Oh, the joy of doing squats. You do a few reps at the gym (no big, right?) and two days later you can’t stand up without assistance. We’ve all been there. But the results are worth it and you’ll get them even faster using the best resistance bands for squats.
One reason that resistance bands help you get better results from doing squats is that they force you to keep good form while you lunge down and restrict you from cheating on your movements. On top of that, they allow you to target a wider range of muscles than you can with your bodyweight alone.
According to Tiffany Larson, personal trainer and owner of The Mill in Sun Valley, Idaho, one of the most common errors people make when doing squats is allowing their knees to cave in. This mistake is typically caused by weak glutes or abs, she says.
“The mini band is a great tool to correct this flaw in technique,” Larson says. “The tension of the band increases bodily awareness, creating a mind-muscle connection in those areas. Performing banded squats for reps allows you to strengthen the proper squat form.”
Barb Puzanovova, an ACE-certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer in Nashville, Tennessee, agrees.
“Most of us tend to half-ass things,” she says. “By that, I mean we don't tend to activate our glutes in activities of daily living or during movements like squats, running, deadlifts, and more. This is where resistance bands come in.”
As opposed to loading all of the weight onto your quads, she explains, the bands force your hip's external rotators (aka your "side booty”) to use more of your glutes. They also open up your hips, allowing you to dip deeper into a squat position without rounding your back.
Best of all, after using resistance bands for awhile to do effective squats, you'll have awesome form even without them. At that point you can begin increasing the tension in the bands to feel a serious burn, or progress to more advanced resistance band exercises. You can use loop-style bands to guide your form and regular bands to add strength. Take a look at some of the best resistance bands for squats below.
An All-In-One Kit That Comes With Every Accessory You Need
If you love having lots of different gadgets and accessories, this 11-piece resistance band set is a fantastic choice. On top of being able to hold the bands by your shoulders to do powerful squats at five different resistance levels, the set also comes with two cushioned handles, two ankle straps, and a custom door anchor, allowing you to make your workout super versatile. The ultra-strong bands feature sturdy metal clips on the ends and are guaranteed not to snap. Best of all, the weight equivalent is printed in big, easy-to-read numbers on each band, so you don't have to remember which color represents which strength.
An Astonishingly Strong Resistance Band That's Guaranteed Not To Snap
Made of extra-durable, rope-like construction, these braided resistance bands are some of the strongest on the planet. The robust design features four dipped pieces that are wound into a braided tubing and secured via a patented four-hole connector. This helps to evenly distribute the load across the four tubes, making the bands capable of tolerating rapid, high-impact movements. They are a superb choice for squats due to the sturdy handles and — as a bonus — if you plan to do fast-paced aerobics as well, you know they won't break. The bands come individually rather than as a set, which makes them slightly more expensive; however, the extra quality makes it worth it.
A Strong Set Of Loop-Style Bands That Are High-Quality Yet Affordable
Whether you're on a budget or prefer the simplicity of basic elastic bands, these resistance loops are the best option on the lower end of the price range. For only $11, you get all five bands, each with differing weight equivalencies, along with a printed instruction guide and access to online videos and e-books. Plus, this set features the loop-style bands which are the ones that will help guide your form. You don't have to tie them together or hold them up by your shoulders — just wrap them around your legs and squat away.
A Leg Band That Lets You Do Squats And Other Sport-Specific Exercise
These exercise bands are specially designed just for your legs and make the perfect accessory for doing squats. They feature a super unique swivel clip that, unlike your regular resistance band, lets you move in multiple directions without losing the resistance. The clip is designed to allow you to train for ultra-specific sports, wearing them while you play volleyball or do soccer scrimmages. This strengthens the exact muscles you need for that particular activity. When using them for squats, you'll be able to effortlessly move through the movements while building your overall leg, hip, and core muscles.
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.