There are a myriad of training aids available on the market claiming to enhance the basic movements that athletes execute during their training.
DBands® are an inter-thigh affixed resistance band that create increased forces during hip flexion-extension-abduction-adduction. These forces can be both resistive and assistive during movement.
As an advanced version of mini bands, DBands® can be fixed on the lower thigh without distracting the athlete in performing virtually any movement – athletes can run, bounce, jump and kick without restricting the joints from free movement.
The use of DBands® two-three times per week for 15-30 minutes in core exercises, running and jumping drills, as well as for running itself, can provide:
- Added improvement to athlete development
- Distinct improvement in glute recruitment and hip stability
- Concomitant improvement in running mechanics
Warm-ups & strength training
DBands® can be used during a training warm-up for static exercises to help develop core stability and strength.
Core exercises can be performed with DBands® in different plank positions (front, side, back). They can also be used for glute activation in different hip thrusts (double leg, singe leg), super man and RDL exercises.
Pictured: Alec Diamond World University Games silver medallist
Sport performance transfer
Athletes can also perform their running drills in DBands®. Examples include high knee walking, dribbles, high knee running, straight leg running and their combinations.
Pictured: Alysha Burnett, World Championship, Commonwealth Games athlete, World University Games silver medallist
What the research says about the benefits
The training aids assist athletes technically and physiologically by increasing the dynamic load of the hip musculature into end range, while not distracting the athlete. This enables athletes to both create better take off and pre-contact positions while either running or doing drills. The athlete is then assisted from these positions to create faster leg recovery from large thigh-split positions, thus teaching better execution of cyclic running motion.
It has been shown that increased eccentric loading with the use of bands on bar loads had the ability to improve peak concentric force and power (1, 2, 3).
Band resistance similarly used as part of the end range load for gym-based strength exercises has been suggested to increase neural demand and hence increase force output (4). It has also been shown that banded free body movements, such as lunges, increases the myoelectric activity of posterior chain muscle groups including both gluteus major and hamstrings compared to a weight loaded lunge (5).
By performing asymmetric movements with the DBands®, the body will switch on the stabilisers that will result in static, asymmetric and dynamic stabilisation. It has been shown in both lower body (6) and upper body banded exercises (7) that the use of bands elicits greater muscle activity in joint stabilisers. Additionally, flexion and abduction exercises of the hip joint using band resistance has been shown to increase dynamic balance, agility, and flexibility in healthy subjects (8).
- Wallace, B, Winchester, J, and Mcguigan, M. Effects of elastic bands on force and power characteristics during the back squat exercise. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 20: 268-272, 2006.
- Moore, C. A. & Schilling, B.K. Theory and Application of Augmented Eccentric Loading. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 27(5): 20-27, 2005.
- Rhea, M.R., Kenn, J. G., Dermody, B. M. Alterations in Speed of Squat Movement and the Use of Accommodated Resistance Among College Athletes Training for Power. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 23(9): 2645-2650, 2009.
- Soria-Gila, M.A., Chirosa, I.J., Bautista, I.J., Baena, S. & Chirosa, L.J. Effects of variable resistance training on maximal strength: A meta-analysis. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 29(11): 3260–3270, 2015.
- Sundstrup, E., Jakobsen, M. D., Andersen, C. H., Bandholm, T., Thorborg, K., Zebis, M. K., & Andersen, L. L. Evaluation of elastic bands for lower extremity resistance training in adults with and without musculo-skeletal pain. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 24:e353–e359, 2014.
- Brandt, M., Jakobsen, M. D., Thorborg, K., Sundstup, E., Jay, K., Andersen, L. L.Perceived loading and muscle activity during hip strengthening exercises: Comparison of elastic resistance and machine exercises.International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy. 8(6): 811–819, 2013.
- Bergquist. R, Iverson. V.M., Mork, P.J. Firmland, M.S. Muscle Activity in Upper-Body Single-Joint Resistance Exercises with Elastic Resistance Bands vs. Free Weights. Journal of Human Kinetics 23(61): 5-13, 2018
- Kang, D. H., Lee, W. H., Lim, S., Kim, Y. Y., An, S. W., Kwon, C. G., Lee, G. H., Choi, N. R., Lee, N. Y., Kim, B. M., Kim, J. H., Chung, E. J. The effect of hip joint exercise using an elastic band on dynamic balance, agility and flexibility in healthy subjects: a randomized controlled trial Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. 5(4): 198-204, 2016.