I've recently bought some resistance bands to use along with my barbell. For Squats there seems to be two main ways to do this. Banded Squats where the bands are attached to the bar from the base of a squat rack, and Reverse Band Squats where the bands are attached to the top of the rack.

From what I've read (and not understood) you would attach the bands either at the bottom or at the top of the rack depending on what you were wanting to achieve from the squat.

But I don't really understand this. In both cases it seems to me that the total resistance is greater in the top position than in the bottom than when in the hole. The only difference would be in the distribution of resistance between the bar and the bands.

Banded Squats: In the bottom position it's mainly bar load and then as you work towards the top position the bands get stretched and increase the resistance.

Reverse Banded Squats: in the bottom position the bands are stretched and so take weight off the bar but as you move to top position the bands go slack and so the weight of the bar is no longer supported.

In either case the weight is less in the bottom position and greater in the top position.

So I can only assume that it is the effect of the stretched position and subsequent recoil of the band that would determine the choice of banded or reverse band squats and that for banded this would occur during the eccentric portion of the lift (gravity plus recoil) while for the banded reverse lift it would occur during the concentric part of the lift. (I think)

But I can't get my head around which is most desirable or why and could do with a decent explanation if anyone out there could give it.


1 Answer 1


With reverse banded squats the total weight moved decreases as you get lower in your squat. With banded squats you start at an overloaded level. The main difference is how you load the bar, both are effective at helping you improve your lockout during the squat.

With banded squats you load the bar with less weight overall to compensate the banding resistance. Reverse banded also means that you potentially will break your bands if you bail the bar.

Physically both are similar but due to the assistance in stabilisation at the top I prefer to do them using normal banding method.

  • Thanks JJosaur. Would a particular set up be more beneficial depending on goals? I.e would a particular set up depend on whether you were looking to develop strength, or power, or even just time under tension?
    – Darren
    Aug 12, 2017 at 8:35

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