Back squatting in general is a great addition to any strength and conditioning program. I would argue that everyone should be squatting in their exercise routines. Squatting is a compound movement meaning it uses and challenges multiple joints and body parts. Squatting requires and builds quad strength, hamstring strength, glute strength, core strength, and back strength to name just a few of its benefits. Squatting allows one to progressively load the body and joints leading to amazing benefits in joint integrity and longevity. There are many variations of the squat from back squats, front squats, overhead squats, box squats, belt squats, goblet squats, and many more. Let's talk about the banded back squat though!
How To Set Up a Banded Back Squat?
The set up for a banded back squat looks similar to this.
The bands are anchored to something below and wrap around the barbell. Be careful setting this up; you may need two people depending on the tension of the bands so that you don't flip the barbell out of the rack when you put one side under tension of the band. It is ideal to use a rig that has extensions on the bottom for anchoring the band; however you could also use very heavy kettlebells or dumbbells as your anchors as well. Make sure the bands will allow for a vertical pull once your positioned within them so that the tension is not pulling you too far forward or backward.
Benefits Of The Banded Back Squat
1) It increases the demand of the core and back musculature from the very beginning due to the compression force it promotes as you unrack the bar.
2) It increases the demand of the quads, hamstrings, and glutes as it adds resistance to the lift on top of the weight that you are using.
3) It creates a control/stability challenge during the eccentric (lowering) portion of the squat that is unique and different from your traditional back squat. This will translate to improved strength and control during the eccentric phase of the squat and will further challenge to the proprioceptive system promoting improvements in you squat mechanics.
4) The increased and progressive tension from the band on the concentric (rising) phase will help you to build the strength you need to "get out of the hole" during a heavier squat/lift. The banded back squat is unforgiving in that sticky part of the squat; an area where lifts are often failed.
Try them out the next time you're squatting and experience the benefits for yourself!
Written by: Marissa Oxenford, PT, DPT, CMFA-cert, CF-L1 Trainer, CPT