Squats are a fantastic exercise for working the thighs, glutes (butt) and lower legs. Whether your goal is to lose thigh fat, get slimmer and toner legs, squats are one of the most effective moves.
Basic squats also referred to as air squats or bodyweight squats is a form of squats that solely uses one’s bodyweight without any additional resistance or fitness equipment. It’s the most basic form and should always be considered as a starting point for beginners and first-time squatters.
However, there is another form of air squats that particularly benefit those looking to perfect their squat form, struggling to squat properly or squatting with weak knees.
It’s the resistance band squats.
Resistance-Band Bodyweight Squat
Resistance-band squat is an assisted bodyweight squat exercise that effectively targets your gluteus medius (outer thighs), hip abductor, and quads(front thighs). Adding a resistance to bodyweight squats is a great way to learn how to squat correctly. In fact, it helps you prevent the most common squat mistake: caving knees.
Correcting Squat Mistakes to Get More Out of Your Squats
Since resistance-bands are made of rubber, they create resistance when pulled. This resistance in the band naturally pulls your knees in. By intentionally resisting the pull by pulling the knees out, you are able to squat down with your knees out and straight and effectively target the outer thigh muscles and strengthen your knees and hips.
Whether your goal is to trim your thighs, tone your hips, glutes(butt) or strengthen your knees, performing squats in a correct form is important.
Squats with Weak Knees
This assisted squat form is also great for people with weak knees. If you are recovering from knee injury or looking to restore your weak knees, perform the resistance band (mini-band) squats instead of the basic squats.
Use of a mini-band can help you squat with correct form and learn the proper technique with the correct knee form. It’s safer for your knees and prevent additional knee injury or weakening by wrongly doing squats. It also safely strengthens the weak hip adductor muscles to reduce aches and pains, so it has a benefit of pain relief.
How to Perform a Resistance-Band Squat:
Place a resistance band or a mini-band just above your knees, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your hands in front of your chest in a prayer-like position.
- Look straight ahead, and keep your torso as upright as possible for the entire exercise with your lower back slightly arched.
- Contract your abs, bend your knees, and lower and push back your hips as far as you can into a squat position with your thighs almost parallel to the floor.
- While squatting, resist your knees from collapsing in by pulling your knees out and keeping tension in the band.
- Don’t round your lower back.
- Keep the tension in the band while squatting.
- Push through your heels to return to the starting position and repeat to complete the set.
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Adding a resistance to squats also has strength building benefit. By working with the resistance, you engage and work smaller muscles in the legs and butt in addition to all larger muscle groups such as hamstrings, gluteus, adductors and hips.
It certainly adds exercise effectiveness and toning benefits just by slipping a loop above your knees. Consider it a smart trick to get the most out of your air squats.
To Purchase Resistance Bands
If you don’t have a resistance band, click here to grab one. Remember, your band needs to be a small loop (see our model in the image above). It’s a different form of resistance bands than strings with handles!
Looped resistance band come in a variety of sizes and resistance, which is categorized and differentiated by colors. Darker colors are heavier and lighter colors are lighter.
If you are an exercise beginner, choose a lighter color band to start. It’s also a great idea to buy several bands with different level resistance to allow progression over time. Click here to get the band in the picture.
For more Resistance-Band exercises click here.