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How to Use Pull up Bands

SAFETY WARNING

Please read these instructions prior to using any resistance bands. Consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise programme. If you experience any pain, dizziness or shortness of breath when performing any of the movements described, stop all activity immediately and consult your Doctor.

If you are taking any medication, you should consult your Doctor before beginning any exercise programme. Do not take any risks beyond your level of experience and fittness. The exercises described in this programme are to be used as guidelines only and are not to be treated as a substitute for any exercise routine that may have been prescribed to you by your Doctor.

The recommendations described here are for educational purposes only and are not medical guidelines.

Before every use check for any damage on the resistance band/s and do not use if damaged

• Always perform a general warm-up activity before using a resistance band
• Perform only the exercises described here
• Keep abdominal muscles tight when performing the exercises
• Avoid straining or holding your breath during exercise
• Perform each exercise in a slow and controlled manner
• Use a full range of motion during each exercise

We want you to make the most of your purchase. This guide was created to provide help with the following.

• How to select a resistance band in accordance to your strength and bodyweight
• How to perform an assisted pull up using a resistance band
• 10 additional exercises you can try using resistance bands
• Step by step guide of how to set up each exercise
• Step by step guide of how to perform each exercise
• Learn which muscle groups are being used in each movement
• Suggestions on how to progress each exercise

Starwood sports resistance bands are a great way to provide a completely different training stimulus and act as a unique alternative to traditional training methods such as bodyweight movements and free weights exercises.

The bands are ideal for anyone who may not always have access to a gym, would like to overload their gym based exercises or who simply wants to freshen up their training programme. Two of the main benefits of training with resistance bands are easily adding additional resistance or assistance to your exercises. 

Adding Resistance

• Shorten the length of the band from the attachment point or alter your grip to increase the tension (load) of the exercise to provide overload.

• Overloading exercises by increasing resistance, altering repetition tempo or manipulating sets and reps are essential requirements for continual progression in the development of muscular size, strength and endurance.

• Band tension changes throughout each repetition with more tension at either the start/end (squat) or the mid-point (tricep extension) of the movement. 

Providing Assistance

• Increase the length of the band on exercises such as pull ups to increase the assistance given throughout the movement.

• Combine bands together to provide additional assistance, as you increase your strength, remove each band.

• Alter band length or grip on the band to reduce the assistance provided as you improve. 

How to do an Assisted Pull Up

Please refer to the following guide below to help with selecting the appropriate band for you in accordance to your bodyweight and the number of unassisted pull ups you can currently perform. Whilst individual needs will vary, this can often be a helpful starting point.

Use the chart below to help pick a band based on the number of unassisted pull ups you can currently perform and your body weight (in pounds).

ATTACHING THE BAND 1. Choke the band around the bar 2. Pull the long part through so the knot is tight and secure 3. The band should now be dangling down firmly fixed to the bar.

SETTING UP 1. You may find it helpful to stand on a box in order to reach the band comfortably 2. Pull down on the band and place either both knees/feet or one knee/foot into the band 3. Take hold of the bar and ensure you are central with an evenly spaced grip before beginning.

EXECUTION 1. Step off the box and maintain a stable body position 2. Pull yourself up maintaining a straight body position until your chin is above the bar 3. Pause for two seconds and then lower yourself back to the start position under control.

ALTERNATIVE GRIPS

Underhand: clasp the bar with palms facing up just under shoulder width apart.

Overhand: Clasp the bar with palms facing down shoulder width apart

Wide Grip: Clasp the bar with palms facing down approximately 1/2 foot outside shoulder width. Note: Wider grip will be more challenging

SAFETY

Ensure that the band is securely fastened to the bar before performing the exercise Use the size guide to select the band which is appropriate for you and your goals Ensure that you have a box set up at a height which you can easily stand on to help with getting into the starting position and to provide support if you get into difficulty during the movement.

TOP TIPS 1. Slow the tempo down throughout the upwards and downwards phase to improve your size and strength 2. Set two bands up on top of each other. Perform as many reps as possible with both bands, then drop one band off and perform as many reps as possible with only one band 3. Perform one half rep in between every full rep to supercharge your size and physique goals.

10 Additional Exercises using a Resistance Band

BAND PULL APARTS

Primary muscles: Rear Deltoids, Trapezius, Rhomboids Secondary muscles: Abdominals, Triceps, Forearms

Set Up 1. Feet shoulder width apart 2. Head facing forwards

EXECUTION 1. Hold the band with both hands, shoulder width apart and arms raised to shoulder height 2. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the band apart laterally until the band touches your chest 3. Pause as you complete the movement, return to the start position under control.

TOP TIPS Squeeze your shoulder blades together throughout the entire movement by imagining that you have a months salary in notes pinned between your shoulder blades!

BAND RESISTED PUSH UPS

Primary muscles: Pectorals, Shoulders Secondary muscles: Triceps, Abdominals

Set Up 1. In a kneeling position, hold the band in both hands at the widest points 2. Bring the band up and behind your back so it is resting on your shoulder blades 3. Place both hands on the floor shoulder width apart and directly under your shoulders 4. Take your knees off the floor creating tension on the band in your start position.

EXECUTION 1. From your start position, brace your trunk and lower your body down under control 2. During the lowering phase your elbows should come back at 45 degree angle (5 & 7 on a clock face) 3. Lower until your chest has touched the floor and then push off the floor until your arms lock out 4. The band will have the most tension at the top of the movement making this section the most difficult.

Top Tips

Go super slow on the way down to maximise your strength improvements. Use a 5 second lowering phase to supercharge your push ups.

TRICEP PUSHDOWNS

Primary muscles: Triceps Secondary muscles: Biceps, forearms Set Up 1. Loop the band around a stationary bar overhead 2. The band should now be securely fixed and dangling down in front of you 3. Stand with feet hip distance apart.

