8 Best Band Exercises for Mass (DON’T IGNORE THESE!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we’re going to start building some mass
and our weapons of mass construction are going to be these two bands. You see, a lot of people
have a misconception about band training. They think that there’s no way that you can
build mass with bands. It might be true if you’re focusing on the
big exercises and the big muscles, but the bands are actually the perfect tool to train
the small muscles that support the big muscles to help you make those muscles bigger. Today I’m going to show you the eight best
exercises you can start doing – you need to start doing – if you want to start increasing
the amount of weight that you lift on your bigger exercises by paying some attention
to those often overlooked muscles. Okay, first up is our band pull apart. This
is one of those exercises that targets the shoulder girdle. Get used to it because the
first five exercises are going to target this area of our body. The band pull apart is going
to help us to strengthen our rhomboids. For anybody that has any kind of scapular
instability – especially a winging of the scapula, where they start to come off your
back, the middle portion of the scapula can’t stay fixed onto your back – that causes
some major instability issues when you try to go bench press. Now, it can be due to a weak serratus that
the next exercise here will address. These are our serratus punches. Now, right here
all we’re trying to do is keep a straight arm and just straighten it even further. If
you think you’ve reached out as far as you can go, try to reach out even further. You do this because you’re trying to make
sure that the serratus is strong enough to hold your shoulder blade up against your ribcage
no matter what happens with your arm, no matter how you’re moving your arm. You want that
stability against your ribcage, even if it’s rotated up or down. It needs to be able to stay in contact with
your ribcage if you want to be able to press strongly. Remember, if you’re trying to execute
a push with some serious strengths behind it you have to have a stable base to work
off of. If I was trying to push this wall and my feet gave out, guess what? I have no
ability to push with any force on that wall. The same thing is happening here, with our
bench-press. If you want to be able to push away and you don’t have any stability down
below you’re not going to be able to push as hard. So these two exercises are critical
to work out that 1-2 combination. Next we have a more dynamic version of this we call
the over and back. So what we’re doing is working on both elements again. Rhomboid strength and serratus strength, but
we’re doing it a little more eccentrically. We need this dynamic control. As I move the
band in front of me I can’t allow it to snap either in front of me too quickly, and I have
to make sure it keeps its distance away from my body. The same thing when I come back behind
my head. We’re going to work our rhomboids again, but we’re working them dynamically
and also with control. We can’t allow it to just snap back and touch
my butt with the band. I want to be able to keep some distance away from my back as I
make this transition front to back, okay? So another very important component – again,
very often overlooked and not blaming people because a lot of people don’t know to do this.
Of course, here, when we train like athletes we’ve got to incorporate these things into
a complete training program. Moving on, we’re still on the shoulders, but
we want to work on different areas of the shoulders. This time you’ve got to work on
those lower traps. The lower traps are going to kind of pull down and back. So it’s going
to keep your shoulder blades tucked down and back. Again, a very essential part of executing
a proper bench-press, or at least a safe bench-press. So working on that here with this overhead
jack hammer is a great way to get this area nice and strong. Again, you incorporate this into your daily,
or at least your weekly training plan, so you have strong enough scapula so that it
carries over when you go to do your bench-press without incurring injury. At least if you’re
not going to incur injury, at least increase the strength that you have on this exercise.
So then we move on to another extremely important part of our shoulder joint and that is the
rotator cuff. What we have to do here is we actually incorporate
into one of my favorite exercise that works our entire upper back. It’s the face pull.
