Banded Squat Drop Catch Progression (Why)

The drop-catch method was detailed in one of my previous posts (click here). It is a method that utilizes higher velocity loading schemes and less weight on the barbell to provide an overload stimulus to the athlete. It is centered around the idea of having to rapidly absorb a high(er) eccentric velocity loads over a shorter period of time and over a smaller range of motion.

The Banded Squat Drop

The banded squat drop can be used in the squat drop progression. Obviously, the banded version would come after the body weight and barbell versions, but the methods of application are the same.

Why used bands?

Bands are used because they are able to provide a velocity overload that could not be achieved otherwise. Unlike free-weights, bands are actively pulling you down to the earth (bands vs chains click here). Secondly, unlike a weight, the tension of the bands decrease as you get closer to the bottom range of the movement. This reduces some of the axial loading on the spine that would other wise not occur with free weights (band tension decreases).

 

Progression 1:3

The first progression is done by slightly lifting the feet off the floor (done to initiate all squat drop catch progressions) and allowing the bands to pull you down. It is important to note that just because you are “relaxing” your legs doesn’t mean you should relax the rest of your body. Stay tight throughout the core and maintain postural tension. The emphasis of this first movement is on the stick (1 second pause), with a moderate amount downward velocity.

 

Progression 2:3

The second progression now connects the the eccentric and concentric transition. Starting in a similar fashion, the athlete will drop down to the desired knee angle, then explode back up to the top without leaving the floor. Here, the athlete is forced to produce both an eccentric and concentric impulse (change in momentum)

 

Progression 3:3

The third progression has a little bit of both progressions 1 and 2 in it. Here, the athlete will drop down, explode up (like progression 2), but instead of stopping at the top of the movement, the athlete will jump up and leave the floor. By leaving the floor, the athlete is increasing their potential energy (height), which in turn will increase their downward kinetic energy. The increase in downward kinetic energy will force an even greater overload during the “sticking” portion of the movement. Similar to progression 1, the athlete will hold the bottom sticking position for 1 second and then reset the movement by standing back up.

*** You can see in this video I am not actively lifting my feet off the floor during the initial decent. However, this does not mean I am not “relaxing” my lower body. Coaches might prefer one way over the other***

 

 

Why not do continuous jumps?

Continuous jump can be done, however I wouldn’t advise doing them with a barbell and bands. I have found that it is easy to get out of position over the course of multiple reps, which can increase risk of injury.

Conclusion

These progressions are developed around the idea of increasing the athlete’s ability to absorb higher rates of eccentric force and transition the absorption into an aggressive┬áconcentric movement. Each progression increases the demands of the movement. Knowing how the overload is occurring (from velocity) can clear up why these progressions are done in this order.

Progression 1: (High velocity eccentric)

Progression 2: (High velocity eccentric with transition to concentric)

Progression 3: (High velocity eccentric with transition to highest velocity concentric action to highest velocity eccentric stick)

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