One of the WORST Exercises for MMA

Whenever I train people in the gym, I often cringe at what I see other people doing.

Bad form is everywhere and I can see people’s bodies getting destroyed as they’re supposedly working out.

Not only that, some of the exercises and routines I observe people doing are pure lunacy.

But one thing I can’t stand is when mixed martial artists are told to perform exercises that are completely useless or downright dangerous.

I mean, if you’re going to tell a fighter what to do, you’d better be damned sure that you know what you’re talking about, because this guy’s (or increasingly so, gal’s) health is at stake.

For the average Joe who hits the gym to get bigger biceps and impress the ladies, a little bad advice here and there won’t kill him.

But for the combat athlete who’s about to step into the cage against some brute who wants to tear his head off, poor training advice could mean the difference between winning a fight and being too gassed to keep your hands up and getting KO’d with an ugly cowboy punch.

Needless to say, I take my job seriously.

So in this article, I’m going to expose one of the absolute WORST exercises to do as a fighter.

And just because you see a UFC fighter doing an exercise on TV or in a YouTube vid doesn’t mean it’s gotten them to where they are…

A lot of times fighters would be better off not doing an exercise instead of ruining their bodies with some of the idiotic stuff I’ve seen.

Anyway, without further adieu, here’s one of the WORST exercises for MMA…

Drum roll please…

PuNChing WiTh BaNDs (hardcore)

punch with bands

This is a popular one and while on the surface it seems like it would be a good exercises, it’s not.

Here’s why…

When you throw a punch, you want your arm to be relaxed and more like a whip as opposed to being tight and pushing instead of punching.

You also want full extension of your arm and once you’ve achieved this, you want to pull your arm back as fast as possible to throw the next one or defend yourself.

But when you punch with bands, 3 things happen that will screwup your punching mechanics:

1) You need a tense arm to punch with the band, not a relaxed one

2) You tend to limit your range of motion punching with bands instead of using full extension

3) The band pulls your arm back instead of you pulling your arm back, so your body gets trained to not pull your arm back (bad for combo speed and bad for defence

This is what happens when ‘experts’ who have no foundation in how the body actually works or the actual mechanics of martial arts skills looks at MMA and tries to create a training program for it.

They basically get you to mimic the skills of the sport with added weights and resistance.

Your strength and conditioning program should train your muscles and nervous system to be stronger, faster and have better endurance, but it should not try to mimic the skills you perform and spend hundreds of hours mastering, because it will screwup the mechanics and timing, wasting all of your hard work.

If you want to be good at punching with your fists, train punching with your fists, don’t train punching with weights or bands in your fists (light dumbbells 1-1.5 lbs are an exception when used in certain situations, it’s like punching with a heavy boxing glove on).

The role of your strength and conditioning program is to develop your muscles and nervous system.

You then take your new, improved muscles and nervous system and train your punching so that you punch harder, faster and longer.

If the mechanics and timing of the exercise doesn’t screw with the technique, it’s A-OK, but in this example, the mechanics and timing are very different and will harm technique, so I recommend avoiding it. There are other ways to develop punching power, speed and endurance where you don’t need to use this exercise.

See, I’m not just a pretty face, am I? :)

So there’s one of the worst exercises you can do for MMA…

(Don’t worry, my Ultimate MMA Strength and Conditioning Program is purposely free of these foolish exercises)

But there are a lot more that I see all the time and I’m sure you see too.

Hit me up with what you think is one of the worst exercises are in the Comments section below and in my next article, I’ll take the worst of the worst and break them down biomechanisticologically-style.

Oh and be a good netizen and hit the ‘Like’ button on the way down for me. Thanks. :)



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Leave A Reply (138 comments so far)

  1. Thanks for the article; I was practicing punches with bands. I think it’s time to discuss these facts with my teacher.


  2. David B

    Bands are the best training tool around. Every asian guy I meet is a freaking mma instructor now. A genius with the new Bruce Lee school of training. Shame on you greedy nobody guy. Shame on you.


  3. DavidBaez

    Resistance bands are used for speed, but nobody knows how to work with them.

    The contraction should be explosive, with few sets and reps because you should not fatigue the muscle.

    Then you must do explosive strikes.


  4. Tosh

    Great article, I think some of you guys are missing the points Eric’s trying to make. This exercise will have negative effects on your technique as your neuromuscular system will recruit motor neurons to carry out a different type of movement a push, strength ain’t power. Not to mention spending to much time doing this exercise or things like the heavy bag will be pushing your fist back to you without you even realising, lacking the snap back with your striking combos? Yea that’s gna be screaming a bit of fight fatigue there when your back muscles are screaming at you :DD

  5. Great post! See the same thing all the time using a cable machine rather than bands.


  6. RM

    You are completely right about resistance bands in the push direction. Strength is important but force is mass X acceleration. A whip is a good analogy but I always think of a towel. Anyone who has been hit with a snapped towel in gym can tell you it hurts the most when it catches you at the end of the snap. That’s because the counter pull actually increases the acceleration of the tip at the very end. Resistance bands teach you to push your punch. There is a way to use them though. Reverse them. Get into your fighting stance and put tension on the line. Let them pull you into your punch structure, then explode your RETRACTION through the direction of resistance. This will train you to relax and “let go” of your strike. It can also help reduce your telegraph if you use a mirror and immediately follow a resistance band set with a resistance free set. Its not muscular conditioning, its neurological conditioning.

    What a previous poster said about the single whip in tai chi is actually correct. Most people don’t know (its public record, most people just don’t realize it) that Bruce Lee’s first martial art was Tai Chi. His main hand weapon (other than eye gouge) was the Straight Lead. His Straight Lead borrows a lot of its mechanics from the Single Whip. Its one of the reasons he had power that seemed so disproportionate to his size. He had amazing levels of conditioning, which he then applied through a body mechanic that gave him maximum mechanical advantage. You need both for maximum results, so training one at the expense of the other is not the most efficient use of your training.


  7. Ray J

    The best tips I ever picked up on punching power were off Ross Enamait, he’s a badass trainer in Connecticut and his books are the best. He has videos on his website but my favorite was take a 3-5 pound rubber medicine ball, I found two at academy, and repeatedly throw these balls at a heavy bag in the form of a punch. Throw 10, catching it on the drop, then switch hands and repeat over and over. After a few weeks of this and just punching a heavy bag you will notice a dramatic increase in speed and power in your punches.


  8. YuFeng

    What do you think of the mass suit?