You can see as I try to pull back, if I try to bring my thumbs back behind me as I’m showing
you here, that now gets a little bit of external rotation at the shoulders and the only muscles
that externally rotate the shoulders are the rotator cuff – three of the four muscles
in there for the rotator cuff. If you are not doing exercises that purposely
externally rotate your shoulder you’re going to set yourself up for an injury. 100% of
the time, that’s what’s going to happen. So you have to have devoted exercises that externally
rotate your shoulder. Again, this is something that we take care of automatically in our
ATHLEANX training system because we know how important it is to your overall shoulder health
and how long you can stay in the gym and how big and strong you can ultimately become. This exercise is a great way to do that. Next
up, number six, now we move down to the lower body where we attack the hips. The hips are
an area now that have lots of muscles that intertwine and work together and a lot of
times it’s the smaller ones that don’t get the attention. Sure we work on our quads,
yes we work on our hamstrings, but do we work on the smaller muscles? You have to if you
want to get the most out of those other muscles when you’re trying to execute bigger lifts. So we work on one of the most fundamental
movements of the lower body for anything. For a deadlift, for a squat, it’s the hip
hinge. This hip hinge can actually be strengthened in a really fundamental way with our hip hinge
band exercise. You just anchor the band around your body, first of all, to let the tension
pull you back into a normal hip hinge. Understand what it feels like to hinge the hips and not
just bend at the knees. You could save yourself a lot of potential
knee problems down the road if you learn how to execute a hinge of the hip first and then
get some bend of the knee as you go down into whatever it is, either a deadlift or a squat.
So this exercise allows us to do that and as we, of course, resist it with the band
we strengthen our gluts as we push forward. So a great option for you to learn both the
mechanics, and also strengthen those mechanics. Number seven, now we get really creative here
and it’s a multi-dimensional movement. It actually could be called Perfect Overhead
Squat Exercise here, but it’s the Overhead Sidestep. So the Overhead Sidestep, what you
do is step into the band and you cross it over. Now, with the X made you put your hands
up over your head, you try to spread your feet as far as you can against the resistance
of the band, and your arms are going to be overhead in this X position. Here what you’re
working on is, can you maintain thoracic extension? Can you stand up nice and tall? That’s what
that overhead arm positioning is going to do, while you do a sidestep. The Sidestep
here is actually working on resisting abduction. I’ll tell you, you’ll be amazed at how weak
we are in our hips in the ability to abduct. Some people can’t even lay on the ground.
These are elite level athletes that can’t even lay on the ground and execute 25 leg
lifts Jane Fonda style without it burning so bad that they can’t even make it there. That is so critically important if you want
to start increasing the strength of all your lower body exercises. Your hips better be
able to support and stabilize the bigger muscles. Finally, hit our core. You can’t leave the
core out of this, guys. This is going to transition between the hips and the shoulder blades as
your core – we could do this with one of those often overlooked muscles as well. That’s
the obliques. Again, everyone likes to focus on the 6-pack
abs, but really, what’s more important to the function of the abs are the horizontally
running, the diagonally running internal-external obliques. So if you want to get stronger in
all your core related movements you’d better start working on your ability to get stronger
through rotation. So here we can work on those oblique muscles with this easy, easy oblique
crunch. Again, you step yourself out and you’re really
just working on rotating and contracting at the same time. You can literally see the muscles
here contracting. You want to be able to put your own fingers on those muscles and feel
them contract. They’re very easy muscles to feel, even if you’re carrying a little bit
of body fat. You can still feel these muscles working and you want to get into the habit
of making them work more often. So there you have it, guys. There’s the eight
best band exercises you can do, especially if you want to start building mass. I know
it’s not that sexy, but I can tell you this: if you start adding these exercises to your
routines you’re going to find that those big lifts will take a big jump up because you’re
finally working on the supporting muscles that you’ve never really worked on before. When those muscles are in place you’d be amazed
at how much power you can generate with those bigger muscles that rely on those small muscles.
If you’re looking for a program that builds them right into our program so you don’t
have to really think about it – I’ve already told you what exercises to do, when, and I
kind of weave them in exactly when they need to be – you can get the ATHLEANX training
program over at ATHLEANX.com. It truly is me as a physical therapist trying
to put the science back in strength and get you not only a better program, but a safe
program. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video helpful leave your comments and
thumbs up below and let me know what you want to see on this channel here, guys. Remember,
this channel is about you. I make the exercises and the videos that you want me to cover and
see. I’ll continue to do that. I’ll be back here again real soon. See you.

Daniel Yohans

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