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The Oldtime Strongmen of decades past were usually pictured lifting a heavy globe barbell or dumbbell overhead – which they certainly used – but there was another method of training that was incredibly popular with many of the old timers used that built incredible strength and power from every angle … and it wasn’t iron…
Power Benders have many names: chest expander… cables… strength bands… over in the UK they are even used in a competitive sport known as strand pulling… but no matter what you want to call them, they all mean one thing: STRENGTH. Chest Expanders were a part of the training of many of the greatest weightlifters and strongmen: Training With Chest Expanders How many different ways can you train with chest expanders? You are only limited by your imagination. Modern strongman Dennis Rogers likes to combine hand gripper training with chest expander training to build strength from a variety of angles in order to improve his steel bending strength.
Champion armwrestlers have also been known to use high-rep chest expander cable training to improve tendon strength.
Martial artists often use chest expanders to build grappling and striking power – they prefer the “live” feel of chest expanders over traditional weights. If you are looking to add variety to your program, a set of chest expanders will be your best bet. We have currently found over 300 different upper and lower body chest expander movements. The possibilities are endless… Expander training is also a perfect option if you are working around an injury. We have heard from many people who have a hard time for one reason or another with barbells or dumbbells but can still train the essential muscle groups with their expanders.
Now, there have been many different versions of chest expanders over the years, most of which used either rubber tubing or steel springs for resistance.While the steel spring versions were durable, the springs often got caught in loose skin or clothing during use – ouch! Please use extreme caution if you are still training with a set of steel-spring expanders.You’ll find that almost all of the oldtime strongmen trained with rubber-cabled chest expanders.Rubber cables are light weight, effective, and didn’t have the potential to “bite” that the steel-springed versions had and that makes a pretty compelling arguement…
This is why, when it comes to expanders, we recommend rubber expanders over the steel-sping expanders any day of the week.