  9. derp

    You’re quite dumb. Wrestlers ftw.


  10. Rai

    training bands few days before a fight… probably ruin your timing,
    Training with bands can be a great plyo and cns training routine.

    it’s ok to train your cns system, just cycle it and understand that after increasing your punching power and speed you will have to get used to your new timing,

    I do agree with you that most people don’t even understand how the nervous system mechanics work , and some things may be great to train 4 months out from your fight are not necessarily the best to train 3 days before.


  11. Don

    I disagree with the resistance bands being bad. This is the same as telling someone not to do push ups it’ll ruin their punches, or not to do bench presses. It’s a workout, not the fight itself. Yes you want your arms to be relaxed, but what that means is you don’t want you bicep pulling against your punch. When you push with the band the tension isn’t you tricep fighting your bicep (as it would be if you tensed without the band) it’s your tricep fighting the band, just like doing a bench press. It’s like saying you shouldn’t feel any tension in your arm while lifting weights.

    They’re completely unrelated.

    Eric Reply:

    The key is not in the fact that the muscles used are the same, otherwise I would agree with you.

    The point is that the movement pattern mimics too closely that of punching (ground based, fight stance, pushing the band like you’re actually punching).

    Because the resistance is different – a 16 oz boxing glove for example pulls the hand down while a band pulls the hand backwards – the neuromuscular patterns get fucked up.

    That’s my point. It’s not about the muscle – but the neuromuscular programming.

  12. People are not using the bands for building technique, that is laughable at least to think it is one of the worst excersizes for mma. It does alot more for you then those bosu balls you have some non mma chick on.

    Eric Reply:

    Hey schmoe, that bosu ball exercise is an example of…. n/m


  13. Stephen

    I disagree. I’ve used bands and they have definately increased the speed of my punching. However bands should not replace regular training on how to stay loose and snap your punch while maintaining good technique; it’s a supplement for speed and strength purposes. Also, no one has mentioned the issue of the strength to the band. If you use light resistance it fairly easy to maintain good form and relaxation. However if you use an excessively strong band and you’re struggling to maintain form then it’s definately hurting your punching technique.

    The key issues are whether or not your using too much resistance and if you’re using bands almost exclusively to train your punching. Final note: bands don’t improve technique

    However, I welcome opinions from anyone who disagrees.

    After all this talk about bands no one has talked about how they believe a person does develop faster hands. If you don’t believe in bands then what do you believe in? And please don’t just say you have to relax when you punch. Everyone knows that.

    Stephen


  14. morris

    Thx for the great article,I was suspecting that training with the bands wasn’t good,but one thing I was thinking of, was punching under water,or maybe with a reverse style resistance bands pulling your punche s forward so u learn how to push it back better and your muscles get trained to punch faster

    Eric Reply:

    I wouldn’t do that.

    cstev Reply:

    I thought maybe you were onto something about the resistance bands, even though I know a professional boxer and trainer who has lethal hands that trains with them. However, when you start telling people not to do punch training under water, I have to laugh. The Greatest. That’s right, Muhammad Ali used under water training, and here you are telling people not to do it. All around, it sounds like you’re just giving your opinion, not backed up with experience of actually trying these methods.

    Eric Reply:

    cstev – you do know Ali punching underwater was a myth, don’t you?

    If not, check this biography (Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times):

    http://books.google.ca/books?id=w9PgTKiU4boC&pg=PT56&lpg=PT57&ots=b9Sc64Fs0v&dq=ali+punching+underwater

    Read this page and the next one for the story about how Ali conned people into thinking this.

    That’s why I gave science in the article, not just, “Well Big Joe does these crazy exercises with bowling balls and he’s the most powerful puncher in the county. So it must be the bowling ball exercises that give him that power.”

    I’m not going to write an article about underwater punching in the Comments section – hopefully you can relate the science in the article I’ve shared to underwater punching and deduce why it wouldn’t be beneficial on your own.


  15. Austin

    So what do you think about taking shots with resistance bands for wrestling?

    Eric Reply:

    That’s OK because it helps develop leg strength and is a different motor timing sequence that isn’t negatively affected like punching is.

    For power punches, you want to whip your arm out as relaxed as possible, not tense and tight.

    For shots, you want to drive through, which makes the band useful.

    Austin Reply:

    Thanks for the info. I was pretty sure that was the case but just wanted another opinion.

  16. Want punch power and prevent muscle fatigue?

    Watch the master training… Bruce Lee did not have these fancy bands, and talking about measuring results, his punches have been the fastest and more powerful among all martial artists…

    Here is the video. I bet there is no better way to train punches….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BluUhcEvPtI


  17. Danny D.

    Eric, will punching with weighted boxing gloves improve your hand speed?

    Ev Reply:

    Punching with weighted gloves is an unbelievably stupid idea! It’s a great way to cause hyper-extension of the elbows and tremendous damage to the connective tissues.


  18. FitBits

    I guess the key to the above post is – why should this exercise be included/excluded in an MMA program.

    If this is performed to improve punching technique, then this is simply wrong – don’t do it. The use of heavy resistance would simply screw-up punching mechanics.

    However as an upper-body/core strength exercise it will serve its purpose; any longterm concerns of this affecting the mechanics of punch are a mute point – remember this would equate to a minute proportion of a dedicated MMA athletes program, and could not negate hundreds/thousands of hours of dedicated training and coaching to develop an effective punch.

    I also believe this could be used to pre-fatigue the athlete (using medium resistance), prior to pad/bag work or to develop lactic acid tolerance – the emphasis would be to maintain a high standard of quality punches and gross motor skill while fatigued,

    Irrespective of my thoughts, the key to this (or any other exercise) is – does it work? -and are the results measurable? if positive – great; if negative – either drop it, or tweak it it until you note a beneficial upswing.

    Luis Reply:

    Hi,
    If the resistance bands are not good for punch training, why you feel your arms lighter and faster after using the straps?
    I recently bought the bands of stroops, is it better to sell them?
    Thanks. Waiting for your answer.

    Eric Reply:

    Same reason why after driving 120 km/h (70 mph) on the highway for 2 hours then going down to city speed seems so slow compared to when you drive around the city normally.

    It’s the difference from what you’re used to; the relativity; it’s not that you’re actually moving any faster (or slower, in the case of driving).

    Do I recommend you sell them? Read the article again and answer for yourself.


