Updated: May 5
If there's one thing bobsledders know, it's how to get creative when training and developing speed and power. Seen bands in the gym and unsure how to use them in a session? Look no further...
1. Double Banded Knee Drive
This is an acceleration favourite. Video actually shows a sub-optimal setup, you'd want to be a little higher up so the torso angle isn't so extreme. We'd be looking for a straight power line from the head, down the spine and the legs to the floor.
Grab a couple power bands (don't go crazy, you need to train through range, if it's too heavy you won't be able to achieve correct positions). Wrap them around the front of your ankles, dorsi flex like crazy (toe up) and punch your knees forward as fast as possible. Keep you core tight, head up and braced through your arms and shoulders.
2. Isometric Banded Knee Drive
Same as the above except you hold the knee driven position in full extension for a static period of between 4-10 seconds.
If you want to really engage the rec fem muscle (powerful hip flexor and knee extensor), simply attempt to lightly extend your knee against the resistance of the band. It's only a subtle movement and you will feel it working.
It is extremely challenging for your core holding this position. Brace hard, keep your pelvis neutral and grind it out!
3. Resisted Sprints (needs a partner)
Using a length of power band is a great way to conduct resisted accelerations and simultaneously test your coach's hamstrings!
The great thing from the coach perspective is they can tailor how much resistance they want you to operate against (and how much work they want to do). Simply attach it around your hip and use the resistance to help you achieve a low drive acceleration position.
Work hard to punch your elbows back, your knees forward and maximise extension in a forward lean position. DON'T hinge at the hip. You want that force line going straight from head to heel.
4. Banded Vertical Jumps
This is a great version for dynamically resisted explosive jumps without much danger of overload. It's actually used a lot by sledders between heats as a power potentiator.
Wear it over shoulders and under the midfoot. Hold the band like a rucksack, drop your hips and explode! You can do this with pause variations, quick ground contacts and obviously you can play with the resistance level.
Try adding it to your squat workout as a different velocity based exercise.
5. Low Anchored High Knees
Using a low anchor helps encourage maintaining height and direction of hips. (Up and forward!)
Bounce off the forefoot and mix this exercise up with different time intervals, speeds, isometric holds and supersetting with other gym lifts.