'); Resistance band vs Chain for deadlifts, squats, and bench.

Resistance band vs Chain for deadlifts, squats, and bench.

Band Vs Chain For Deadlifts, Squats, And Bench


When it comes to strength and muscle building, there are multiple factors that need to be taken care of. Training with bands and chains is a method that is being used by elite strength coaches to elevate the performance of their athletes. 

Resistance bands and chains both work on the principle of variable resistance training (VRT), it means the resistance changes at different point of the range of motion. 

For example: the resistance of a band is zero at the starting position but resistance starts to gradually go up as you stretch the band further. 

Incorporating chains and resistance bands is a dynamic method of strength training that allows the development of speed and maximum contraction for the development of absolute strength. 

Ahead in this article, we are going to understand the differences in training with resistance bands and chains.  

Why Train With Chains And Bands:

Variable resistance 

Variable resistance is my favorite subject to talk about, Variable resistance has been proven very efficient to improve the overall strength and speed.

Variable resistance is a type of training where resistance changes at different points of the range of motion. 

Our bodies are strongest at certain positions and vulnerable to injuries at some positions, for example, most Benchpress, squat, and deadlift accidents happen at the lowest position. Combining chains or bands with your resistance training can help in preventing injuries by reducing the resistance at the weakest part of the lift. 

Maximum tension

One thing that is common in bands and chains, they both allow the maximum contraction at the lockout position. Bands and chains can help in improving muscle activation and muscle contraction by increasing the resistance at the peak contraction. 

Chain vs Band:

Difference 1: Erratic load

Chains offer erratic load, which means when the load comes down, they don’t come in the straight direction, instead, they swing and wobble around which forces the stabilizer muscle to do the additional work. 

Stronger stabilizer muscles will not only improve the overall athletic performance but will also increase strength. 

On the other hand, Resistance bands bring the weight down in a straight line but they do increase the acceleration. 

Difference2: Versatility

Resistance bands are definitely more versatile than chains. 

While chains are recommended to experienced lifters with good strength levels, resistance bands can be used for different purposes. 

Whether you want some rehabilitation work, muscle activation, or absolute strength development, a resistance band can help you fulfill all the requirements. 

Another most distinctive difference between bands and chains is, chains can be only used to add resistance but resistance bands can be used to add resistance in some workouts and also act as a mechanical supporter for other workouts. 

For example, Incorporate a loop band into your deadlift routine and you will experience greater strength and muscle gains, and the same loop band can be used as a mechanical supporter to help you do more chin-ups. 

Difference3: Installation 

Proper installation of chains might be a little tricky for someone who is using them for the first time. You need to take care of the weight and length of the chain for optimum benefits. 

Resistance bands are relatively easy to set up, you just need to hook the resistance bands with the barbell and secure it with a Band Pegs Or T-handles available on the bench. 

Here is how to set up bands if you don’t have Band Pegs Or T-Handle:

How to setup chains for your workout

Difference 4: Portability

Bands are light weighted and one can easily carry a variety of bands easily in a backpack. You can carry a band while on vacation or for outdoor workouts. 

Chains on the other hand are heavy and can not be carried in backpacks. They are mostly are suitable for garage gyms only. 

Difference 5: Eccentric velocity

The weight of the chain is the same, thus it doesnt add the velocity of the barbell. On other hand, bands increase the eccentric velocity of the barbell by accelerating the returning speed. 

Bands add resistance by adding tension and chains adds resistance by adding weight

The more you stretch the band, the more eccentric velocity it will provide. This increased velocity requires additional forge generation by muscle tissues to stop the barbell from collapsing. 

This means we will have to produce more force at an equal load if the eccentric velocity is faster (its physics). It is all based on the impulse-momentum relationship. 

Difference 6: Durability

Chains are surely more durable than those rubber bands. Bands are entitled to snap after few years of consistent use.  

Resistance band vs Chain for deadlifts, squats, and bench. 

I like to include both and if you have a garage gym setup then I recommended having both, using chains and resistance bands will save you from purchasing the endless amount of weight plates. 

Resistance bands help in generating greater muscle hypertrophy by increasing the eccentric velocity. Chains add little wobbling and erratic factor to the movement which allows greater stabilization and results in improved overall performance. 

If you like to train at the gym then resistance bands will be a better solution since they are easy to carry around.  

We shortlisted the best quality chains and bands available in the market. Rogue Fitness is providing some high quality training accessories to improve your strength game.

Rogue Chain Kits in use on bench
Rogue Shorty Monster Bands aerial shot, with the band neatly on top of each other on the floor

Hey guys thanks for reading, let us know your thoughts on the article. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always.

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Harsh Chauhan

Hi there, I'm Harsh, personal trainer and chief editor at Alphamale.co. I started this blog with the intention to tap on every question that has been unanswered for many years. With an experience of more than a decade, my goal is to transform the lives of millions of our readers by offering authentic fitness knowledge.

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