  19. Matt

    Punching with bands is great for muscle fatigue, not for technical punching. I use them with my ground and pound as there is virtually no body mechanic to screw up anyhow. They are also great when put into circuits for fight conditioning. Im currently designing some hammer work with the bands using various other equipment, the way people use hammers in MMA is so basic currently. We use 6 basic hammers, then internal and external then in reverse so 24 hammers. The body mechanic for a hammer fist is in the drop of the body and not just the arms as everyone appears to use them. Im having good results with the bands currently in this area.


  20. Tim

    So, what would your take be on underwater resistance training, like shadow boxing?

  21. If you use the bands to improve your punching it is probably not the best exercise. It is, although, a good exercise for dynamic conditioning and rehab as resistance band training is generally used for.


  22. landon

    Most fighters don’t know much about strength and conditioning, and most s&c coaches don’t know a lot about MMA technique and the breakdown of a punch.


  23. Thorpac

    Fedor, Belfort, machida, dan miller, him miller, Brandon Vera, Brock lesnar and more…..


  24. landon

    Vitor was fast way before he touched any type of band…

    And theres a bunch of fighters who eat junk food and mcdonalds and theyre ripped. Doesnt mean its good for you tho.

    Eric Reply:

    You took the words right out of my mouth.

    It’s the old “Well I saw so and so doing this so it MUST be what won him the belt.”

    Thorpac Reply:

    Still hasnt answered my question, I’ve seen some of the top fighters in the world used it before, why would they use it, oh wait is it because they arent knowledgeable enough for world class MMA training :)

    Eric Reply:

    What you don’t understand is everything that is in the article… Go read the main points in the article about the exercise and think about them for a moment.

    Your only point is that top fighters do this exercise. But so do low level fighters who have never won a fight before – so what does that prove?

    The proof is in the science and the biomechanics, not the fact that you’ve seen some fighter on YouTube doing it.


  25. freepac

    Hey man big fan of you here, but I have to say I think I’ve seen Vitor Belfort and Machida used these band before. Needless to say Belfort is THE fastest striker in MW and his coach Shawn Tompkins is a very experienced MMA coach

  26. If you use the bands to ‘improve’ your punching ability, then I completely agree with what Eric has stated. The mechanics of the punch, as stated, are completely working against proper punch technique. That being said, so are many other resistance or weight training movements, such as a bench press or push up for that matter. The punch mechanics, as related to a bench press, would also work against proper technique – but you use the bench press for other body strengthening reasons, but the motions are essentially the same family as the resistance bands.

    If you use the resistance bands with the intent of strengthen your body in a dynamic way as well as for general strength conditioning, instead of using them to improve the punch, then I would say the bands can work for you in that way.

    Punching with bands may not be ‘the best’ exercise for MMA training, but I can’t seem to say it is one of the worst as resistance training is good way to get the body’s muscle to work and move. Using bands to perfect your punching technique – yes, probably the worst exercise you can do.


  27. Adam

    Would using a band in a pulling motion be as bad for creating punching power?

    Imagine the band is attached to a hook and you punch out normally without any resistance and with perfect form. But as you pull back you rotate your waist back and theres resistance from the band creating tension in your tricep and waist so when you punch again theres more power?

    Sorry if this question has been asked already, I did read most of the comments but theres a hell of a lot! haha

    Jonathan Reply:

    This is a good point… when you punch with your right your pulling with your left. The way I practice this instead of using bands, use a free motion cable machine. working on your push and pull seperately… do normal push and pull exercises and that will transfer into more powerful punches on the bag

    Kru Ray Reply:

    I am a big fan of the Cable pull machine for exercising whole body punch extension (and retraction), with full body tie in by twisting the base and rotating through the trunk. It provides great “grounding” and also good body flow. And when I run and want a portable circuit routine, I bring my bands for the same reason. I have never seen any study that says an exercise meant for conditioning was detrimental if it mirrored a particular set of motions. And I see little difference in the two methods.

    I love the dialogue and many of your tips have merit, but I think it is more important how the bands are used, and in what context, than what resistance method you are employing.


  28. Jonathan

    Oh and if you wanna snap someone with a punch mine as well slap them…. Just ask bas.


  29. Jonathan

    You do not want to whip your punch or pull it back too soon. If anything it should be more like a perfectly timed push. To whip your arm at someone doesn’t require a strong base. You want to generate the power from your feet and expend that energy at the end of your punch preferably meeting your opponents chin at the same time. My two cents

    JM Reply:

    I don’t think you understand what was meant by “whip”. This isn’t a pulled punch, it is in fact what you describe as starting at your feet and moving the energy through… Like a whip, the power starts at the handle and flows incrementally through each section of the whip, then like a wave through water, snapping at the end.

    It’s the difference between being pushed by an undercurrent that moves you but does not knock you over and getting hit with a cresting wave right on your chest. Both contain the same power, but they are transforming in different ways; one is just transforming from one place to another, the other is transforming from one place to another WHILE condensing into a point, which increases the amount of pressure available. It’s the condensed energy expressed as multiplied pressure that hurts.


  30. JM

    “When you throw a punch, you want your arm to be relaxed and more like a whip …”

    Training to throw techniques in the most relaxed (and therefore fast) manner possible is one of the primary motivations behind the slow, relaxed form practice of “internal” martial arts like taiji, xingyi and bagua. In fact, one of the most common form postures well-known in taiji is called the “single whip”. Wanna know why? ;D

    Eric Reply:

    Please share!

    JM Reply:

    Oh hah, that was a rhetorical question. Basically just reinforcing your point that good strikes are thrown out like whips. :)


  31. Mike Wilson

    I have seen Maki’s stuff online video etc and I agree with Jason. Maki Riddington is crap.


  32. Jason Chang

    Maki Riddington obviously dosen’t have a clue what he is talking about and should stay out!!!


  33. mike

    one mooore thing eric if you dont mind sharing a bit more of your knowledge. Alot of us strikers here are looking to improve the explosion and devestation of our striking, something opponents wouldnt even want to block because theyre so vicious. do you think you can post a video of some really good exersises that really increase striking power and explosion, and really work the fast twitch muscles in the core???? Sorry Im getting a little off topic here but explosive and devastating striking is the 1 aspect of MMA I am most interested in


  34. mike

    thanks erik! perfect sense

  35. ya dont really like the bands type style training either. it might be good for explosive power for the legs when launching but i think there are way better options to consider when it comes to building strength and speed for the upper body.


