In my previous Blast Strap Sissy Squat article I showed a variation of the Sissy Squat supported by straps hung from a power rack. Today I’ll show a variation using a large rubber band. You can get these online from a variety of places, my personal favorite being EliteFTS.
In this variation you’re much less stable, and don’t break (fold) at the hips. This puts more of the force directly on the quads, but for some people the stress on the knee might not be acceptable, so be cautious – go slow till you know. I had previously experimented with a few sizes of bands, to roughly negate my weight at full stretch about a foot off the floor. In my case that was the Jump Stretch Green, or Strong Band. YMMV. You can fine-tune the force of the band by choking up or down on it with your hands. Don’t use too light of a band and just drop – you’ll hit the floor hard. Trust me…
Hang on and use your quads to slowly descend and ascend, hinging at the knees. Use your core to hold your knees to shoulders in a straight line. Hold your arms and hands neutral – don’t yank on the band. Slow and stead is the proper method.
Remember too that this is an accessory, or extra motion if you’re already training hard. Something to flush blood and toxins, or warm up, or cool down, or get the quads pre-fatigued so that the effects of other leg training can be modified for your goals. It’s also great for rehab or working up to doing full squats.
Pre-Fatigue: if you want to focus more on your posterior (hams/glutes) in a squat or deadlift, pre-fatigue, or train your quads to a good tired, worked state, so that they are relied upon less in your other lifts. Many bodybuilders use this concept in their quest to do full-body complete training for balance and symmetry. Others of us might not have to worry about it, but if you are really quad-dominant, you might experiment to see if that gives your hams an added boost. It might be worth the effort.