Pure Form PFT
Form Friday: Free Band Press & Hold Split Squats

Happy Form Friday, Everyone! Today I will be discussing: Free Band Press & Hold Split Squats! This is an exercise that you must do both sides of the body; separately. Please make sure you address both sides. In this blog, and video, I will explain the left-side only.


  • Grab a Free Band. TIP: The thicker the band, the more tension, and harder, the exercise will be. Grab your free band accordingly. You want to challenge yourself, but you also want to be able to perform this exercise with proper form.
  • Getting into position is KEY for this exercise. There are more steps setting up, than performing this exercise. Please make sure to get into position properly.
  • Since we will be going over the Free Band Press & Hold Left Split Squats, step on the band with the center of your left foot.
  • Create a wide-stance by stepping back with your right foot. TIP: Make sure to stay up on your toes of this foot.
  • For this exercise, we're going to get into position at the bottom of this exercise. Temporarily set your right knee down on the ground until we're in full position and ready to start our repetitions. TIP: This helps for two reasons:
    1. This allows us to set-up properly and quickly.
    2. Once we are ready to start, you'll be able to "jump" right into it.
  • Once you're in that down-position, with your hands, grab the band wide; palms facing away from you.
  • Extend, and press, both arms up into a "V" shape. TIP: Keeps your arms up and static.
  • Once your arms are extended, pull your hands back until your arms and back create a soft curve. This is one of the few exercises that you want a subtle arc in your back. TIP: This is for two reasons:
    1. This will allow your shoulders to "lock-out"; keeping your band up. If your arms are simply straight up, your free band will want to fall forward; lowering your arms.
    2. Properly holding your arms up, will allow you to keep your chest upright and "proud" to maintain good form.
  • Because we are creating a subtle arc in our back, it is even more important to make sure you are flexing your abs and squeezing your glutes throughout this exercise. We want to protect our lower back.


  • Initiate with an exhale and drive away from the ground by pushing down on the floor with your left foot. TIP: Stop once you still have a slight bend in your front leg. We want to maintain tension on our legs. DO NOT lock out your front leg.
  • Once you've had a quick pause at the top, inhale and lower your body back down in a controlled motion. TIP 1: Stop once your front leg creates a right angle (90 degrees) and just before you back knee touches the floor. TIP 2: Keep your chest upright. DO NOT let your upper body fold forward.
  • Repeat as necessary and perform this exercise on both sides of your body.


If you notice this exercise is currently too difficult to perform with proper form, there are several ways to modify.

  • First, simply try using a free band with less resistance. If it is still too difficult, you can remove the free band all together. This will take your arms out of the equation, but you will still get the workout on your lower body.
  • Second, if you have any toe issues or injuries, you can perform Lateral Squats instead:
    • Spread your feet apart for a wide-stance. If you're working your left-side, make sure your left foot is pointing forward. You may have your non-working foot angled out.
    • Keeping you chest upright, inhale and squat down toward your left-side until your left leg creates a right angle (90 degrees).
    • Exhale, as you drive the floor away from you and lift your body back to starting position.
    • Repeat as necessary and perform this exercise on both sides of your body.
  • Third, if you have knee issues or injuries, and you're unable to do Lateral Squats, try standard Squats right down the middle. This will disperse the weight to both legs allowing for less pressure on each knee.

That is all for this week's Form Friday! I hope this helps your workouts become more efficient! If you know anyone that could benefit from our blogs or videos, please make sure to share! Until next time, make each day AWESOME!

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