Squat with Side Leg Lift

Squat with Side Leg Lift | Banded Squat with Lateral Leg Raise Exercise Demonstration

Squat with Side Leg Lift
Online Fitness and Nutrition Coach, Julie Lohre demonstrates the Banded Squat with Side Leg Lift or Squat with Lateral Leg Raise

Squat with Side Leg Lift | Banded Squat with Lateral Leg Raise Exercise Demonstration

Looking to get the most bang for your exercise buck? I am a big fan of combining exercises to create compound movements. In fact, that has become a key strategy I use when creating workout plans for my online personal training clients in order to maximize their workout efficiency. Among these innovative combinations, the “Banded Squat with Side Leg Lift,” also known as a “Squat with Leg Raise,” stands out as a powerful exercise that targets multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This exercise not only strengthens the lower body but also incorporates resistance to challenge the muscles further, offering a comprehensive workout that is both efficient and effective.

Designed to sculpt and tone, the Banded Squats with Side Leg Lift is particularly beneficial for individuals aiming to enhance their lower body strength, stability, and endurance. By integrating the resistance band, this exercise amplifies the intensity of the traditional squat, engaging the core, glutes, thighs, and hips in one fluid motion. Additionally, the side leg lift component introduces an element of balance and coordination, making it an all-encompassing workout that challenges the body in various planes of motion. This multifaceted approach not only accelerates muscle growth and fat loss but also improves overall body composition and posture.

Squat Variation: Squat with Lateral Leg Raise or Side Leg Lift

What muscles does the banded squat with side leg lift work?

The Banded Squats with Side Leg Raise exercise targets multiple muscle groups, making it an effective compound movement for both strength and endurance. Specifically, this exercise engages the following muscle groups:

Glute activation anatomy
The glutes are made up of three muscles that work together to consists of the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus.
  1. Gluteus Maximus (Glutes): The squat portion of the exercise primarily targets the glutes. The addition of the resistance band increases tension, further engaging the glute muscles during both the squat and the side leg raise.
  2. Quadriceps (Quads): Located at the front of the thigh, the quadriceps are heavily involved in the squatting motion, working to extend the knee and support the body’s ascent back to a standing position.
  3. Adductors: These are the muscles of the inner thigh. The squat engages them, but the side leg raise particularly works this group as you lift your leg to the side against the resistance of the band.
  4. Abductors: Including the gluteus medius and minimus, located on the outer side of the hips, these muscles are especially targeted during the side leg raise portion, as they work to lift the leg away from the body’s midline.
  5. Hamstrings: Located at the back of the thigh, the hamstrings work in conjunction with the quadriceps during the squat to help lower and raise the body. They are less directly targeted than the quads but still play a supportive role.
  6. Core Muscles (including the abdominals and lower back): The core is engaged throughout the exercise to maintain balance and stability, especially as you lift your leg to the side. The resistance band adds an extra challenge, requiring the core to work harder to stabilize the body.
  7. Calves (Gastrocnemius and Soleus): These muscles help to stabilize the lower leg and ankle during the squat and contribute to balance during the side leg raise.

By engaging these multiple muscle groups, Banded Squats with Side Leg Raise provide a comprehensive lower body workout that not only builds strength and muscle tone but also improves balance, stability, and overall body coordination.


How to do Banded Squats with Side Leg Lift

Performing Banded Squats with Side Leg Lift correctly is crucial for maximizing the benefits of the exercise while minimizing the risk of injury. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure proper form and technique:

Equipment Needed

  • A resistance band suitable for your fitness level. The smaller looped bands are ideal, but you can also tie a long single Theraband is needed.
  • Option to hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or weight plate to make this movement more difficult.

Setup for Banded Squat with Side Leg Lift

  1. Place the Band: Step into the resistance band and position it around your ankles. Make sure the band is snug but not overly tight, allowing for movement without restriction.
  2. Starting Position: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider, toes pointing slightly outward. This is your starting position for the squat.

Execution of the Banded Squat with Lateral Leg Lift

  1. Squat Down: Begin by lowering your body into a squat. Push your hips back as if you’re sitting down in a chair, keeping your chest up and your spine neutral. Ensure your knees remain aligned with your toes and do not cave inward.
  2. Depth: Lower yourself until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor, or as low as you can go without compromising your form.
  3. Rise and Leg Lift: Push through your heels to rise back up to the starting position. As you reach the top, shift your weight slightly to one leg and lift the other leg out to the side, keeping it straight. The resistance band will add tension, making this part of the movement challenging.
  4. Return: Lower the lifted leg back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  5. Alternate: Repeat the squat and, on the next rise, lift the opposite leg to the side.

Julie’s FITBODY 360 Tips

  • Engage Your Core: You want to keep your abdominals tight throughout the exercise to support your back.
  • Breathing: Inhale as you squat down and exhale as you rise and perform the leg lift.
  • Posture: Maintain a neutral spine and avoid rounding your shoulders forward.
  • Knee Position: Ensure your knees don’t go beyond your toes during the squat to avoid unnecessary stress on the knee joints.
  • Control: Perform both the squat and leg lift in a controlled manner to maximize muscle engagement and minimize the risk of injury.
  • To make this movement more challenging, you can hold a weight at your chest.

Repetitions and Sets

  • Start with 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side, adjusting based on your fitness level and goals.

This exercise is a great way to work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, improving strength, stability, and balance.

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