  36. Mike

    Hey eric,
    I can really see where you’re coming from when you say not to use bands because they bring your hands back for you which screws up your speed and defense. What i cant wrap my head around however is how holding weights is a setback. Once my nervous system has already pretty much memorized how to throw a punch and i could focus less on technique, why not use weights, it is different than bands in the sense that it doesn’t reinforce that bad habbit of not bringing ones hands back and when i drop weights after showdowboxing with them my hands fly

    Eric Reply:

    It depends on the weight and power of the individual (notice I didn’t say strength).

    You’ve got to be careful not to use too much weight because if you’ve got too heavy a weight and you’re not powerful enough to accelerate the weight and snap it back, it becomes more of a front dumbbell raise.

    Punching power comes from snap, not strength. So if the weight is too heavy and you lose the snap, you’re not working punching power and it’ll change the mechanics/timing of your punch.

    Hope that makes sense.


  37. Timmy O

    I didn’t read every post but from I gathered, I noticed that everyone is focusing on the arm’s and shoulder’s ability to push. The body will only allow the arm to go forward as fast as it can decelerate it (stop it from coming out of the socket. Therefore, if punching speed and power are desired, it is important to train the muscles that decelerate the movement as well. Just making sure that this point doesn’t go over-looked in people training regimens.

    Jérémie Reply:

    Good point to mention.

  38. I agree Eric!…

    The worst thing you can do as an athlete is try to use resistance training in combination with your ‘sport-specific’ skill. It confuses the neuromuscular patterning that you need when competing.

    Strength training should never be about trying to give resistance to the muscles as they go through a sport-specific range of motion. This causes flaws in skills and sport-specific performance.

    Strength training should progress the ‘sport-specific MUSCLES’ in terms of overall strength, without trying to ‘copy’ the actual movements required in the sport.

    I always design my wrestling training programs this way and it is much more effective when you separate strength and skills.

    iver Reply:

    ” Strength training should never be about trying to give resistance to the muscles as they go through a sport-specific range of motion. This causes flaws in skills and sport-specific performance. ”
    Steve, please can You tell me whose theory this is? A scientists, a researcher, or a world class athletes coach? I was personaly in Europe in training camp and saw olympic champ wrestlers doing throwing simulation with bands. Also on youtube there is a video of one of the excelent(world class) Russian sambo national team coach doing the same. I just do not understand from where all these theories are coming, and all the differences between theory and practice.

    Maki Reply:

    They also do this quite a bit in Judo as well as it helps with your entry into various positions to throw or sweep. I use the bands to drill this quite a bit and it has helped me.

    iver Reply:

    Most of the coaches has different education, methods, experience. Theory is important, but in sport results count. And there is no “out of the box” solution to everybody.

    Eric Reply:

    Hey Iver,

    The throwing with bands exercise is different from punching with bands in a couple of ways, the most important being that using the band doesn’t change the mechanics/timing of the move, whereas in this example, punching with a band does alter the mechanics of the move.

    iver Reply:

    Absolutely agree Eric,I did not wont to compare apples and peaches(and my English…) This question was intended only for Steves comment, about resistence and sport specific movement. And probably there are 100s of examples for it and against it. My point is that we can not make this kind of generalization what he wrote, but analyze a specific situation or exercise and than make an opinion, as you have done it with band punch.


  39. Jérémie

    You guys and Eric have good points for saying that punching with bands is a bad exercise. But not so long ago, inspired by Eric video on developping punching power and core :P , I looked for some other videos on youtube and I found this one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6zLCeIFXJw

    The difference of this video and punching with bands is that on the video it isn’t a band, so it doesn’t pull your arm back! I know that for developping power it is around 30%-40% of your maximal strenght. (I don’t know if the weight is OK on the video, it was mainly for the form of the movement.)

    So I would like to know, what do you guys think of this exercise?

    Eric Reply:

    I don’t like the grinding through of that exercise in the fight stance trying to maintain good form, but the concept of staying grounded is an excellent one to train and one you can train with various exercises that don’t have the potential to interfere with punching mechanics.

    That’s a big thing that I’m saying here that I feel some people aren’t getting – there are so many exercises you can use to train a certain quality, why use one that has the potential to mess up your technique when you can use others that don’t have this potential?

    Jérémie Reply:

    I’m also trying to figure what would be the difference between this exercise and a medecine ball front throw, but I’m not able to find a significant one. Is there a better exercise, or they are complementary?
    It seems to me that both are simulating a punch.

    Do someone can help me please? :) Thanks a lot.


  40. Aaron

    Hi Eric,

    Sounds like good advice. Given the dynamics of the resistance while throwing the punch would the reverse be true if you positioned yourself to stand with resistance on the bands is stance then let the the bands spring your punches forward by you relaxing, then provide more resistance when pulling the arms back to stance position?

    I ask this because we use resistance bands or similar to provide resistance when we pull (simulating breaking of opponents balance) and turn in 180 degrees to throw. The benefit of this is training the body to stay balanced even when your opponent attempts to pull you backwards to block the throw?

    Feedback would be great.

    Aaron.

    Eric Reply:

    The snap back comes more from the core than the arms – so if you do the exercise focusing on rotational core speed it is good.


  41. CameronQ

    Still don’t accept that it screws the technique so badly. I think a few other considerations could be made:
    1. Have the bands run under the arms, not over, so there is no change in technique at all.
    2. Assume that the fighter already has good technique and understands good technique so applies the resistance intelligently. Most exercises require a slight adjustment of movement for that particular exercise but that doesn’t mean it will permanently change the technique negatively. Transfer is important, even more important than specificity.
    3. Level of tension? Bands can offer a little or a lot of tension, so done intelligently there is no reason why the load should be all bad.
    4. If the movement is done explosively there is no reason why it should slow the arm down and every reason why the resistance can help. Take the bench press. If it is done explosively it does help speed and explosiveness even though the movement appears slow. I guess it is a lot to do with fiber innervation and recruitment.
    5. Alignment is really important. Sure, anything will cause excessive strain on a joint if the movement is bad. Even a punch without resistance can do that, from nothing more than the weight of the glove. But if the coach has done his work and ensured alignment through the whole body is right there is no reason why it should hurt.

    Ultimately I think Iver’s comment was good, in that at the end of the day what counts is the transfer to the individual. If it works for someone as a small part of a big training picture then great. That’s far more important than anything else and just because it is not good for one person doesn’t mean it is bad for all. Especially the boredom factor where variety is as important as intensity to help keep the fighter’s focus in.

    I do exercises all the time as part of my daily routine that few others do but they work well for me (I am 52 with 39 years in Kyokushin and 15 in BJJ/wrestling) and other than injuries from impact and rolling accidents I have (touch wood!) no joint problems at all.

