Resistance Bands for Squats | Supercharge Your Leg Workout
In this post I want to tell you about using resistance bands for squats. Specifically, I’ll cover:
- Why it’s a good idea to do squats with resistance bands
- What kind of bands you can use for squats
- Different kinds of squat exercises using resistance bands
First let’s take a look at why the squat is known as:
The King of Leg Exercises
Simply put, there’s no exercise on the planet which is more effective than squats at building up your leg muscles. This is because they hit all the major muscle groups, including quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves, and force them to work together as one unit.
Recruiting so many large muscle groups in one movement means that the energy output of this exercise is through the roof. It’s a fact that high-intensity compound exercises burn the most calories and place the greatest stress on your muscle fibres.
Which means that squats are one of the best exercises for losing fat, as well as for creating huge strength adaptation in your leg muscles. They will create an anabolic, body-wide muscle building environment. Do squats and your whole body gets stronger.
But not everyone can do heavy weighted squats.
I, for one, can’t barbell squat anymore because it aggravates my old knee injury. And anyway, my goals have changed. These days I care a lot more about performance and health than I do about having huge legs. I certainly don’t miss the feeling of my thighs constantly chafing together.
Why should you use resistance bands for squats?
There are a ton of reasons why bands are super effective for strength training. One of the main ones is that the resistance level of elastic bands increases as they are stretched. As opposed to that of weights, which remains pretty much constant.
When you use bands for squats, you will get the highest resistance when you are in the highest position, with your legs almost fully extended. Since your legs are strongest at this point, they should be getting the highest level of resistance here.
When you use weights, you are limited in that you can only use the weight which your muscles are capable of lifting in their weakest position.
Resistance bands match the strength curve of your muscles. Basically, you get the right amount of resistance at exactly the right place.
Bands are also extremely versatile and can be used for many different leg exercises. Check out these 10 of the best leg exercises with bands.
What are the best resistance bands for squats?
Squat resistance bands fall into two categories: those that provide vertical linear resistance and those that provide horizontal concentric resistance.
For linear resistance, i.e. bands which increase the difficulty of pushing your body up vertically during squats, I recommend these two types:
Of the two, I’d say the 208cm bands are the best for squats because, being a loop, they can be used in a more versatile way. They also come in higher resistance (the blue band is ridiculously strong).
But the resistance tubes with handles are also a fine choice as they’re easy to use for squats, and they come with a door anchor so can be secured at different heights for doing other exercises.
Here’s how to use linear resistance bands for squats:
- Stand on the band and hold onto the other end of the loop (or the handles if using the tube) in front of you.
- Looking ahead and keeping your back straight, squat down as far as you can. Focus on keeping your knees in line with your feet, not falling forward or to either side.
- As you breathe out, drive through the heels and bring yourself back to a standing position.
Now let’s talk about glute bands:
Bands which apply concentric resistance don’t increase the linear difficulty of the exercise. Instead, they force a much greater engagement of your glute and hip muscles. Known as glute bands, hip bands or booty bands, these are perfect for building up your glute, hip and thigh muscles:
Check out this glute workout to see the full range of exercises you can do with these bands.
Here’s how to use them to add more glute burning intensity to your squats:
Loop the band around your legs, just above the knees and perform squats as usual. You should feel a much stronger burn in your glute and hip muscles.