Band Resistance Band Squats: A Solution?
The knee joint is one of the most vulnerable joints in your body. If it gets injured, you may suffer from a long list of problems such as sprains, tears, strains and even arthritis. However, there are some exercises which can help prevent these injuries or at least minimize their severity. These exercises include the use of resistance bands.
A common problem among lifters is the inability to perform the squat correctly without using bands. Many times, they get stuck in a rut where they cannot progress because of poor form. There are many reasons why this happens, but the main reason is due to lack of practice and/or bad technique. The solution for these issues lies within the use of bands and other resistance devices such as dumbbells or kettle bells.
Bands can be used to improve your squatting technique. They can also be used to strengthen the muscles around the knees and ankles, thus improving your ability to maintain proper alignment while performing squats. The bands can also be utilized as part of a total body workout program. For example, you could do them after doing pull ups or dips for upper body work. If it’s too heavy, you may not be able to complete the movement without hurting yourself.
The next set of bands are the darker colors such as red and black. As you might expect, these have more tension than the lighter ones. It is important that you start with the lighter bands and only move up if you can’t perform the exercise properly.
What Are The Benefits?
The main benefit of using bands is to strengthen the muscles in your legs and hips. Due to the increased resistance, you will need to focus on keeping your form perfect or else you won’t be able to lift the weight. Over time, your muscles will get stronger and you’ll be able to move more weight, thus giving you a total body workout.
The other benefit of using bands is that they allow you to perform exercises which would be too difficult, dangerous or impossible to do with free weights alone. For example, most gyms do not have machines to perform leg extensions. While you could always do squats or lunges to strengthen your legs, the bands allow you to take your workouts to a whole new level.
Lastly, they’re cheap and very portable. This makes them perfect for traveling or taking with you to the gym. Just throw them in your bag and you can workout anytime, anywhere.
What Negatives Are There?
The negative of using bands is that they won’t allow you to build the kind of strength that you could building with free weights alone. If you really want to get strong, you’re going to need to use free weights as well.
As I said above, it’s very important that you don’t attempt to use a band that is too heavy for you. If the band is too heavy, it will throw off your form and you run a serious risk of hurting yourself. For this reason, many people will only use the lightest bands as they are intended for beginner lifters. While this will allow you to perform the movements safely, there is a limit to how much weight you can lift. To get the most out of your bands, you’re going to need to use some of the heavier ones.
The key is to start with the lightest ones and only move up if you find that they are too easy for you.
Another downside is that they do cost more money than regular free weights do. This might not be an issue for most people, but if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider some of the alternatives like using dumbbells for resistance instead.
There are also some exercises that are just impractical to do with bands. For example, it would be very difficult and dangerous to do squats or deadlifts with them. Most of the band sessions involve a series of unique movements which you wouldn’t be able to perform with any other form of equipment. While these movements do work your entire body, they don’t build the kind of strength that free weights do.
Lastly, they can be kind of confusing for the novice exerciser. The instructions that come with the bands are usually for more experienced lifters and can be hard to follow for a beginner. While you can easily look up videos on You Tube and there are some good examples on this site, it might be overwhelming for some people.
What Are The Alternatives?
If you don’t like the idea of using bands, here are some other forms of resistance that you could use.
Barbells & Dumbbells: These are free weights just like the type of bands you use, the difference is that they are heavier. Using these will allow you to lift more weight than you could with bands, but you won’t be able to use them for all of the same exercises that you can with bands. The barbell and dumbbell exercises are pretty standard, so most people should have no problems performing them. The only major concern is that these weights are usually expensive.
Cable Machine: Using a cable machine allows you perform a lot of the same movements that you can with bands, but with more resistance. You don’t have to rely upon gravity because you’re locking your body into place while pulling against the force of the machine. This provides a great deal of resistance and allows you to lift heavier than with free weights or bands. The only problem is that cable machines can be very expensive and most gyms don’t have them.
The Best Option
So now that we’ve looked at all of the common options, which one is the best pick for you?
Well, everyone is going to have their own opinion on this matter and here’s mine.
I think that the best option for most people is going to be free weights. They’re not as expensive as a lot of the other options and they can be used for more exercises than bands or cables. The only major concern is safety, but if you know how to use them properly then you shouldn’t have any issues. Remember to lift with your legs and keep your back straight when lifting heavy weights. If you’re worried about getting large muscles, then don’t be.
Women don’t get “bulky” from lifting weights and the only way a man is going to get huge muscles is if he’s already got the right genetics for it.
So in conclusion, my vote goes to free weights, but do whatever you feel most comfortable with as everyone has their own goals when they work out. Remember, it’s about having fun and enjoying yourself! Good luck!
Sources & references used in this article:
Multiple-joint exercises using elastic resistance bands vs. conventional resistance-training equipment: A cross-over study by VM Iversen, PJ Mork, O Vasseljen… – European Journal of …, 2017 – Taylor & Francis
Fixing Hip Flexor Pain by H Strength – squatuniversity.com
FROM FAT TO FIT by BUT Hips, FT Squat – fatshapetofitshape.wordpress.com
Exploding with bands by J Wilson, M Kritz – Strength & Conditioning Journal, 2014 – journals.lww.com
CrossFit… Maybe not so dangerous after all by B Dermody – T & C, 2003 – worldclassbodybuilding.com
Electromyographic analysis of conventional and rubber-based band squats by DRK BANGS – functionperformance.com
Category: Mobility by T Palmer – 2011 – digital.library.txstate.edu