4 Steps to Preventing Injuries With Bands – Part 2
By Dave Schmitz
In Part 1, Dave talked about the four movement patterns that must be trained and in what order. If you haven’t already read that article, make sure you go back and read it here: 4 Steps to Preventing Injuries With Bands – Part 1.
Great, you want to help your athletes reduce their risk of injury. Now what? How do we get them there?
Well, it starts at a young age with young athletes, and I’m talking fifth, sixth graders maybe fourth graders. The first thing you want to teach them is the movement patterns that I talked about earlier: the shuffling, side, backwards and so forth. Once they learn that the next step now is to strength train that.
So, how do you strength train shuffling and forward, backward, right? Well, the only way you can do that is with elastic resistance, because you can’t do it with free weights for two reasons:
- Reason number one, how do you attach a dumbbell to a person to make them have to work harder against a resistance? You can’t do it. A band you can. You hook it over their hips and they’re good to go.
- The second reason, though, is bands are an ascending resistance, which means that their resistance is going to get harder the further the band is stretched out. I want your coaches and you to envision this. I’ve got an athlete in a band and I’m going to ask them to accelerate out three steps, I’m going to ask them to shuffle out three steps to the right as fast as they can. So, picture that they’re in a band they’re going to shuffle out three steps. The band is going to get harder as they shuffle out, okay? They get to the end of three steps, the band is now what we call preloaded, and when they come back from their shuffle position to their start position the band is going to accelerate deceleration. It’s going to accelerate them to have to learn how to stop faster.
That’s the key to teaching great deceleration in that we can’t just ask kids to use their body weight and run at specific speeds and stop, that’s not good enough, because we know that in sport the timing it takes to protect the ACL is so small that we have to teach the body to be a faster reactor than what body weight can drive. Body weight alone can’t drive it, one of the pet peeves I have is all of these ACL prevention programs have people training with body weight, I get that, great that’s phase one, how you get them to be stronger and quicker and more reactive is you have to put them on a load.
Resistance bands can load any single basketball movement you want, anyone and once I can load it, now I can teach the body specifically the nervous system how to respond quicker and faster and that’s how you take kids and start teaching them to be great decelerators and now ultimately you take the band away and they are stronger decelerators and quicker because they are used to working under a load.
The exact reasons, the exact same parameters you would use if you told me I want to get a young athlete’s squat stronger, their legs stronger, you are going to have them start squatting and you are going to progressively load them more overtime to get them stronger. The same thing with bands, but in this case we are not working single plane movements, we are working on the court basketball movements of shuffling, back peddling, forward bursts, turn and go, combinations of shuffle rotation, anything you want.
That’s how bands are used to improve deceleration and they are an absolute must because you are never going to get athletes to a level of strength reactivity unless you are loading the movement patterns and the only way you can do that is with elastic resistance.
Make sure to check out Dave and if you haven’t already signed up for his free training drills, do so here: 50 Basketball Drills
Dave Schmitz, PT, CSCS, PES has been writing, teaching and training how to implement resistance band training for rehabilitation, general conditioning, and performance since 1996. He is the founder & co-owner of Resistance Band Training— the leading band provider worldwide.