A Lower-Body Resistance-Band Workout That’s Great for Your Glutes

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.

The Workout

Exercises

  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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

1. Resistance Band Squat (Around Ankles)

  • Loop a resistance band around your ankles and start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back as you lower into a squat. Keep your core engaged, chest lifted, and back flat.
  • Push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Squeeze your butt at the top. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 15–20 reps.

2. Resistance Band Monster Walk

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a mini looped resistance band around your ankles, and your knees bent into a quarter squat.
  • Take a diagonal step forward and to the right with your right foot, then take a diagonal step forward to the left with your left foot. This is 1 rep.
  • Continue stepping forward and diagonally, alternating between your left and right foot, for 15–20 reps.
  • Reverse the movement, stepping diagonally behind your body with each step, for 15–20 more reps, until you return to the starting position.
  • Try to maintain at least some tension in the band at all times, even when you’re stepping your feet closer together.
  • If you don’t have a ton of space, take fewer steps in either direction. Just make sure you’ve completed an equal number of steps forward and backward by the end of your reps.

3. Resistance Band Lateral Monster Walk

  • Loop a resistance band around your ankles and start standing in a quarter-squat position, feet hip-width apart.
  • Take a big step slightly forward and to your right with your right foot, then follow with your left. Then take a step slightly backward and to your right with your right foot, following with your left. Each step is 1 rep.
  • Continue this pattern for 15–20 reps.
  • Do the same thing stepping to your left, leading with your left foot, for 15–20 reps.
  • Try to maintain at least some tension in the band at all times, even when you’re stepping your feet closer together.
  • If you don’t have a ton of space, take fewer steps in either direction. Just make sure you’ve completed an equal number of steps to each side by the end of your reps.

4. Banded Glute Bridge

  • Lie faceup on the floor or a mat, your knees bent, and wrap a resistance around your thighs, just above your knees. Your feet should be hip-width apart, and with your hands at your sides, your fingers should be close to grazing the back of each heel.
  • Engage your core so your low back presses against the floor.
  • Push through your heels and lift your hips until they align with your knees, and squeeze your glutes at the top.
  • Lower your hips to the floor to return to the starting position. This is 1 rep.
  • Do 15–20 reps.

5. Banded Clam Shell

  • Lie on your right side with your hips, knees, and ankles stacked on top of each other. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and wrap the band around your thighs just above your knees.
  • Keeping your feet together, lift your left knee open, then slowly lower it back to meet your right. This is 1 rep.
  • Do 15–20 reps on this side, then switch sides and do another 15–20 reps.
  • Focus on keeping your core engaged and your back straight. Try not to lean forward or tip back.

6. Resistance Band Squat (Above Knees)

  • Loop a resistance band around your quads just above your knees and start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back as you lower into a squat. Keep your core engaged, chest lifted, and back flat.
  • Push through your heels to stand back up to the starting position. Squeeze your butt at the top. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 15–20 reps.

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