Reverse band squats improve the lockout and explosiveness on the squat exercise. This squat variation is a precise tool for advanced lifters who seek to target these aspects of the lift.
The attached resistance bands on this exercise enable you to experience constantly changing levels of resistance as you go through each rep. This is why it emphasizes the above-mentioned aspects of the squat (again, explosiveness and the lockout).
One might ask: What's the difference between this technique and regular band squats?
Well, on reverse band squats, the resistance bands are attached to the barbell from the top of the power rack to the ends of the barbell. Whereas, on regular band squats, the bands are attached to the barbell from the bottom of the power rack.
Also, on the regular version, the load never becomes lighter than the total weight of the barbell and plates (i.e. the bands add resistance). But with reverse band squats, the load never becomes heavier than the total weight of the barbell and plates (i.e. the bands reduce resistance).
So in this way, the mechanics of the reverse version are actually more similar to chain squats...
...On both exercises, the loads are heaviest at both the very start and the very finish of each rep; and they're lightest at the midpoint (i.e. the very bottom of the range of motion).
As you go through a rep, the varying levels of resistance you feel models a parabola: It goes from heavy to moderate to light, and then back to moderate and finally back to heavy again...Set Up. This exercise must be done in a power rack. Start by putting the barbell on the pins, just below shoulder level. Adjust the Safety Catches. Adjust the safety catches to the bottom of the range of motion. This way, it will prevent an accident by catching the barbell in case you lose control or fail during a rep.Attach Bands. Ideally, reverse band squats should be done in a power rack with upper band pegs for easy and secure attachment of the resitance bands. However, if your power rack doesn't have upper band pegs, then you can get creative and hook the bands on the top of the frame. Next, attach the end of the bands to the ends of the barbell.Add Plates. Load the desired amount of weight onto the bar. The bands should be to the inside of the plates (but still on the thick ends of the barbell). To prevent the any possibility of the band slipping off the thick part of the barbell and onto the thin part, you may want the band positioned between plates.Unrack the Bar. Position yourself under the barbell. It should be on your trapezius, not against your back bones. Hoist the bar off the pins and take a step back.Negative Repetition. Squat down by lowering your hips and butt, and flexing your knees. The bands will resist the load as you perform the negative repetition, making it so the load becomes increasingly lighter as you approach the bottom of the rep. Thus, the barbell is at it lightest when you reach the lowest point in the range of motion (i.e. the midpoint). Go to Parallel (or Below). Keep going until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Go a little further if you can do so without breaking form.Tempo. Control the weight carefully. Go slower as you transition into the midpoint. The negative should typically lasts about 1-2 seconds.Midpoint. The midpoint is at the very bottom of the range of motion. It's the transition point between the positive repetition and the negative repetition. Tempo. Since this is just a transitory point in the movement, you don't really need pause at all. If you do, it should be very brief. That said, you should have slowed down as you were finishing the negative rep so that you don't "bounce" into and out of the midpoint. Doing this would be dangerous for your knees.Positive Repetition. Squat up... fast! The tension in the bands decreases more and more as you squat up, making it so the load becomes increasingly heavy as you approach the top of the repetition. Once you reach the top of the rep, the load is equal to that of the starting weight. Squeeze! Keep your entire body tight, but flex your your glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings, with particular emphasis.Tempo. Explode upward as quickly as possible, without breaking form.Repeat. Repeat the movement for desired number of reps. Like all lifts that emphasize strength and explosiveness, it's generally best to use lower reps (around 1-5) with relatively heavy weight.
Reverse Band Squats Are Best for Advanced Lifters. This exercise is for seasoned vets who need to focus on their lockout and the explosiveness of their squat. Essentially, it is an exercise technique to fine tune an otherwise strong squat.
It's not efficient, however, for beginners or intermediate lifters, who need not worry about specific aspects of the squat. Rather, as a beginner or intermediate, concentrate on achieving an overall stronger squat.
The reverse band squat is too specific a tool for such a general objective. Until you reach an advanced level and encounter real plateaus, good ol' fashioned squats will suffice.
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