Glute bands are a type of resistance bands that focus largely on performing various lower body moves and stretches against the pressure of the band. Made of a stretchy latex or fabric material, glute bands are relatively inexpensive and are used to activate your glutes and leg muscles quickly and effectively; often with the intention of shaping and toning the glutes and upper thighs.
This article explores some common glute band exercises that you can do anywhere using a glute band.
Ankle Jumping Jacks
This move works the outer thighs and glutes, with a recommendation of 20 reps per workout.
The glute band should be placed around the ankles. You should start the exercise with the band held just slightly taut, with your feet hip-width apart. This means that each jump will extend your feet out to the sides, stretching the band and working your muscles in resistance.
Adopt a slight squat with your feet level with your hips, and hands at your chest. You then proceed to jump your feet in and out, against the resistance of the glute band.
Lateral Band Walks
Working the glutes and thighs, this move is a good one to start with if you are just starting out with a glute band, as it allows you to get used to the feel of the band against your movement.
The glute band should be placed around the ankles. Place your feet hip-width apart and adopt a slight squat, with your hands at your chest. You then move in a controlled way to from side to side, starting with the right side.
Move your right foot one step to the right, placing your feet so that they are now shoulder-width apart – a wider stance than you started with.
Follow this with your left foot, moving it to the right so that you are back to the hip-width stance. Take a total of three full steps to the right, then three full steps to the left, to complete one rep.
By keeping a constant tension in the band, the exercise will be engaging your core and glute muscles, and preventing them from relaxing.
Standing Glute Kickbacks
This move is one which not only benefits the glutes and thighs, but also your abs and core. It consists of small movement which are most effective when performed in a controlled way.
The glute band should be placed around the ankles to start. Place your left foot flat on the floor, and extend the right foot slightly behind you so that only the toes are touching the ground; creating tension in the band.
Engage your abs and kick your right leg back about 6 inches, keeping the movement controlled and the knee straight. If you feel your back arching when you kick, the movement is too big.
This one is quite similar to the lateral band walks, only this time we are walking forward and backwards instead of from side to side. Particularly effective for the inner thighs and glutes, this move relies on a controlled walk which retains a constant level of resistance in the band.
Start with the band around your ankles and your feet hip-width apart. Adopt a slight squat and then bend your upper body forward a little, keeping your abs engaged for an extra core workout and making sure your back is straight.
You should then slowly take 10 steps forward, keeping the band at a consistent level of tension throughout. Once you reach the end of your yoga mat, take the same number of steps backwards.
Squat to Lateral Leg Lifts
This one starts with the band just above your knees, increasing the focus and tension on the glute muscles as opposed to the entire leg.
With the band in place around the lower thighs, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your knees into a squat position.
As you rise into a standing position, life your right leg out to the side – keeping your knee straight and your face forwards. As you return the right leg back to its original position, bend back into a squat.
Once you’ve performed the full move once on the right-hand side, switch to the left handside, to complete one full rep.
Alternating legs is vital for keeping your core engaged and working your full glutes effectively, so perform a total of 20 reps of this exercise, ensuring you switch legs after each bend.
Don’t be fooled by this one; it may be performed lying on the ground, but that doesn’t make it any easier as it relies solely the strength of your legs; working the glute muscles and outer thighs in particular.
Lie on your side and place the band around your lower thighs, just above the knees. Rest your head on your hand to keep your upper body and head stable, then elevate your feet so that they are in line with your hips – keeping your knees rested on the ground.
In one controlled move, lift your top knee towards the ceiling, keeping your feet stuck together in the air, level with your hips. Any foot movement will render this exercise less effective, so be strict with yourself and keep your feet as level and still as possible.
Once you’ve returned the knee back to its original position, repeat the exercise a further 9 times to complete 10 full reps – then switch sides.
Another floor level exercise now, and one that is commonly performed both with and without a glute band. Spoiler alert – adding a glute band makes the move both harder and immensely more effective when working your glutes!
Lie on your back and place the band around your lower thighs, just above your knees. Bend your knees and place your feet slightly apart, with your arms by your sides. Without moving your upper body or your arms, lift your hips away from the ground into a bridge position; creating a perfect line from your chest down to your knees. Hold this position for a few seconds while squeezing your glutes, then return your body to the ground slowly.
Of course, many stretches and exercises are most effective with a little extra resistance added, and there are plenty more exercises out there that can be performed using your glute band. Think outside the box and transform some of your favourite moves into high-intensity resistance exercises, for example, the classic plank move, sumo squat, or even the high energy donkey kick move.
Banded abductions are a way to strengthen the outer muscles on the hips. These are muscles that don’t get a lot of direct training and are often very weak on most people.
How to do banded abductions
- Pull the band up to just above your knee
- Stand sideways against a wall with your right hand bracing yourself
- Keep your head up and your back straight
- In a controlled motion drive the left leg outward as far as you can and pause at the end of the movement
- Slowly return to the starting position
- When you’ve finished off your set amount repeat with the left leg, turn around and place your left hand on the wall to begin with the right leg
Performing the squats with glute bands provides freedom of movement without the dangers which come with lifting heavy weights. Resistance bands allow you to perfect your form and technique before progressing to weights.
How to do banded squats
- Place the glute band just above your knees and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
- In a controlled motion, lower yourself down as low as possible to the squatting position
- Exhale and slowly, using your legs, lift your self back to the starting position
The lunge is an effective exercise for targeting your glutes and quads. Performing lunges with loop bands provide constant resistant throughout the movement, this increases muscle engagement which is fundamental to muscle growth.
How to do banded lunges
- Start with the loop band slightly above your knees with your feet planted firmly on the ground
- Take a big step forward and slowly lower yourself down to a lunge
- Using your feet and thighs, slowly drive yourself up back to the starting position