angle and hold that position. Doing this will stretch the hamstrings when lowering the torso but will contract when holding. The curl is too difficult when you’ve never raised the entire weight of the torso in that position. At this time, I can’t do one curl. It’s arduous to perform. I recommend using the loop band with a resistance band door anchor.
As time passes during the practice, I hope to be able to one day perform one curl soon. It’s just so demanding, but not impossible to accomplish.
Of all the isometric exercises, the L-sit is the easiest, but it’s still a difficult exercise to perform. The way to perform the L-sit is by placing the hands on the floor. Keep the elbows extended by levitating the torso, then lifting the legs in a seated position. Doing this will activate almost every muscle to work together to maintain the hold. The exercise can be strenuous for a novice, so I recommend the loop band to assist. Place the loop band between the dip bar and wrap it. Then place the feet on the other end of the band to elevate the weight and hold the position. Do this until the body is durable enough to withstand the pressure.
Hanging in mid-air on a horizontal plane with your body at a 180-degree straight angle is no easy feat. To accomplish this, you must have a durable posterior chain, abdominals, and quads to withstand gravity. The posterior chain consists of the posterior deltoid, traps, lats, erector spinae, and glutes. These muscles have to be locked to keep the body in a straight line. The anterior side of the body consisting of the abdominals and the quads helps to bind the body. The problem is that it’s so grueling for a novice, but the resistance band assist. Wrap the loop band in the middle of the dip bar and place the other end on the feet. Then raise the legs while lowering the torso and head to position yourself at a 180-degree angle. The thickest loop band will alleviate the weight to perform the technique correctly.
Another hanging technique requires the body to be at a 180-degree angle. Only this time, you’re facing the floor in mid-air. Every muscle on the posterior and anterior sides has to be durable to withstand gravity. To be in this position, you rotate your entire body backward onto a straight line. The prerequisite for revolving back is to perform skin the cat. This technique enables you to develop strong, rotating shoulder joints to withstand the weight of your body. Hand placement is in pronation, rotating backward, then lowering the feet. Then rotate forward back into the previous position and continue doing this to strengthen the shoulder joints.
To use the loop band as an assisting tool, wrap the band in the middle of the dip bar or pull-up bar. Then wrap the lower middle side to create a ball-like shape. As you roll backward, anchor the rubber ball shape with your adductors by closing the legs. The ball-like shape should be sticking out in front of the quads. Doing this will enable you to practice adequately, understand the technique and develop the strength to perform without the loop bands.
Another isometric hold requires the body to be at a 180-degree angle while facing the floor in a pronated position. The planche consists of having a sturdy anterior chain and posterior chain to withstand. The planche is strenuous because the hands vertically align with the hips. When the body’s in a straight line in the air, the arms diagonally position back, and the body leans forward. To help with the process, put both ends of the loop band on the dip bar. Place the feet on the band, straighten the back, and contract the posterior chain by tightening the muscles. You also want to protract the scapula to contract the lats to improve stability. Doing all of this will give you an understanding of the process of learning the planche.
Loop bands are practical to control your body weight in mid-air and to perfect techniques. Loop bands allow the user the benefit to gain confidence over time in their calisthenics training. Not only do the bands serve the purpose of helping a practitioner to excel at calisthenics, but to build muscle with just the bands alone. If a person wishes to add resistance bands to build muscle mass, they can do so. There’s no right or wrong because calisthenics and resistance bands cause tension to develop mass. They are there to serve the practician to become a better calisthenics practitioner.
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