Abs, Adductors, Calves, Glutes, Hamstrings, Hip Flexors, Lower Back
Reverse Band Back Squats Overview
The reverse band back squat is a variation of the back squat and an exercise used to strengthen the muscles of the legs.
The use of bands when performing reverse band back squats provides assistance while you’re in the hole (at the bottom of the movement). This can be helpful if you’re trying to overload the top portion of the movement without fear of failing at your weaker part of the lift.
Reverse band back squats are primarily used by the powerlifting community, but can be used by any training population looking to improve their overall squat personal record.
Reverse Band Back Squats Instructions
- Position the bar just below shoulder level and adjust the safety stops right above knee height. Once the bar has been loaded, attach bands to the top of the rack via pegs or the actual rack itself and then anchor the end of the bands around the bar to provide assistance.
- Place your pinkies on the smooth ring of the barbell.
- Get under the bar and position at the top of your rear deltoids.
- Unrack the bar, take 2-3 steps back and position your feet at shoulder width.
- Take a deep breath and keep your elbows in line with your torso.
- Descend by simultaneously pushing the hips back and bending the knees.
- Once your thighs reach parallel with the floor, begin to reverse the movement.
- Keep your abs braced and drive your feet through the floor.
- Finish the lift by exhaling as you fully extend the hips and knees.
Reverse Band Back Squats Tips
- By adding bands to the bar you will allow yourself to overload the top half of the movement given that the bands will stretch most in the bottom and least at the top. This allows you to use a weight you might not be able to manage for a full repetition normally but given the assistance from the band, you are able to overload the lockout without getting stuck in the hole.
- Toe angle is highly individual - experiment to see what feels best for you.
- Bend the bar over your back by pulling it down into your traps.
- Experiment with a “false” (i.e. thumbless) grip as this helps to eliminate elbow and wrist issues in some folks.
- Drive through the whole foot - you want 3 points of contact: big toe, little toe, and heel.
- Imagine you’re trying to drop your back pockets straight towards your heels. Down, not back.
- Some forward translation of the knees over the toes is alright provided that the knees don’t deviate excessively inward or outward. Those with longer femurs will have to allow their knees to come farther forward if they want to remain upright.
- Drive your traps into the bar and try to squeeze your elbows in towards your body as you reverse the movement out of the hole.
- Neck position is highly individual as well - some prefer a neutral neck position (i.e. keeping the chin tucked throughout the lift) while others do well with looking straight ahead. Experiment with each and see which one works best for your anatomy.
- Low bar positioning will require the lifter to sit back into the hips with more forward lean at the torso to recruit the posterior chain more effectively.
- Don’t push the knees out excessively but ensure they track roughly over or slightly outside the 2nd toe.