Perfect Your Squat Technique With the Unloaded Squat

Having trouble learning how to Squat? Try an Unloaded Squat.

Sometimes, even an athlete's own body weight is too much to Squat, especially with proper Squat form. So what do you do?

You need to use less weight, just like you would strip weight off the bar if the resistance was too heavy. But how do you do this if you're only using your body weight? You unload it.

You can unload (or effectively reduce) your body weight by using a resistance band. The band allows you to control the descent into the Squat and remain upright without compromising the position of your knees or hips. We have had great success using a resistance band as an alternative method to teach inexperienced and/or overweight athletes how to Squat with perfect form. Check out the video player above for a demonstration.

The Set-Up

  • Place the pins or J-Cups on a squat rack just below hip level.
  • Attach a band from one side to the other to create a "hammock" in the rack.
  • Set up for the Squat so the band is behind you.
  • Lower into the Squat, sitting on the band. Maintain an upright posture, keeping your knees, ankles and feet aligned.
  • Use a tempo of two seconds down, two-second pause at the bottom and one second up.

Notes:

  • Start with a heavy band to reduce the load resistance; then gradually reduce the thickness of the band until you can do a perfect Squat without help.
  • To make the exercise more difficult, increase the number of reps or duration of the pause.
  • Be careful not to progress too quickly; your focus should be on developing good Squat form.
  • This is a controlled movement with a pause at the bottom; to develop the eccentric and isometric strength required to reach and maintain the bottom position, it's important to maintain the tempo.

Topics: SQUAT | EXERCISE | BODY WEIGHT | POSTURE | SQUAT RACK | OVERWEIGHT

Ryan Obernesser Ryan Obernesser - Ryan Obernesser is the owner and head strength coach at O.B. Training & Sports Performance in Utica, New York. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, and he holds degrees in Exercise Science and Psychology. His passion for sports performance and fitness drives h
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