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Jump Stretch Single Pack Flexbands
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- Pack of 4 bands, one of each Mini #2 - 25 pound, Light #4 50 Pound, Average #5 - 75 pound & Strong#6 - 100 pound. Train Quick to be Quick
- Increasing Speed, Improving Vertical Jump
- Alleviating Back Pain
- Physical Therapy
- Strength Training
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|Item Weight||—||0.9 lb||2.47 ounces||3.88 ounces||—||—|
Pack of 4 bands, one of each Mini #2 - 25 pound, Light #4 50 Pound, Average #5 - 75 pound & Strong#6 - 100 pound. Train Quick to be Quick. - 20 years experience in rubber band strength training- No Bonding, moulding or seams are used. - Jump Stretch Bands are built in layers on mandrels with no seams for potential breakage. They are backed by full 1 year warranty - 41" long. -Color and label may vary depending on what Jumpstretch provides
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Missing are two critical bands, the #1 "Micro" (6 pounds), the lightest of all and the #3 "Monster Mini" (35 pounds). They are far more useful for the average athlete or sports lover than for instance #6. The set is geared to the well conditioned and superbly fit 3F club members (physical fitness fanatics).
This slight imbalance in the composition of the pack is the only reason for my attributing 4 stars, while the quality of the bands does command a full 5-star rating.
The conclusion is inescapable: What is blatantly missing in the line of Jumpstretch band offerings is a 6-pack, with all the bands from #1 to #6.
When I got my 4-pack directly from JumpStretch, I prudently added to the set the missing "Micro" and "Monster Mini". Most were marked "SSR band by Hedstrom", which is a rubber company in Ashland, OH. Only #3 ("Monster Mini") bore a Jumpstretch logo, and is thicker (1/4") than the SSR Hedstrom ones (all 4.5mm). This #3 "Monster Mini" may come from a different manufacturer, and it may simply be related to the manufacturing of the "Monster" Band #7 (150 pounds), which also is 6.5 mm thick.
Also one of each only is not a perfect solution. It is best to get the bands by pairs, as many exercises require using a pair.
SSR stands for "Strength, Stretching, and Rehabilitation". Jumpstretch initially called these Sri Lanka rubber bands "resistance" bands, "stretch" bands, "training" bands, now they are "flex" bands.
The SSR bands are all the same thickness 4.5 mm, with the various strengths achieved by cutting them in increasing width. The rubber is made by assembling layers, which increase their durability and performance (same idea as the plywood concept of Alfred Nobel's firm).
The bands are 41" long, and their resistance force is measured in pounds when stretched to 72" (6 feet): "Micro" Flex Band #1 (6 pounds), "Mini" Flex Band #2 (25 pounds), "Monster Mini" #3 (35 pounds), "Light" Flex Band #4 (50 pounds), "Average" Flex Band #5 (75 pounds), and "Strong" Flex Band #6 (100 pounds). The formidably strong band, aptly called "Monster" Flex Band #7 (150 pounds) is not for us, amateur fitness addicts!
They can be stretched even further, most easily to 100", with corresponding higher resistance. Manufacturers claim they can stretch 2.5 times their length, that is up to 102.5", although of course it's not a good idea to go to extreme stretching. For extra length and extra resistance, it is simpler to link a second band to the first one. Many dynamic exercises (running, jumping, exploding) are in fact done with a chain of 2 bands, even 3 bands.
They're light, and do deliver what they promise. They are easy to pack in any travel bag, and, by adding handles and door "harness" (allowing anchoring bands to door frames), the set can serve as a convenient portable gym for travels, permitting a huge range of exercises. A pair of smooth leather gloves can be helpful for some exercises. The bands can be used for exercises geared to functional training for the specific motions of any given sport. They allow training flexibility, dynamic, and explosive motions in a way that weights cannot deliver.
One retailer warns against "Chinese made" bands. If they exist, they must be the cheapo ones. The best way is to buy from a reputable outfit, like Amazon or IdeaMobility, and insist on the well-known brands, Jumpstretch or SSR by Hedstrom. Saving a few bucks on unknown brands and low quality is not worth it.
If you visit the IdeaMobility site, you will see a set of five Hedstrom bands being offered, from #1 to #5, which is more than plenty for most athletes. Well trained athletes with established strength can also use #6 (included in the full set I bought, in a Walter Mitty mood, but still found useful for special exercises involving the powerful glutei and leg muscles, such as squats, shrugs, deadlifts, and Good Mornings). Amazon carries the full range of the 7 Jumpstretch bands.
JumpStretch now calls itself with the more grandiose-sounding name "FLEX PERFORMANCE". The new name is much less memorable, as everybody in the fitness business uses and abuses "performance", often with "ultimate". All those names sound the same. I feel the change of name was a mistake, since "Jumpstretch" was well established and distinctive. The firm is still based in North Lima, OH.
On its site, and also here on Amazon, the full range of 6 resistance bands is shown, from #1 ("micro"), #2 ("mini"), #3 ("monster mini") to #4 ("light" !), #5 ("average" !), #6 ("strong"), and #7 ("monster"). The names "light", "average", and "strong" for the top 3 bands are a description suited to very fit and conditioned athletes already in serious training for competition and sports teams (the biggest market for the bands).
For the rest of us, who are not in obsessive training mode, those names are a bit of a joke, as we may well apply them to the first three bands, #1 to #3.
Still, as mentioned, if you have gained any basic endurance and strength, the three upper numbers, #4, #5, and #6, will prove very useful for special exercises involving hip and leg strength: box squats, shrugs, deadlifts, Good Mornings.
One advantage of doing these hip and leg exercises with one of the three upper numbers is that you can slide your grip up or down to find the fine adjustment of resistance to your actual strength. You cannot reach this kind of fine adjustment with weights or cables.
