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Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

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When most people think of abdominal exercises, they think of slow, deliberate movements with squeezing and tightening, which is fine.

But other than keeping your guts in, stabilizing your core area, and looking good, what ELSE are your abs designed for?

How about explosive power! It's THE most neglected aspect of abdominal conditioning that can have the greatest effect on your athletic performance.

Most abdominal exercises do not use anything even close to a powerful stroke. Normally, when you see ab exercises done, they're done (like I mentioned above) in a very deliberate manner.

And for the most part, it's actually better that way. If you try and use momentum and explosiveness with a crunch, you don't get any muscle tension and get almost nothing out of it. If you use explosiveness in a weighted exercise, you put dangerous torque on the body.

That's where bands come in.

With bands, you get the resistance AND you get the built-in deceleration of the band as it stretches out. Bottom line, you can explode into a band HARD and not have to worry about hurting yourself because the band will stop the momentum very effectively!

With this exercise, you're going to use two bands - one high and one low. You're going to wrap one around your knee and grab the other with your hand. Then you're going to explode up with your knee while simultaneously yanking down with your hand.

The abs bear the brunt of this and will really get burning fast!

This is a GREAT exercise if you're interested in developing sprint speed. It's also an excellent one for martial artists as it helps developing kneeing and kicking power.

The reason this exercise is so good for developing sprint speed lies in the hip flexors. One of the biggest factors in running speed is the ability to get your leg back in front of you as quickly and explosively as possible.

When you get to a certain level and overall leg and body power is maximized, hip flexor explosiveness is HUGE. This exercise, in addition to training the abs, hits the hip flexors with explosive training. VERY effective for improving leg speed.

I always recommend IronWoody Training bands for all band work. Great prices and great quality. Get your training bands by clicking here.


How To Do It:

So to perform this exercise, you'll need two bands. I like to use reasonably thick bands (the green ones, if you're using the IronWoody bands I mentioned above) to get a really powerful movement.

Attach one band to something low and behind you while attaching the other band to something higher up and in front of you.

I use a cable cross-over machine (not attaching to the cables but using the frame of the machine). I attach the low band to one upright and the high band to the cross-beam on the other end.

Step inside the band with your right leg then pull the band up so that it's just above your left knee.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Now reach forward and grab the other band that's hanging down in front of you with your OPPOSING hand - e.g. if the band is on your left leg, grab it with your right hand). The bands should be hitched around these objects (demo at the bottom of the page on how to hitch bands if you need it).

That's your start position.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Now, with an explosive movement, drive your knee up as high as you can while bringing your arm down as hard as you can.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Step down and pause briefly at the bottom then repeat until you feel you can't put a lot of explosiveness into the movement - you'll know this by feel. Generally, with a powerful movement, it's about 4 to 6 reps.

Next, what I like to do is when I can't do more reps holding with the one hand, I'll grab the band with BOTH hands and continue.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Generally, it's the upper body that fatigues first, so switching to both arms allows you to keep going and burning out the abs and hip flexors.

Do several reps of this fast and explosively. With this variation, I like to omit the pause at the bottom and just barely touch my foot to the ground before exploding right back up.

Because you're gripping the band with both hands, your balance is better and you should be able to pop right back up pretty well.

When you're toasted on the one side, let go of the band then step back and let it drop off your knee.

Change legs and pull the band up above your OTHER knee.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Repeat the same procedure as above, grabbing the band with your left hand and bringing the two together. Again, finish with both arms on the band.

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

Explosive Band Knee-Ups For Hitting Hips Flexors and Increasing Your Running Speed

To really get an idea of the explosiveness of this exercise, be sure to watch the video. Still pictures don't give you the real impression of how powerfully this exercise should be done.

So if you want to improve abdominal power and explosiveness and increase your leg speed when sprinting, give this one a try!



 
 

 
 

How To Hitch a Band

It's very easy! First, throw the band on top of the horizontal bar so the two ends are dangling. Now, just pull one end through the loop of the other. Pull that end through as far as it can go and you're all set and secured!

How To Hitch a BandHow To Hitch a Band


Remember, if you need bands, I always recommend IronWoody Training bands for all band work.
Great prices and great quality. Get your training bands by clicking here.

 


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