QBANDS for professional sport: recovery, training, and performance
Dr. Andy Barr, working in professional sport for over 20years, found himself ideating a tool that could advance the custom program tailored for each unique athlete, whether he was working with them or not. The idea centered around the patterns he noticed, the different points in research suggesting the importance of core activation as a means for not only injury risk reduction but also performance maximization, building something that is all encompassing, and is something with a versatility that can be used anywhere. Andy wanted to create a way to train athletes within the environment that they play in and to perform the actions they do in a game so the training transfers into their sport.
Honoring that maximizing a human being’s ability to play sport is a continually evolving art, Andy started to literally hand-make different resistance band systems. Along this journey he learned what he needed to create a top of the line, elite training band system that allows each and every unique athlete to maximize their recovery—training programs. It had to be something that was of very high quality and trustworthy for athletes to use, with durability and mindfulness built into the product. Out of this the Quantum Performance Bands, or QBands, were created.
What are QBANDS?
QBands are a one of a kind resistance Training/ Performance/ Rehabilitation Training tool to help with activating core muscle engagement, improving functional strength and power, motor control, and programming coordination/ alignment of the body. This tool helps athletes and practitioners to take their programming to the next level!
Because of Dr. Barr’s experience and proximity to top athletes in the world, he was privileged to be able to develop the QBands alongside a very eclectic set of athletes, from all walks of life, from many areas of the world… soccer, basketball, baseball, football athletes… What this meant was that Andy could apply a one-size-fits-all concept to add a training tool to each athlete and their health team, if applicable. It could add a layered progression to core activation and body control to influence longevity the very advanced variable resistance therapies that area incorporated.
QBANDS for performance
In conjunction with the dynamic application of the QBands, Andy applied his different analysis and strategies, “The product was developed so that we could zoom in on a specific joint or we could zoom out through the connecting points of the chain all the way to a whole body application. Also, the product was intended to be utilized along the cycle of rest & recovery, training & programming, performance preparation, and performance maximization. Among many benefits realized, something that stood out were progressions to an athlete’s general motor control along their entire kinetic chain. So by applying different attachments to different parts of the body, we could mimic game situations that would be proprioceptively beneficial in addition to enhancing each athlete’s core activation.”
Another way to describe the usefulness of the Qbands to Andy’s specialty physical therapy and performance practice is they helped him “work from the top down.” About his philosophy and strategies working with players like Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets, Dr. Barr says;
Q BANDS Philosophy
I think my general philosophy now is you have to really understand the dynamics of the game and what is the game, as the starting point, and you work backwards from there. I have more of a top-down approach rather than creating objective references from a practitioner level and trying to get your athletes to reach the those objective references. I try and create them from a sport level so everything is relevant to the sport. This with communication makes greater buy in for the athlete greater integration and collaboration with the coach and staff and the people that you work with. So my philosophy is about being as sports specific as possible, using sports specific language, like using sports specific references, and then and having a pathway that delivers the athlete back into the demands of the sport that are specific to their position and to what they need as an individual.
The integration of Qbands alongside the high performance care continuum had a noticeable impact on the athletes that utilized it. They even directly reported benefit and preferred to use it! A state of freshness and readiness was something that stood out to Andy as he progressed into even using the Qbands pregame. If an athlete could be given a key to unlock the activation of their core, maybe an athlete can not only decrease injury potential (especially of the non-contact variety) but also maximize their performance potential!
With so many elements that are out of anyone’s control, training and preparing as close to game-like conditions as possible is best. To give an athlete optimal function of their body is one of Andy’s highest order goals. The ideal is for an athlete to have masterful control of their joints, or movement production at the different joints that integrate into the specific functional actions required when they are playing their sport.
This circles back to the reason the QBand system was created, to have a way to train athletes within the environment that they play in while performing the actions that they typically perform in a game so that they can benefit from a transfer between training and performance. The Qbands allows practitioners like personal trainers, athletic trainers, or physical therapists to get an athlete training actions that are like what they do in a game except with resistance and external challenges. For a practitioner to identify movements within an action that need to be challenged or have more control when they're performing that action in practice or a game, gives them a tool to directly impact the athletes movement while simultaneously challenging and activating the core.
QBANDS benefits for sports
The core is the central foundation that transmits the force from the lower to the upper body. It helps with an athlete’s ability to dissociate the movements from the upper to the lower body, and then provide the control of center mass, which is extremely important. In creating this type of core proprioception and activation, one is fundamentally helping an athlete execute their actions more effectively, efficiently, and safely. In many ways, the QBands help create an alignment of the athlete’s systems to maximize their sport specific movements.
QBANDS for training
To begin with the Q Bands, start to think about incorporating them in ways in which the athlete moves in a game. Simulate an environment that puts the athlete in a position that the regularly find themselves in the game. Working with the QBands allows a physical therapist to que the core engagement of the athlete while performing functional movment! Or another way to frame it, take the program you are doing right now and add the QBand system to each exercise. Look at the QBands like a new layer to the established training program to force core activation and challenge movements that help build resiliency.
When using Qbands, ask the general questions like: “what actions is the athlete performing within the game? Where do they need more robustness? How well are they changing direction? A common finding regarding movement faults can be seen during deceleration and/or deceleration to acceleration. As an athlete decelerates, they can lose momentum in certain direction(s). The Qbands allow the this extra resistance layer to be added where the key movements are poorly controlled. Key movements that can be addressed with the Quantum Performance system include elements like hip internal rotation, hip flexion, hip adduction, tibial external rotation, foot pronation, lumbar extension, or lumbar rotation. When applied appropriately, the tension from the QBands is going to encourage more facilitation of alignment and control of those mentioned movements when the player is performing a specific action.
QBANDS for athletes
For instance, if it's a jump shot, maybe an exercise where they're doing a drop squat or jumping land. With the QBands on, it will automatically pull them into the direction that we don't want them to go. So they have to resist that. So then when you take the system off, it's so much easier for them to do when they're in real time, because they've already primed the muscles that they need to control those movements. They can control that momentum and avoid injury but become more efficient to then change direction or to decelerate then to accelerate. Sports specific actions are a powerful use of the QBands ,and you can just break it down to just very basic movement exercises or basic exercises, focusing on specific movements, and then integrate that into game style exercises targeting the movements that you're trying to look at.
For instance, if a player is working on a drop step, in basketball, and what you notice is as they do the drop step, they're not controlling the hip internal rotation very well. You can then do an exercise with the Qbands in which is more of a floor work exercise that encourages better activation or control of the agonist and antagonist muscle groups that control hip rotation. And then as they go into performing the action that you can then use the QBands to pull and challenge the hip into internal rotation, so that they have to resist it as they perform the action. This example encourages an external rotation focus when they're performing the action so better overall outcomes are more likely achieved.
Purchasing the QBands is easy on our website: www.qbands.co . When you make a purchase you receive access to our online exercise library that includes hundreds of videos with goal oriented, body specific and sport specific exercises. We are confident that you will find the benefits of the QBands. Empowering athletes and trainers alike, together we can raise the standard of sports training and maximize the athletic potential in everyone!