Banded Squats with Andy ‘IronMac’ McKenzie

 
 
 
It’s over to Again Faster Europe’s Education & Performance ambassador now for this weeks blog. Showing you the benefits of using Again Faster® Resistance Bands to develop your squat technique. Andy' IronMac' McKenzie
 
 

Video 10-01-2017 from Again Faster on Vimeo.

 

 

Better Than Box Squats?

 
Teaching people to squat can be problematic. Getting people to sit to proper depth - hip crease just below knees - and to sit back into the squat to engage the hips before the knees are two of the first obstacles to overcome.
 
One of the most commonly used exercises to address both of the above is the box squat. We have all seen it, I would guess that most of us have done it, but the box squat throws up a problem of its own.

 

 

Maintaining position is key

 
One of the most important aspects of the squat is learning to correctly brace the core and maintain a neutral spine position throughout the movement. When we sit down, it is very easy to relax through the core, allow the pelvis to tilt backwards and place the lumbar spine into flexion.
 
Stand up and sit down and you will feel what I am talking about.
 
If you have been squatting for a while, then you may be able to maintain core tension and a neutral spine whilst sitting down, but for the beginner, this is often difficult. After enough practice, they will eventually learn, but what if there was a simpler solution?

 

 

Setting up the bands

 

This is where the band assisted squat comes into play, and the Again Faster® Green Resistance Band is ideal for this exercise. To set up, you will need to place the band horizontally between two spotter arms on a squat rack or power cage.
 
The bands should be placed at a height just below the crease of the client's glutes. From here, get the client to stand with their hamstrings touching the band, then initiate the squat by cueing them to sit back slowly, keeping their weight in their heels and then to pause in the bottom position, with their hip crease just below the top of their kneecap.
 
 
As with any squat, cue them to maintain tension in their quads, brace the core and then drive through their heels to return to a standing position.

 

 

Support throughout the whole movement

 
The beauty of the band is that it provides just enough support for the client to feel that they are not going to fall, but not enough for them feel that they can relax, so core tension is easier to maintain.
 
 

Feel every aspect of the rep

 
 
The band assists on the concentric (standing up) part of the squat, which is ideal for beginners as they seek to control both descent (eccentric) into the squat. Control the depth (isometric) and good alignment as they stand back up to complete the movement.
 
If you work with ankle, knee or hip rehab patients, then this type of support is crucial when re-introducing closed kinetic chain movements back into the plan.

 

Coaching not stacking

 
Don’t be ‘that’ coach using up all the 5kg plates to stack on top of the smallest box to reach desired height. Using bands allows you to progressively increase the depth of the squat without having to change to a new box or bench.
 
So next time you are teaching a client to squat, or rehabilitating someone after injury, instead of reaching for a box, give the band assisted squat a try. You might find it becomes one of your favourite coaching tools- it’s certainly one of mine.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Again Faster Europe
Education and Performance