JumpStretch/Flex Performance also sells instruction DVDs, definitely worth having: "Basics" and "Resistance Training" are a must to learn how to use the bands in all kinds of stretches and strength applications. There's also "Advanced Training", more suited to coaches, teams, and gyms, and of little use for home exercising.
You can watch the aging coach Dick Hartzell huffing and puffing, jumping and hopping around in a few frames as if he were a 20-year old, dressed up to the neck and never showing his legs.
The team of instructors (all very good) keep reminding you what a great purchase you've made -- the equivalent of a full room of equipment in a set of bands ("Only $20 worth of bands! Great value"!). The marketing spiel is laid a bit too thick for my taste, sounding like late-night TV marketing, but perhaps necessary in the Midwest.
The site also offers various accessories, some for home use are very useful -- the door harness, allowing you to use the bands affixed to a door frame; a pair of handles; and a strap to keep two bands together on your shoulders, for instance in squatting -- with most others being for professional instruction and gyms. This is where I got my 6 bands and my 3 DVDs.
Note that the #7 band is probably used to train circus elephants, or their football equivalents. #6 and #7 (not offered in the Hedstrom catalogue) can also be found as RogueMonster bands, definitely only for freak powerhouses, or those who may have been 600-pound gorillas in a previous life.
Although initially publicized and marketed by JumpStretch/Flex Performance, the original manufacturer probably is Hedstrom, everybody else being just a distributor or retailer. The bands are made in Sri Lanka, and are of excellent quality.
For a trained athlete, or a member of the "3F club" (physical fitness fanatics), it is tempting to disregard the lightest bands, #1 and #2, as any fit person will consider himself/herself strong enough to handle #3 and upwards. But the lightest bands are very important. First of all, most women may prefer them to the stronger numbers. And males who are not well trained and lacking in reliable strength will find the lightest bands challenging enough. The first 3 numbers should be more than enough for the average person. Only athletes in training will consider the upper 3 numbers (#4, #5, and #6), but for them, those three upper numbers are most valuable and should not be ignored.
And the lower numbers #1 and #2 offer the right level of resistance for warmup exercises that are not meant to tire the muscles. Watch the excellent demonstration video on YouTube of golfer Trevor Immelman doing a pretty effective warmup for shoulder and thoracic mobility with five good basic exercises using what looks to me like #1 (Don't be put off by the pompous name of "G2 Fitness SSR Bands" for the video).
Most importantly, these light bands are indispensable when working the shoulder. In the event of an injury, or in the case of a need for physical therapy or rehab work, it is mandatory to start working with the smallest resistances.
But even when training a healthy shoulder, #1 and #2 are a must. In fact these lightest bands, #1 and #2, are indispensable to train the rotator cuff muscles of the shoulder.
The shoulder and the arm are moved by large, strong, muscles that provide the power to athletic motions. We all know those impressive-looking muscles, pectoralis, deltoids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi. Males believe (not wrongly) that females are turned on by the sight of those bulging muscles on the chest, the shoulder and the back. The male is by evolution, since we left the protection of the trees to venture into the savannah of Africa, the protector, and these bulging muscles are what signal to his small tribe the power of the male.
However, not so visible to the females on the beach watching the parade of the strong males strutting their stuff, the joint of the shoulder itself is held together in place by four small muscles lying underneath the large ones. Those tiny muscles are the ones which provide the infrastructure of the shoulders, and those that get most easily injured or damaged, either when the load put on the shoulder becomes excessive, or in case of trauma -- blow, fall, or accident. Shoulder pains are said to be among the most excruciating ones in the body. And the male who can no longer carry his big stick on the savannah is of not much use to the nursing females following behind.
The names of these "rotator cuff" muscles should be more familiar: supraspinatus (on top of the scapula), infraspinatus, teres minor (both on the posterior side of the scapula, under the trapezius), and subscapularis (on the anterior side of the scapula, next to the rib cage). They all originate on the scapula and reach over to the head of the humerus (upper arm bone) which ends with a ball held in place in its socket, the glenoid cavity, by those four tiny "rotator cuff" muscles.
These tiny muscles can be strengthened, or rehabilitated after injury, with delicate and precise exercises that require the use of the light resistances offered by #1 and #2. (and dumbbells of 1 to 5 lbs, even a bit higher once you've acquired solid strength, perhaps 7-8 lbs, but only for proven strong rotator cuff muscles). It is far easier to damage one of those delicate muscles than to train them.
As soon as the athlete feels confident, becomes ambitious, and starts using heavier loads or resistances, the exercises for the rotator cuff are defeated because the movement is taken over by the larger muscles which are the only ones that can handle the heavy load -- pecs, delts, trapezius, rhomboids, lats, even serratus anterior. As soon as they get into the act as prime movers, the four rotator cuff muscles are bypassed and no longer challenged.
The shoulder joint remains the most versatile, the most mobile, and the most exposed to accidents and overuse. Exercising the four small muscles of the rotator cuff is a fundamental part of any fitness program aimed at the shoulder. Light dumbbells are of course extremely valuable, but in terms of bands, #1 and #2 are the most useful.
So, when you buy a set of those Jumpstretch, or SSR by Hedstrom bands, by all means, do include the "micro" band #1, and the "mini" band #2. The goal for the trained athlete or the serious sport lover, is to have a set of the four to six numbers, from #1 to #4, #5, and #6.
But starting with the lowest numbers is the safe way to proceed. Many females will be most happy with #1, #2, and only the very fit ones will be able to handle #3.
Getting a pair of each is the best strategy. Alongside a set of light dumbbells, from 1 to 10 lbs. And then you're set.
after washing them. Bottom line is be aware of this if you have a sensitivity to latex.