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Are you someone who uses bands and chains in your workouts? Do you see these in the gym but don’t know what how to use them?

Using bands and chains are incredibly effective as it allows the athlete to handle more weight in the top portion of the lift.

Here are 5 effective ways to utilise these tools for overhead pressing.

  1. Military Press with chains; As you lift the bar it will lift the chains adding load towards to the top part of the lift which is where you are most strongest. As the bar returns to starting position it will de-load the chains onto the floor making it easier for the athlete as this position is where most lifters are weak. The chains also demands more stability as it will force the athlete to stabilise the sway of the chains. Move with intend as 75% of the pressing phase will be when the chains are fully elevated from the floor.

  2. Band Assisted Overhead barbell press (bands in reverse); You can perform this from standing or kneeling depending on the assistance you require. The bottom part of the movement involves assistance but after the midway point you’ll experience 100% of the weight. From the kneeling position it’ll demand more core so I recommend alternating from standing to kneeling every other week when to shock the body.

  3. Band Resisted Overhead Press; This is a much more challenging as it requires much more stabilisation with a greater level of strength. This will increase the resistance loading back to the starting position feeling like a sling shot! If this feels too challenging then perform this from the kneeling position as it’ll reduce the tension in the bands.

  4. Chained Wrist Straps For Overhead Press; This will add instability on a different level for it will force the athlete to focus on tension, grip and awareness. This variation will alllow each side to be trained individually whilst working together.

  5. Earthquake Overhead Press With Bands & Kettlebells; By modifying the barbell with small resistance bands looped around a kettlebell either side will alter the band tension throughout the pressing movement as the bar reaches overhead. This is incredibly effective as it demands for more tempo to stop the kettlebells bouncing around, great for technique and stability training.

All the above are tools I will use with some of my strength athletes.

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