At SELF, we’re firm believers that you can never have too many resistance band workout options. The versatile training tool is inexpensive, easy to use, and easy to travel with. You can use them to strengthen your arms, abs, and entire body.
But using resistance bands for lower-body workouts—specifically, to target the glutes—is my personal favorite way to use them. That’s because not only are lower-body resistance band workouts great for strengthening your muscles, but they also help train stability, an important skill for keeping your body balanced so you feel good when you lift heavy or head out for a run.
The lower-body resistance band workout below, created by Matt Kite, C.S.C.S., master coach for D1 Training, does just that. “The main benefits of this workout are glute and hip strength, pelvic control and stability, and core strength,” Kite says. All of these areas ultimately work together to keep your body stable throughout exercises and daily activities—so it’s important to keep them all strong and ready for whatever you throw at them.
This is also a great workout to “activate” the muscles in your butt, which really just means getting them to contract properly, says Kite. “Many people struggle with contracting their glute muscles specifically. They may be able to complete the movement of the exercise, but may have done so with additional help from supporting muscle groups rather than the primary mover,” he says. That can potentially lead you to overuse certain muscles, resulting in pains and strains. “Doing banded exercises that really target the glutes is a great way to teach yourself how to actively contract those muscles and control them,” Kite says.
Everyone from beginner exercisers to high-performing athletes can benefit from the exercises below, adds Kite. Try doing this lower-body resistance band workout as a brief warm-up before your normal routine, or do a few rounds for a full-on glutes-focused workout.
Model Grace Pulliam is an aerial yoga and Vinyasa yoga teacher in New York City. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys taking dance, aerial dance, and flexibility classes, and jogging in the park.
- Resistance Band Squat (around ankles)
- Resistance Band Monster Walk
- Resistance Band Lateral Walk
- Resistance Band Glute Bridge
- Resistance Band Clamshell
- Resistance Band Squat (above knee)
- For this workout, you’ll need a medium-to-heavy resistance band. Use a looped mini band, or tie the ends of a regular resistance band together.
- Do 15-20 reps of each exercise. Try to minimize rest.
- Do the entire circuit once to warm up your lower body before a workout. Do it 3-5 times for a full lower-body workout.
Here’s how to do each move