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Squats with Bands

I tried squatting with bands yesterday for the first time. Before, I had only done squatting with chains. I had worked myself up to 245 lbs. with 80 lbs. of extra chain. Since I have no access to a Monolift Squat rack I used dummbbells to anchor the bands. It was too easy even with the green bands (average) and now I realize that I didn’t have enough tension at the bottom of the squat. The green bands ideally should be applying 75 lbs. of tension each when stretched to 6 feet. Therefore it should have felt a lot heavier at the top but it didn’t. Am I supposed to choke the bands in a loop around the dumbbell to add more tension? Should I use 2 dumbbells? Should I try to make up the difference with chains? I guess it will take some fooling around to figure it all out.

you will probably need to wrap and choke them around several dumbbells. i set them up differently though. i have a powerrack with a sumo base. i insert the band through a safety pin set at about the 4th or 5th hole (depends on the rack) from the bottom, loop the band below the sumo base and then attach it to the bar. by adjusting the height of the safety pin, you can adjust the tension of the bands.

I got myself a couple of 4x4 pieces of wood that I cut into 15" pieces. I place these next to the base of the power rack and wrap the bands around the rack and the 4x4s. I usually put a 45lb. plate on top of the wood to prevent it from moving. So far, it has worked well for me. If your planning on doing a speed strength phase, you’ll probably need some pretty damn heavy dumbbells to keep those bands anchored.

very impoprtant - make sure your rack is anchored to the floor.

My rack is anchored to the floor but there is no way I can choke or loop the bands underneath it. The bottom cross-bar is literally on the ground with no space on it. The nearest pin setting is maybe 2 ft. off the floor. That is the reason I tried dumbbells. I used a 140 lb. dumbbell on each side. How does adding a second dumbbell on each side create more tension. Also, how do I choke the bands extra around the dumbbells do there is tension throughout?

Let’s try that again. Anyway, I recently purchased some bands myself, but have yet to use them. I got the purple bands from EFS, their lowest bands besides the minis. I too was wondering how I’d get appropriate tension, particularly when using them for bench. Any further tips people can add would be appreciated. I’ve not tried them yet, but I’m sure I’ll have to play around with it a few times.

Go to the EFS questions section and look at the exercise index. i believe there is a picture in there somewhere on how they set up bands with two dumbbells.

Here is how I set up my purple bands. Enough to give me 130lbs up top, and they start to kick in one inch off the bottom of a full olympic squat at 5’9"
The plates just barely stay down - 140lbs :slight_smile:


I use 45lbs plates to hold mine down. It adds a heck of a lot more tension than just dumbells…its a little awkward setting up, but it is really nice…

If I use plates, how do I determine the tension I’m getting. Would I choke it through a 45 lb. plate and stack 1 or 2 more on top of it. I guess I would know that if 2 45’s couldn’t hold it down then it would have more than 90 lbs. at the top right? Plates sounds easier than dumbbells especially since the plates are right next to the racks and the 140 lb. dumbbells are across the gym. Thanks for the help guys. I’ll be using the green bands (average) for my CM phase coming up since my max squat w/ equipment is around the 450 area.

Squating with bands… sounds like a fad to me. If you want to do an execise that is a joke and the begining and gets harder as you go why not just buy a soloflex? What is the advantage of this over free weights? Anyone know?

Dan, you use bands with free weights. The bands cause you to increase force as you ascend. They are definitely not a fad and have produced some amazing results! Check out Dave Tate’s site to learn more!

In faith,


Very interesting. Thank you for informing me. That sounds like a very interesting technique. Never thought of bands AND free weights.

Machine, see my pic in the post above

I used a 25 to loop the band around and then feed the band through the hole of the 45 sitting ontop. This setup is more than sufficent for a parallel squat - I full squat and the bands kick in right off the bottom. For green bands add aanother 45lb ontop.

Looping the band around a 45 will make the tension too much for your currrent stage. You can experiemnt with larger or smaller plates to get the tension just right. You can estimate band tension by seeing how much the total plate weight is needed to just keep the band down on the ground.

Green bands stretched the way I setup my purples would probably add about 170-180lbs up top.

Thanks CoolColJ. I tried the setup today and it worked. The purples worked good. I actualy did a few sets if goodmornings. The bands looked they were going to snap at the top b/c the purples are so thin. I might give the greens a go for squats. Thanks again.

Well the bands can stretch 8 times their length so I wouldn’t worry :slight_smile: