Resistance bands have been my favorite piece of gym equipment for the last few years. I train myself with them multiple times a week.
And as a personal trainer, every client I train each week does at least 3 movements per session with bands.
Training your entire body is important to gain muscle mass safe to say they all spend plenty of time in the squat position every week.
There are literally thousands of videos on youtube of people training with resistance bands.
But they seem to be mostly showing how to train your upper body.
And admittedly it’s pretty easy to put together a video of upper movements with bands, hell it’s easy to write and do an upper body workout with bands.
But training your legs isn’t as obvious or easy.
Sure you can find lots of ‘booty’ workouts with the smaller loop bands.
Plenty of women are using those bands for hips and glutes.
But what about quads and hamstrings?
Squats and deadlifts are actually pretty straightforward with bands.
Not too dissimilar for a front squat or a deadlift with a barbell.
As you can see from the pictures below the setup for both movements is the same.
Resistance band squats have almost the same starting position as barbell squats.
Just like all squat variations, you start with your feet shoulder-width apart, just like any squat exercise you do with free weights proper form through the entire movement is important.
There are plenty of different ways to do standard squats but my favorite is with heavy resistance bands!
One problem you may find with banded squats though is, your legs are made up of big strong muscles.
And big strong muscles need a lot of resistance.
So for some people, it’s not going to feel that effective unless you use a few of my little hacks for getting more out of banded squats.
All you need to do is either double up your bands or slow down the reps.
These two tricks will help you get much more out of banded squats, you can even pair my two hacks up if you want!
That right the first hack is pretty obvious really.
Just use more bands.
There are no rules out there that say you can only use one band at a time.
So why not try setting 2 up and going from there.
I do this all the time when I find myself progressing and to the point where I’m in between two band levels.
So by adding a smaller band as well I can progress just that little bit more than I need.
Get more out of a banded squat by slowing it down.
You can do this in a couple of ways.
You can slow down the whole movement or you can just slow the eccentric phase of the movement.
I like to mix it up.
Some days I’ll stand up at a normally controlled pace but lower back down into the squat for 8 seconds.
Other days I’ll do reps at 5-8 seconds up and then 5-8 seconds back down.
This is a great way to get more out of any exercise, but it works particularly well with resistance bands.
Resistance bands keep tension on your muscles through the whole range of motion.
So by doing your squats lower you will fatigue your muscles much faster.
Resulting in a harder rep towards the end of each set.
I speak about this in more detail in my FREE Ebook Train Wherever The F*ck You Want.
I also include a sample training program to get you started with resistance bands.
You can download your free copy here.
Like I said earlier resistance bands are a great tool for getting more out of squats.
But did you know that it doesn’t just stop with taking bodyweight squats a step further?
You can also use them to get more out of weighted squats as well.
Two techniques I use to help clients get out of a plateau with back squats both involve resistance bands and kettlebells for that matter.
The first is to take two heavy kettlebells and tie a band around the handle of each.
You then place the kettlebells at the bottom of the squat rack at either end of the bar.
Take the other end of the resistance band and loop it over the end of the barbell.
So you know have both ends of the barbell tied to a heavy kettlebell.
Now when you do your back squat like normal, you won’t notice too much of a difference on the way down.
But on the way back up the weight gets heavy as more tension comes into the band.
The barbell literally gets heavier the more you stand up.
Making it hard and harder as your legs fatigue into the movement.
The second trick is very similar.
Only this time you want to use lighter kettlebells and a very strong band so that the kettlebell is raised off the floor.
Try not to let them swing around for safety reasons.
With this technique, as you lower down into the squat eventually the kettlebells touch the floor and the movement starts to get a little easier.
But then as you stand back up it gets more difficult as the bands come off the ground.
Both of these techniques are great for getting more out of squats.
The latter is also a great technique for more stabilizing muscles as the kettlebells move around a bit.
Squats are great for more than just building tree truck quads.
Some of the benefits are functional strength, weight loss, and injury prevention.
Whenever you see elderly people struggling to get up and down out of a chair a big cause of this is the fact they stopped exercising.
You see, as you get older your muscles start to waste away.
Even faster when you stop doing anything.
And the crazy thing is, you don’t have to do as much as you think to prevent this from moving into your later years.
Getting up and down from the couch and walking upstairs are basic functional movements we should all be able to do.
And an exercise regime that has squats in it keeps the muscles strong that perform those tasks.
And you don’t need to be doing big sets with a heavy bar to achieve this.
Just 3-4 sets of body weights squat a few times a week will make sure you stay fit enough for these very basic movements for the rest of your life.
Performing a squat involves a lot of muscles.
You’re using all the muscles in your legs, plus all the muscles in your core to keep you upright.
Your legs have some of the biggest muscles in your body.
It requires a lot of energy to move big muscles.
So doing squats burn calories.
And the general rule of weight loss is calories in versus calories out.
So the best way to do this is by eating fewer calories and doing exercise that is also burning calories.
Squats are one of those movements that are going to help you on your way to your goal weight.
Knees and ankles and a common joint for injuries.
So to help prevent that you need to build strong muscles on either side of the joint to help stabilize it.
Squats are going to do just that.
Squats are working all the muscles in your legs.
And when you go through the full range of motion you are ensuring that all the muscles involved in your knee and ankle are working.
You can take this further by building up to doing a single leg squat or pistol squat.
This doesn’t require as much strength as you would think.
Sure you have to have strong legs but mobility is the bigger issue with pistols.
So not only are you going to build stronger muscles in your legs by practicing pistols.
You are also going to improve the mobility in your ankle to ensure that all the muscles in your ankle are engaged when you do any squat variation.
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The two main types of resistance bands I use are a loop band and then bands with handles.
And honestly, either one is fine for doing squats with.
But a loop band is going to be easier to work the right muscles.
With the handles is going to end up being more of a deadlift than a squat.
With the loop band, you can stand inside the band with the other end of the band upon your shoulders in a front rack position.
In my program ripped with resistance bands, we take common bodyweight exercises to another level with the extra resistance from a set of bands.
The whole program is built around resistance band exercises going through all the muscle groups in the body.
Squats are the main lower body exercise we use, but we do a few variations like a traditional squat, front squats, overhead squats, and cossack squats.
But for me, a big loop resistance band is the best for squats, regular squats should be in any strength training workout routine, and with a large loop band, you can replace heavy weights with the resistance of the band.
Resistance bands are a great tool for burner fat.
Not only can you work your muscles for a lot longer by maintaining tension for longer.
They can be great tools for doing a simple HIIT workout anywhere.
Check out this video I posted showing an easy-to-follow workout that only uses 1 resistance band.
Something a lot of people realize about burning fat and building muscle is the two really do go hand in hand.
Never mind the myth that fast turns into muscle.
It doesn’t work like that.
What I mean is as you build more muscle your body requires more fuel to move.
Meaning the more muscle you have the more calories you burn.
With a set of resistance bands, you can be doing a few works a week to build muscles.
You can then use the same set of bands and do a few high-intensity workouts a week to help burn more calories!
So get yourself your FREE copy of my EBook.
Not only do I give you a full breakdown of how to train your whole body.
I give you a week’s worth of workouts to try out.
You can then head over to my YouTube channel and find even more workouts you can follow along with!