    Jonathan Kiser Reply:

    Spot on, I just think that Eric was wanting to point out here that most people train somewhat inaccurately, especially beginners or instructors that easily accept hype or fad training without proper investigation of the overall effects. I had a harness of elastic bands that used to fit to the front of my body and it certainly built my tendon strength and I would do it slow (always band under arm) and then explosively).

    If I were start with worst exercise in MA/MMA it would be the “hurdler’s stretch” as this one causes quite a bit of damage to knee cartilage if practiced daily (IT IS BAD!). I would put at equally damaging to the “hurdler’s stretch” as the ankle weights- bad for feet, knees, hips, and spine- NOT RECOMMENDED!

    I forgot to say I do agree with Eric, his points are valid if people train according to that embarrassing picture he has to demonstrate the use of elastics. I appreciate this awesome website- informative and insightful, don’t forget to WOT the site so more people know about Eric’s dependability and honesty.


  42. Jules Bruchez

    This is hands down (along with punching with weights) the most applied and stupidest (if that’s even a word) workout I have ever seen people do. This just proves to me that the person who doing the exercise has never read a REAL strength book before, and if it is a trainer making them do it, then the trainer should be cast to the town square where they can be stoned for being so stupid. Never and I mean NEVER should you mimic a technique with weights exactly. If you do then you begin to retrain your nervous system and doing so you will be come slow in that technique. Your CNS will automatically begin to slow down and the end of a movement for protection, that’s why Med balls throws or performed in the explosive phase. If you would like to learn more about what I am saying and ALOT more get the book SUPERTRAINING.
    Jules Bruchez Strength and Conditioning Specialist

    Maki Riddington Reply:

    This post may not be directed towards me, I still feel inclined to briefly address it.

    I too own the book Supertraining. I actually spent several days at Dr Siff’s home in Denver learning from him. Nowhere in the book does it state using bands to increase hand speed is detrimental or will decrease the individuals form or technique. I understand the information put forth in the book. Application and context are valuable tools to posess as a trainer or coach. Knowing when, and how to apply this theoretically knowledge is equally important.


  43. Fred

    How about some comments for resistance bands for kicking? I agree that punching with bands is pretty bad. Taekwondo sparring competitors often times use bungee cords attached to their legs to develop their kicking techniques. I know of few if not any Muay Thai fighters that do this. MT may have stronger kicks, but high caliber TKD fighters have extremely fast kicks. Result? Force = Mass * Acceleration, same result.


  44. Larry

    Txs a lot guys for yer comments on ankle weights, very much appreciated


  45. Kevin

    Thanks for the post! I did these when I first started training, and had to spend a while fixing my punching mechanics. It’s still hard for me to fully extend my right arm and get my full reach with it.

    Eric Reply:

    That’s exactly what I found back in the day when I used this exercise – mechanics would get screwed, which is why I never do them anymore – thanks for sharing your experience Kevin.

    Ka`ili Reply:

    Hey Eric, thanks for the post! You saved me from doing this exercise for punches. One question though: If you were to do a set of these, then (let’s say you’re using a Tower 200, I don’t own one, by the way), and you punch toward the door and focus on the return instead of the punch to even-out the muscles used for snapping back, could it help prevent the injuries you mentioned?

    Eric Reply:

    You’re welcome!

    To prevent injuries to the shoulder I work other exercises, specifically external rotation exercises such as the Face pull and eccentric exercises like this one really help with shoulder injury prevention due to over-extending punches (or repetitive strain due to punching):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9Sa9ievMy4

    Kevin Reply:

    I tried that after doing my grappling a couple days ago and then was doing full roll today, and noticed my punching power and quickness has MUCH improved. It might also help that I started doing your quickness kills program this week :) I’m naturally fast, and usually everybody in my gym has a hard time landing stikes on me, but want to be like lightning when I strike, so thank you for posting that program and helping me reaching my goals!

    Ka`ili Reply:

    Okay, I’ll try this ASAP. I’m not yet back to training in GJJ yet, but I just started a job so I hope I’ll be able to afford it soon.

    I appreciate it!


  46. Michael M

    Tricep dips using a bench or chair. It is even worse when ones does them with a weight plate on their lap. This exercise is horrible for the rotary cuff (shoulder).

    Interesting article. I never thought of it that way. Thanks for the post.

    Eric Reply:

    Yes these are absolutely murder on the shoulder joint.

    Guy Reply:

    !!!!! Okay , scary considering they are regularly shown in a magazine considered the Mecca of bodybuilding/fitness magazines. Cut that one out of the old routine eh?


  47. Professional

    So then the solution would be to add *another* set of bands, being pulled from *in front* of the puncher, so as to achieve equillibrium and thus, resistance in *both* forward and backward directions.
    But that’s complicated, and looks lame like this dude’s picture.

    By the way, my deliberating MMA fans,
    The boxing legends of old trained shoulder-deep in a swimming pool for this purpose exactly.

    Have fun re-discovering pugilistic training methods that have been around forever.


  48. John

    alright eric what do you think about this exercise for jumping and kicking power(note you use alot less weight then on a normal squat) first squat down as far as you can while keeping a straight back. second jump forward as far as you can. on your next rep jump backawrds instead of forwards. repeat. ive been using this to increase the effectiveness of my muay thai flying knee


  49. Kru Dee

    Yeah I agree I never teach this exercise to my students. My old boxing coach used to make me do this drill all the time and wondered why my punches were always slower than my opponents. I used to bench 525lbs and squat 800lbs and used to literally rip apart heavy bags with my kicks, reality is that the heavy bag didn’t move or hit back. When I went to Thailand I got my butt handed to me by a 150lbs former Muay Thai Champ and I was only 180lbs. My kicks were a lot slower than his and so were my punches, and not to mentioned I was gassed by the end of the 1st round. I got lost by a TKO in the 2nd round.

    2 years later, I left the weights alone and stuck with good old fashion push-ups, sit-ups, single leg squats, and pull-ups. I fought at 190lbs (gain 10lbs) fought the same guy, he was at 1678lbs this time and I put him away in 4 rounds. Eric Wong is the man.


  50. Maki

    It’s an interesting stance you take Eric, especially when someone like JC Santanna uses them in his MMA training DVD. It’s part of the MMA circuits he shows. It’s not like he doesn’t have any experience with fighters, he’s got a number of high profile fighters training with him right now.

    I was surprised to see this listed as a “horrible” exercise.

