6 Resistance Band Squat Variations You Can Perform Anywhere

Resistance Band Squats

Your glutes are the largest muscle in your body. You use them to walk, run, sit, stand, and everything in between, which is why there’s so many exercises out there to help keep this area strong and mobile. Squats are one such exercise: They work your glutes and surrounding muscles like quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors to give you a comprehensive leg workout all at once.

But plain squats can get old. If you’re sick of the classic bodyweight variety, try adding accessories—resistance bands, to be exact. Start by grabbing a band that has the right tightness for you, and then dive into the below resistance band squats from Equinox+ group fitness instructor Or Artzi to get your sweat on. Work a few of the moves into your usual fitness routine, or try all at once for a complete leg day session.


Safety and Precautions

Step one in any resistance band workout? Pick the right band. The equipment comes in a variety of sizes and intensities, so try a few out to see which one works best for you. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you can complete the below exercises with good form, but still feel an added challenge from the band. Though the right amount of reps can vary depending on your preferences and the tightness of your resistance band, aim for between six and 15 reps per side for each of the below moves.

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Squat Pulse

You don’t have to move much to feel the burn in your backside. For these squat pulses, Artzi says to place your resistance band above your knees. Then, get into standard squat position with your knees stacked over your ankles about shoulder-width distance apart, your chest high, and your hips down and back like you’re sitting in a chair. Once situated as low as you can go, pulse up and down just an inch for 10 to 15 pulses.

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Split Squat to Curtsy Lunge

Shake up your squats with this split-leg variety. Start by picking a resistance band that gives you enough stretch to lunge. Place it above your knees, then step one leg back into a lunge position. Keep your back knee low and move that leg into a curtsy lunge position. Bring it back to its original position, then repeat the move eight to 10 times per side. Just make sure your front knee stays stacked over the pinky toe side of your foot to avoid overly stressing your joints, Artzi cautions.

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Split Squat to Curtsy Lunge with Back Push

If you thought squat exercises were all about the legs, think again—this split squat combo uses the resistance band on your upper body to truly give you a full-body workout. Place your resistance band behind your back, just under your shoulder blades. Hold onto both ends of the resistance band in front of your body. Repeat the same split squat and curtsy lunge exercise above, but this time, press your hands away from your chest when you curtsy to work your pecs, triceps, and core with the added resistance.

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Split Squat to Overhead Press

Keep up the arm work with this split squat with an overhead press, which Artzi says also works your shoulders, triceps, and core. First, place your band around your forearms, then step back into a lunge position. Hold your back knee low, then lift your arms up towards the ceiling while pressing them outwards against the resistance band. Return to your starting position and repeat.

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Split Squat to Side Squat

Target all angles of your legs with this squat combo. Place your resistance band above your knees, then find a split squat position with your right leg behind you. Return to center, then bring your right leg out to the side while you squat low into your left leg. Repeat this move on the other side. Artzi’s pro tip? As you squat to the side, hinge your hips backwards as much as possible to really work your muscles.

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Hip Hinge to Hip Extension

If you like hip extensions, then you’ll love Artzi’s hip-focused exercise duo. For this exercise, put your resistance band above your knees. Stand with your feet at hip-width distance apart, then place one leg behind you with the heel lifted. Place your hands behind your head like you’re about to do a crunch, then hinge forward at the hips with a flat back and bent knees. Squeeze your glutes to lift your torso upright again, then kick your back leg up and back for a standing hip extension. Repeat this exercise on the other side.


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