Resistance bands are, and this may not be any surprise, a resistance exercise tool. Opposing resistance to your muscles as you contract them, forces them to work harder and stronger. Since these implements fit this task with ease, many people use them in conjunction with blow movements. This is especially common in the case of group boxing classes for cardiovascular fitness.
Basic principles of resistance bands
A resistance band consists of a strong rubber tube with handles connected to each end. To use this tool, hold one handle and use the other to fix the tube in place. As you stretch it, rubber resists your movement. You can also wrap the tube around some support and use both handles, either in one hand or one end in each of the hands. For greater resistance, you can use stronger bands or combine several of them in the same exercise.
Basic principles for hitting
A very small fraction of the power of a blow comes from the arms. Martial arts teacher Dave Coffman says that a proper hit starts on the big toe. Rotate the body adds strength to the blow, which Coffman describes more as swinging your arm from your body, instead of stretching the arm with the hand held.
Advantages of resistance bands
When it comes to training to hit, resistance bands have the advantage of being able to mold very well to the movement of your arm with each stroke. The grip allows you to keep your hand properly grasped and can perform, and release the stroke easily.
Disadvantages of resistance bands
According to Coffman, resistance bands have two major disadvantages when training to throw punches. Since you have to attach them to some element, they do not allow you to move while practicing your blows. Coffman says that having the ability to strike within a particular context is essential to learn to hit. Most importantly, resistance band training only exercises the muscles of your arms, which only represent a fraction of the muscles required to launch a blow.
Will resistance bands increase blow power?
When training the arm muscles involved in the throwing of a blow, the resistance bands will slightly increase your hitting power. However, there are many better options for that task. Coffman recommends training with a punching bag, hitting underwater and using gloves with weights, as alternative training methods.