    You mentioned that your muscles are not pulling themselves back, instead the band is during the press. Could not the same be said when you bench press with bands?

    Patrick Reply:

    You guys all seems to be missing the point. What makes this exercise a bad one is that it messes up your punching technique. When you’re benching you’re training up your muscles – when you’re punching you’re practicing form and technique. By messing with the way you punch (because you’re not really going to wear a resistance band in the ring, are you?) You risk ruining your techniques. That’s the point – not that resistance band training is bad for working out in general. Just don’t apply it to your punches.

    Maki Reply:

    It might have a negative impact on your technique if you drill this exercise all the time. If applied properly I see no reason why one could not use it in their arsenal of exercises for combative sports training.

    You don’t bring a barbell in the cage or ring either. You use band punches to enhance a quality such as speed strength for your sport, just like you would use a barbell to build up your maximal strength in your legs for example.

    Eric Reply:

    No, you don’t bring a barbell in the cage, but you’re also not mimicking the fighting stance and punching motion with a bench press.

    The quality of speed strength can be enhanced better with other exercises – band punching interferes with technique too much to make it justifiable when many other exercises could be used.

    It’s the potential payoff vs. the risk that must be weighed and with all of the different points – the risk far outweighs the benefit in this case, especially considering the fact that other options are available.

    Eric Reply:

    Patrick – you summed that up perfectly!

    iver Reply:

    Sorry Eric, almost “perfectly” :) I do not want to argue that the punch with bands are good or bad exercise(but not the worst), we are all different in many views, also in how our body react to some conditioning exrxs. For example some champs could not live without “long slow boring cardio” and some “trainers” says it is BS.
    You know that most high level fighters use complex programing in strength training, so no 2 strength training in the week are same. Technique is trained usualy 3-6 times weekly, for years, in or out of the season, it became part of fighter personality, instinct… So if someone use band punches once per week in the preparation period, in my subjective opinion it will not ruine the technique of any experienced fighter, especialy the one who is good in boxing techniques. Maybe it ruines beginner technique.
    My +point goes to Maki – excuse me Patrick :)

  51. Eric,

    Great point. I feel the same way. Hit your bag for three minutes for this one.


  52. John

    Eric,
    Would you agree that resistance bands build more “functional” strength than weights for MMA or self-defense purposes?


  53. Franco Crincoli

    AGREED!! Punching with bands is ridiculous. I refer back to the conjugated style of periodization for speed strength i.e. a Dynamic Effort day. You can put the bands on a bar, KB, around yourself for plyo pushups, but not for punching.

    @Elliot:
    And great comment about the band around the hips – well said.

  54. Usually there isn’t this much controversy about your advice, Eric! Seems like a lot of differing views on this one. Your advice has always been solid so far.

    Eric Reply:

    Controversy and differing opinions are a good thing and much appreciated. I like to be challenged. :)

  55. Great post Eric! I see this and punching with DBs too. I really like how you break the 3 cons to this exercise down. It really supports what you’re saying and also makes it nearly impossible for the morons who do this to argue lol!


  56. Larry

    Sorry guys I meant ‘ what you guys THINK of training kicking with ankle weights’

    Tim Reply:

    Larry, I think thats also one of the worst things you can do. Probably for all of the reasons Eric mentioned above. But also because with certain kicks, that extra weight puts a lot of stress on those ligaments and tendons in your knees. One of my good friends and training partners snapped one of those ligaments clean (acl, mcl, you know one of those potential career enders) all because the extra weight threw off the way he landed his kick.

    Even if you’re extremely careful, those weights can put a lot of stress on your joints over time. So, long story short, kicking with weights is also a BAD idea. You wanna make your kicks stronger, work the heavy bag, and do some squats and leg curls. Do some speed drills. Don’t kick with ankle weights.

    Angie Reply:

    I agree that ankle weights do more damage than good as your balance points are thrown off.

    One of the things we do to work strength in our kicks is to start every kick out of a deer stance (or modified lunge) and keeping the front leg slightly bent as you make contact with the heavy bag. The idea is form and power, not speed.

    Ka`ili Reply:

    Okay, while I’m not exactly an expert at all, one of my strong points is kicks, and I’ll tell you I’ve tried a lot to improve my kicks, including the ankle weights. DO NOT do it. It hurt like hell and I already have bad knees (I grew faster than my hamstrings, which caused almost irreparable damage to the cartilage). Instead, I decided that I should try approaching the training for each kick a little differently (since I realized that power comes from form, not pure strength).

    For my thai kicks, I start with my kicking leg in front and slightly raised, my hips square facing forward, with 90-100% of my weight on the supporting leg. Then, I rotate my hips and whip the kicking leg out (not hitting anything) and try to stop it on my own a little past where the kick would land, and bring it back instead of spinning around like I missed. I repeat that until I feel better about my form, both on delivery AND on the retract. Then I let the kick spin me around while on the balls of my supporting foot, which helps my balance, follow-through power, and ability to rotate comfortably. After all that, I practice proper form with the kicking leg in the back. My power improved tremendously.

    Also, squats, leg curls, and even doing the capoeira ginga helps me a lot too (the ginga trains rotational movement).

    Marc Reply:

    I am in full agreement with Ka’ili’s technique. This increases balance, core strength, and over all thai kick mechanics. To add a note, practicing this for low, middle, and high thai kick will help aswell. One very similar exercise/drill that will produce great results is (only if you have a thai pad holder that is experienced!!!!!) with the same square possition and weight distribution, raise block (not pseudocheck style) a low-mid middle light kick thrown buy the holdler. Immediatly from the block and without returning the blocking led to the ground throw a middle to high kick to the thai pads. Return the kick to your original possition and repeat. Fluidity and sound mechamics are key. Eventually the kicker will never need to touch the kicking leg to the canvas. Your kick will absoultly increase in power. Remember always that good mechanics drilled will lead to speed and that is what produces consistent power. As stated, a good holder is a must!!!!

    Eric Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experience with ankle weights so no one else uses them, Ka’ili – and for your recommendations on how to build more powerful kicks!

    Cool name btw!

    Ka`ili Reply:

    No problem. Like I said, I’m not an expert, but having been born with weak legs inspired me to work on my kicks. And, of course, being raised on Bruce Lee movies! I’m glad to say that my knees are fine now, from physical-therapy stretching. My cartilage has actually healed (don’t ask how it happened). But yeah, those ankle weights didn’t help at all.

    And thanks, my name’s Hawaiian.

