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by Thomas Kurz
I am reading a book by a former European and multiple Italian national kickboxing champion. In one section he debates elastic band training vs. light weight training (throwing a punch with a light dumbbell or a kick with an ankle weight, or throwing a medicine ball) as methods of increasing explosiveness. He states that “due to its nature, elastic resistance worsens techniques (punches or kicks) because of increasing tension during the moment of impact instead of exploding exactly in that moment.”
This statement has some logic to it. But I did elastic band training, as shown on your DVD Power High Kicks with No Warm-Up!, with good results, even kicking and punching the bag with the resistance of elastic bungee cords. A boxing instructor once warned me to train without combining a thrust to the bag, for the same reason the kickboxing champion stated. Now, I’d like your opinion on this subject: For increasing power is it better to throw punches and kicks with light weights, or is it better to use elastic bands?
How much an elastic band or cord slows you down depends on its tension and length. Experiment to find the best combination of tension and length so your strikes are not slowed too much–with the right resistance they should flow if you want to improve your explosiveness. With weights, too, you need to find the weight you can move quickly without injuring your joints. If the weights are too heavy for a given technique, you will instinctively slow down your strikes as well. What is too heavy? Whatever slows your technique down. . . . But if you think you are moving at full speed yet you wince or grimace, then the resistance is too great for keeping good technique and is damaging your joints.
Now, if you want to find weak points in your technique and strengthen them, then you may use heavy resistance, whether weights or elastic bands, but you must do the movements slowly.
Either way, fast or slow, you must know your techniques well, to the smallest detail, to benefit from doing them against resistance.
Resource for Further Study
Power High Kicks with No Warm-Up!
The best instruction for power in high kicks!
Learn everything there is to know about kicks: fundamentals, footwork, drills, developing power, and technical tips for power and great height with no warm-up. See proven sequences of exercises that develop all these kicks:
Knee kick • Front kick • Side kick • Back kick
Roundhouse kick • Crescent kick • Hook kick
If you have any questions on training you can post them at Stadion’s Sports and Martial Arts Training Discussion Forum