 

EXECUTION 1. Hold the band in both hands. Your hands should be just in front of the shoulders with some tension on the band 2. Straighten your arms until your elbows are just short of locking out. The band should be below waist height now 3. The band will have the most tension when fully straightened making the lowering phase the most difficult 4. Pause as you complete the movement, return to the start position under control.

TOP TIPS On the lowering phase of the movement spread your arms to your side so they Finish either side of your hips to challenge a different part of your triceps.

SPLIT LUNGE

Primary muscles: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteals Secondary muscles: Calves, Abdominals

Set Up 1. Hold the band in both hands with the bottom of the band lying on the floor 2. Place one foot on top of the band and loop the band around the back of your neck 3. Keep the front foot with the band firmly planted on the floor and step back into a lunge position with the other leg

EXECUTION 1. From the start position brace your trunk and place your arms in a comfortable position 2. Lower yourself down under control until your knee is 1/2 an inch off the floor. You can extend your arms out in front of you to counter balance if you wish 3. Ensure your front knee does not go over your toe 4. Pause as you complete the movement, return to start position under control 5. It is important to brace your trunk throughout the entire movement 

TOP TIPS Pause for 5-10 seconds at the top middle and bottom of the lift to turbocharge your lunge

BICEPS CURLS

Primary muscles: Biceps, forearms Secondary muscles: Triceps

Set Up 1. Hold the band in both hands with the bottom of the band lying on the floor 2. Stand on the band with feet hip width apart 3. Arms should be straight with palms facing up.

EXECUTION 1. From your start position, self-select your tension on the band 2. Curl the band up towards you keeping your elbows by your side, the band should be just below your chin now 3. Pause as you complete the movement, return to the start position under control

TOP TIPS Pause for 3-5 seconds at 3 set points on the upward phase and 3 different points on the lowering phase to maximise your band bicep curls 

UPRIGHT ROW

Primary muscles: Deltoids, Trapezius Secondary muscles: Forearms, Abdominals

Set Up 1. Hold the band in both hands shoulder width apart with the bottom of the band lying on the floor 2. Stand on the band with feet hip width apart 3. Self select band tension by holding the band closer to the floor to increase tension.

EXECUTION 1. From the start position brace your trunk 2. Pull the band upwards until your hands are in line with your chest, your elbows should be higher than your hands 3. Pause to complete the movement, return to the start position under control

Lower Body

BAND SQUATS

Primary muscles: Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Gluteals Secondary muscles: Calves, Abdominals

Set Up 1. Hold the band in both hands with the bottom of the band lying on the floor 2. Stand on the band with feet in squat position 3. Squat down and loop the band around the back of your neck 4. There should be full tension on the band at the top of the movement

EXECUTION 1. From the start position, brace your trunk and place your arms out in front of you 2. Squat down under control until your thighs reach 90⁰. You can extend your arms out in front of you to counter balance if you wish 3. Pause as you complete the movement, return to the start position under control 4. It is important to brace your trunk throughout the entire movement  

TOP TIPS Try a 5-10 second pause at the bottom of the movement to maximise each rep

HAMSTRING CURLS

Set Up 1. Loop the band around a well secured vertical bar/pole/object at knee height 2. Lie down flat on your stomach so the end of the band is inline with your ankles 3. Place the band on top of one of your ankles, your leg should be out straight 4. Place your hands out to the side at 90⁰, bend your elbows to 90⁰ also 5. Create tension on the band. You are ready to begin the movement

EXECUTION 1. From the start position, push your hips into the floor and brace your trunk 2. Curl your leg up until your heel touches your bottom (build up to this if you cannot reach it at first) 3. Pause at the top of the movement, return to the start position under control 4. Your hips should remain in contact with the floor at all times

TOP TIPS You can alter the tension on the band by moving further away from the fixed part of the band. This will make the hamstring curl a lot more challenging

Trunk

PALOF PRESS

Primary muscles: Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back Secondary muscles: Shoulders, Pectorals

Set Up 1. Loop the band around a well secured vertical bar/pole/object at chest height 2. Take hold of the band in both hands and step directly to the side until there is tension on the band 3. You should be approximately an arms length away from the fixed point 4. You should have your feet level and hip width apart, knees slightly bent, trunk braced and the band in the centre of your chest ready to begin.

EXECUTION 1. From the start position extend the band out in front of you until your arms are straight, the band should have tension on it throughout the movement 2. Pause as you complete the movement, return to the start position under control 3. Keep your trunk braced throughout the movement

TOP TIPS When your arms are fully extended during the movement, raise them up above head height and then lower them down on every rep too.

BAND ROTATIONS

Primary muscles: Abdominals, Obliques, Lower Back Secondary muscles: Gluteals, Shoulders

Set Up 1. Loop the band around a well secured vertical bar/pole/object at chest height 2. Take hold of the band in both hands and step directly to the side until there is tension on the band 3. You should be approximately an arms length away from the fixed point, with your hands facing back towards the fix point 4. You should have your feet level and hip width apart, knees slightly bent, trunk braced and tension on the band.

EXECUTION 1. From the start position, brace your trunk 2. Keeping the band at chest height rotate the band across your body until your hands are on the opposite side of your body. E.g. From left to right 3. Your hips can rotate at the same time if you wish 4. Pause as you complete the movement, return to start position under control 5. Keep your trunk braced throughout the movement.

TOP TIPS Fix the band from head height to work high to low and from ankle height to work from low to high. This will challenge your trunk in a number of different movement planes.

Thank you for reading. We hope you that you have found this resource useful and that you now have more ways to effectively use your resistance bands.

Click Here to buy pull up bands