    Tim Reply:

    Another great exercise for developing kicks is to perform them in super slow motion. Break them down, bit by bit, while maintaining perfect form. For example, for a TKD roundhouse kick, you can break it down into 6 steps.

    1. Raise your bent knee to at least waist high.
    2. Rotate your hips until your core and standing leg have completely rotated (almost 180), and your kicking leg has rotated a full 90 degrees inward. Try and maintain a fairly erect posture without bending forward at the waist
    3. Extend the kick and hold for 3-4 seconds. maintain posture. For more intensity try to raise the height of the kick
    4. Retract or recoil the kick
    5. Rotate back to a forward stance
    6. Return your leg to a fighting stance.

    Focusing on the form as Ka’ili said, will get you the most power in your technique. To further train power, perform exercises that actually strengthen those muscles involved. For example, Roundhouse kick uses quads, hips, glutes, and core when properly performed. Squats and Lunges are great for strengthening those muscles. Bands and ankle weights just throw off your balance completely, while putting extra strain on your joints in a way they were never meant to handle.

    Returning to the punching discussion… anyone tried that “Perfect Pushup” thing that actually has you rotate your hands as you push?

    Kevin Reply:

    Also think that is a bad idea for the same reasons, and it also messes up your form when you take them off if you do not have core stability to begin with.

    What I’ve done that really helps is increase my flexibility and slow motion kicking. If you can snap out a high kick quickly, you can snap out a leg kick even faster. The slow motion kicking trains the muscles used in the kick so that when you perform the kick at full speed those muscles know exactly how to activate from all of that practice.


  57. Larry

    I m curious to know what you guys of training kicking ( middle, low and push front) with ankle weights?


  58. Muzzwai

    We have to remember that teh bosu and resistance bands came from Physiotherapists (Physical Therapy) They are rehab tools used to encourage stabilisation in a joint. You have to think outside the box when using this equipment. MMA is about power, not bulk. Bosu is great for plyometrics, bands are great for eccentric training. In MMA you need to train in a way that relates to the movements used, thats where sparring came from. The training you do has to carry over to the activity in order to benefit so just replicate movements add in a weighted vest, power bags and as I mentioned, plyometric bodyweight exercises.


  59. Paul

    I tend to be in agreement with Joe,I think if you balance it with other punching related exercises i couldnt see problems,I wouldnt want to use bands and punch out to a static position and just hold it there,i could probably see where you were coming from,in a shadow boxing senario i couldnt see problems,I have one of those S3 shadow boxers from century products and feel its beneficial to my training.

    It would be nice to see if there was any scientific evidence to support your theory.

    By the way i enjoy your demostrations and use many of your exercises to train my boxers.

    Keep up the good work.

    Eric Reply:

    I’ll look for the article that studied swimmers and their use of bands and how it increased their rate of injury – not sure if I’ll be able to find it but I’ll look.

    To my knowledge there are no studies on boxers punching with bands, but I’ll take a peek.


  60. Maki

    I’m not sure I share the same opinion on full extension when it comes to punching. You should not be fully extending the arm when you strike as it can increase the tendency to hyperextend at the elbow. Knowing your range and working within it allows you to know how much you should be extending your arm out.

    I use bands to punch, but it is on a limited basis. I use it for short spurts (5-8 seconds) to increase punching speed combined with another upper body explosive movement. I also make sure the resistance of the band is light.

    It’s all about context.

    Eric Reply:

    That’s a good point Maki I think I should edit the article – there is proper full extension of a punch then full extension of the joint that you want to avoid…

    What I’m talking is full extension of the punch that is often limited with band work.


  61. kevin

    I see some good in the band and some bad . There is value to building muscle through out the punch movement and of course punching without tension is correct. So use the band both with proper mechanics with good posture and head position so as not to cause muscle imbalances (not yet mentioned.) Then go free style relaxed with good punching posture which is not the same as good posture for building muscle balance.

    Eric Reply:

    You can definitely build muscle throughout the punch movement, but the main point I’m making here is that screwing with good punching mechanics is not a good idea!

    Definitely do pressing movements, get stronger in those muscles – you need them for things other than punching, like grappling.

    I’ll have write a followup article on this.


  62. Larry

    Worst exercises
    1) at the Muay gym
    people consistently Grunting while shadowing with dumbells moving as well as moving their arms and legs in all directions instead of focusing on form. This type rarely improve and genrally are nt competitors.

    2) at the gym or sports center.
    People mimicking movements of their sports in front of the mirror with or without dumbells. Like the previous type they are generally not competitors.


  63. Joe

    If the band is loose and or if you use the body to throw the punch you do not have to tense until the resistance activates training your body to stabilize with different stimuli, and ranges of activation. I am also confused at your opinion you need full extension in a punch to get power for it be effective? When you torque and generate power from the trunk and core you should be able to hit effectively from any distance. According to your philosophy a heavy bag is worthless, you cannot hit at full extension. There is also a difference between doing the exercise generically as in the picture and using it to cross train for stabilization. Try hand weights and bands together, play with the angles from different positions, attached to a solid object not held. I have trained competitive fighters, power lifters,and body builders for explosion, physique, and directional stabilization and they are all amazed. Think you are off base on this one?

    kevin Reply:

    very good observation and recommendation

    Eric Reply:

    Hey Joe thanks for the comments.

    Even starting with a loose band, at the end the band is still pulling your arm back, otherwise why use the band in the first place?

    With band punching we’re only focusing on straight punches, not curvilinear punches like hooks or uppercuts.

    On the heavy bag you can still train full extension in that you punch through the bag, not at it. Maybe not every straight punch reaches full extension but your initial contact should.

    When it comes to training for stabilization, there’s no need to mimic the punch, you can do a simple cable press with good scapular movement and focus on core stability – but why mess with punching mechanics if you don’t have to while training stabilization?

    See the comment I left above to Peedy for my thoughts on different angles and punching mechanics.

  64. Hey Eric, I just want to get your opinion on zen do Kai. I’ve never seen it before, but I’ve heard great things about it. I’m interested in joining a class and would like to eat your expertise on whether it’s similar to those MMA matches on UFC or if it’s really just karate. I hope I’m not disrespecting martial arts here, but I really want to learn something that’s similar to the MMA that I watch on television, instead of other styles.

    Thanks.

    Eric Reply:

    Clement – thanks for the question but unfortunately I have no experience or knowledge of zen do Kai.

    But if you want the real experience, the best bet is to find a school that offers the following:

    a) Striking (Kickboxing, Muay Thai are great)
    b) Grappling (BJJ, Submission Wrestling)
    c) Mixed Classes

    That’s the real deal.

    Kevin Reply:

    My step bro took a similar martial art, but it was lacking in some areas(specifically the ground). Whenever we would spar, I found that he could strike more accurately and much harder than anybody of the same size that I trained with at my MMA gym, but he crumbled whenever I took him down because he couldn’t figure out what to do from his back. And when he would try and take me down, I’d end up taking his back almost immediately.
    Not saying to completely discard the idea, but just giving my experiences on traditional styles claiming to be mixed martial arts. Hopefully this helps :)

    CameronQ Reply:

    There are two Zendokai’s. One in Australia with a long history and one out of Japan based on a good stand up tradition (Mas Oyama’s Kyokushin Karate) and grappling. It is not bad but just fairly new so the leaders lack the depth of experience of some other places.

    But all that is not as relevant as the quality of the individual teacher’s ability to transmit wisdom. If you go and learn a lot and enjoy the environment and keep growing then great. There are good styles with bad teachers and vice versa.

    So try them out for a month and see how it feels inside.


  65. Greg

    Thoroughly enjoy your insights! As a trainer I observe poor exercise mechanics on a regular basis. There are far too many instances to name. However, I’ve always been intrigued by cardio machine junkies who slowly read the newspaper or engage in phone conversations while “burning fat”!!!!!!!!


  66. Mike

    Great point about bands! I think they have there place but punching is not one of them!


  67. AC

    People doing crunches to spot reduce.

    “Arm day”

    “Leg day” consisting of machine leg extensions, hamstring curls and calve raises….after a brutal 2 hour arm workout of course.

    Cable crossovers.

    Half reps Squats.

    Half rep bench press….”cuz my shoulder hurts if I touch my chest.”

    Pull-overs because Arnold did them.

    Anything on a Bosu ball. I don’t remember the last time the ground moved.

    60 minutes on the elliptical for “cardio”

    Biceps curls in the squat rack.

    Wrist curls to increase grip strength (In the squat rack obviously).

    Sitting down to perform every exercise.

    I’ll stop here.


  68. Peedy

    I’m gonna experiment a bit longer with this one before I say I agree. In one respect (and with all due respect to you) you are saying not to listen to the experts who advocate these things, but the flip side to that is how ‘expert’ are you at using these?

    There is definitely a WRONG way to use these, in accord with what you say. But if there is a wrong way there may also be a right way. If the user is aware of what you say, so uses the cables in a way that offers SOME resistance, but not so much that they cause technical breakdown, then I can see that the added resistance could work well. Also, if they are used as part of an overall training program that does drill punching technique correctly, they could be very useful.

    I have only just started using them and one benefit I DO find they help with is balance. The cable resistance forces you to center and load your weight in each punch on the correct leg which means you engage the core well. Too many punchers get the weight wrong, which is hard to correct without the guidance of a very good and experienced coach. These cables let you FEEL the balance well.

    It may not be as obvious to an experienced puncher as their weight and balance may already be good, but for the new student it could be invaluable.

    The jury is still out.

    Eric Reply:

    Touche – point well taken on the ‘experts’ front! However I am referring to guys who have very limited knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, physiology etc basically the exercise sciences… Because these types of exercises are the result of the lack of scientific training or higher level of study.

    Anyway, I’ve used them in the past with poor results (listening to fighters) and one point I can see that I failed to mention in the article is the increased risk of injury…

    It’s related to point #3 – the bands pull your arm back, you don’t have to… This shuts off the muscles that are responsible for this (external rotators of the shoulder, posterior delt, scap retractors, lats to some extent), and when you go to throw punches regularly, if the motor pattern is trained this way, you’ll basically throw your humerus (upper arm bone) out of the socket, causing a shoulder strain…

    This happens as well because of the mode that people use these – high reps, timed sets, meant to ‘burn’ the shoulders… This is taking bad form of an exercise and multiplying it by 20 in terms of imprint on the nervous system and motor patterning.

    There is no way to train punching with a band that doesn’t screw with your form, because the band cannot pull straight back (because your shoulder is in the way) so it has to be place slightly above and/or outside the shoulder, causing a pull up and/or out, screwing with the force vector… Maybe I’ll create a diagram if this is difficult to visualize.

    I’ll have to test out the balance thing myself though – from thinking about it, it may help, but I’ll try it out and get back to you. Thanks for the idea. But I still wouldn’t try to ‘punch’ with it – I’d do a press exercise in good form that doesn’t totally mimic the stance and mechanics of the punch, since if focusing on balance, we wouldn’t need to do this.

    CameronQ Reply:

    “so uses the cables in a way that offers SOME resistance, but not so much that they cause technical breakdown, then I can see that the added resistance could work well. Also, if they are used as part of an overall training program that does drill punching technique correctly, they could be very useful.”

    Good point.


  69. Landon

    Any type of full range sit-up, possibly the worst. Bad for your spine, and creates tight hip flexors.


  70. andrew

    I stopped going to the gym when the guys there started to do bench press with as much weight on the bar as gozilla could squat .they would have three spoters or more like lifters one of them would get ready to bench then the three would lower the bar down then lift it again because there is no way anyone could lift the bar. then they would pat the guy on the back that pretended to do the lift an say great lift.thats why i train at home no fakes there

    PH Reply:

    …thats how power lifters/football players/strong men train. With heavy weight and safety in mind. Don’t be so quick to judge until your under the bar!

    Jérémie Reply:

    yeah, that’s a way of training that could be use.. but it depends on the technique you have, some people just put too much weight and curve their back because it’s too much for them and they do the movement wrong, and maybe will have problems later.

    But it sure can be done well and it can be good sometimes.

    PH Reply:

    I don’t know how Eric feels about people posting other routines on his site – but I’m sure he’ll take it down if need be…

    Here’s an awesome PL style routine that works for all types of athletes….

    http://www.yale.edu/gradrugby/WS4SB.pdf


  71. elliott

    Totally agree with you on this one, when I was working with bands I would never hold them in my hands for those exact reason. I did however find that the were useful if I placed it around my hips (or core area). I have always believed that to build a strong and powerful punch you must have a strong and powerful core; and by placing the resistance on my hips instead of my hands I felt that I developed faster punches as a result. Think it over and let me know if what I suggest has any merit, would love to get your perspective.

    Eric Reply:

    DEFINITELY – the bands around the hips is a great exercise for training rotation speed. Highly recommended!

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