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11 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Legs and Glutes

Since the “booty” revolution hit a few years ago, resistance band exercises have skyrocketed in popularity for many reasons. Affordability, flexibility, and RESULTS are a few key reasons these elastic beauties are seen everywhere nowadays. 

The resistance band leg exercises, booty workout, and all-over body routines have been revolutionized by bands making weight training not the only way to build your lower body and see results from head to toe.

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Check out our best resistance band exercises for legs and glutes to feel the burn in your lower body.

Perks of Using Resistance Bands

While weight training typically targets large muscle groups, the bands hit the smaller ones that are sometimes neglected with the larger movements. This makes them a great option for leg workouts, especially for beginners.

Resistance bands of any size can add stability to any workout. They can even balance out areas that may be weaker from previous injuries or other skeletal imbalances in your physique. Even the mini resistance band can help you rehabilitate an area that needs strengthening.

I have been a hardcore weightlifter for over 30 years and when I saw these bands, I was like, “yeah, what could this resistance band exercise actually do for someone that is an athlete or already has base strength?” So I slipped on a medium resistance booty band and began to do a few exercises, and wow was I humbled after only about 20 minutes of exercise! 

I felt a targeted burn in my butt that I never feel on any weighted movements or exercises. And in addition, I have also had a few knee surgeries. The placement of the resistance loop bands above the knee supported my knees and took the strain off of them while doing the squatting movements. If you have past injuries, resistance band workouts can be a great leg exercise alternative.

I felt the burn in my glutes and quads without my knees feeling weak as they normally do with weight-bearing exercises. I was immediately sold and am a firm believer and advocate for the booty band and have a booty, even at age 51, that is finally popping out again.

The bands are incredibly versatile and accessible. You can use them in the gym, while traveling, or in the privacy of your own home. Because let’s face it, doing butt exercises in front of strangers in a gym can be a challenge until you get your peach is fully ripe for public view. So until you are comfortable stiff-legged dead-lifting in front of Joe and Tom at the gym, you can work with these bands at home or in a hotel room with no shame in your game or limitation to your movements.

Types of Resistance Bands

There are many types of resistance bands to choose from in stores and online. I recommend looking online first for the best selection and price comparison. You can get anywhere from 2-6 bands ranging from $10-$30. Just type in “booty bands” or “resistance bands” on your search engines. They come in different sizes, materials, strengths, and prices.

There are four primary different bands to choose from. There are the tubal rubber bands with handles, flat rubber/latex bands without handles, fabric/rubber circular booty bands, and the larger circular rubber pull-up assist bands. 

Tubal Rubber Resistance Bands

The rubber resistance bands with handles are great for working the upper body and abdominals. But, these are not as effective as the booty band when trying to isolate the legs and glutes. You can use these bands, however, with a velcro ankle strap in place of the handles for kickbacks if the handles are removable. These are helpful when performing shoulder stretches for physical therapy, too!

Flat Rubber/Latex Resistance Bands

The flat rubber straps are used more so in physical therapy, but these can be tied together and slipped over the thighs or ankles for some good booty exercises. But these do tend to roll up on the leg when placed above the knee when making the abduction movement with the legs. 

The best booty bands are the thick fabric ones that are made with “non-slip” material on the inside. These babies stay in place very well, whether against skin or leggings, and target all muscles of the glute without straining your upper body or lower back.

Fabric/Rubber Circular Booty bands

These resistance lops are typically made from high-quality cotton and rubber to hold them in place. This way, they are comfortable as you place them on your thighs during your workouts. You can buy a set of these inexpensively. Typically, a set of four loop bands will each have varying resistance levels. This way, if they become too easy, you can try something with more resistance and track your progress! 

Pull-Up Assist Bands

Pull-up assist bands are great for upper body workouts. These bands help you relieve weight when performing pull-ups at the gym or at home. These are typically large and made from rubber. For example, if you’re using a 50-pound assist band and you weigh 150 pounds, then you’ll be pulling 100 pounds instead of the full 150.

Top 11 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Legs and Glutes

So let’s dive right into the exercises. I tried 20 different movements with the booty bands and feel that these 10 are the easiest and most effective for all fitness levels. This list features movements that can make this a total body workout that really targets your legs and glutes. 

I also incorporated two movements into one on a few movements to add extra resistance to the glute. With these exercises, you can also add more bands or hold dumbells in your hands to keep challenging yourself and burn more calories. Let’s get started on your resistance band leg workout!

Half Jacks

Step into the middle of the band and slide it up over your legs, like you are putting on a pair of pants, and place it just above the knees. 

To begin the movement, stand up straight and carefully jump up into the air letting your feet land apart flat-footed. Your legs should be just wider than shoulder-width and in a quarter squat position. 

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Your upper body will hinge forward just a bit. Keep your hands in front of your chest like you are about to catch a football, with your bottom sticking out in the back. Exhale there, then inhale on the return/hop position back to feet together on your toes. Then, immediately pop back out to the squat position, holding for two seconds in the squat position. Repeat for 10-12 reps.

Bunny Hops

Start in the “half-jack” squatted position with the band stretched over your knees. Throw your arms down and jump forward, again ending up with your hands in the “catch the football” squatting position. 

Take four big bunny hops if you have the space. After the four hops, take four big steps backward, doing straight-leg rear leg raises. Squeeze the glute at the top of the raise as you step backward, pressing against the resistance band tightly. 

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Get back to starting position, and do four more bunny hops forward. Do four sets of these. 

Exhale on the part when your feet hit the ground, and when your rear leg is raised in the stepping back movement. If you are limited in space, jump forward once, then do two rear leg raises back to the start, and repeat eight times.

Speed Skaters 

With band still just above the knee, step out and lunge your left knee forward as if to start on a pair of ice skates or roller-blades, swinging arms to the side. Put all your weight all on the right foot, pushing it down into the ground, lunging deeply but not past horizontal, with the back left leg raised up in the air, pushing against the band. Hold this position for two seconds. 

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Alternate legs. Hold the position with your leg raised behind you for two seconds using your arms for balance. Your upper body is leaning over slightly with your head up. This is also a good core movement that requires you to fight for your balance. Exhale on the lunge part when your leg is up in the air. Repeat 12-15 reps on each leg.

Plank Poppers

With the band above the knee, get on the floor in a top push-up/plank position. If you cannot hold your body weight up, then you and get down on your elbows. Try and work up to holding your body weight if possible. 

Pop your legs out wide, landing back on your toes, then back to starting position with your legs together. Focus on pressing hard on the leg-spreading motion. 

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Do not hold the outside position. Just hit your toes on the ground then pop them back to starting position, again in a nice rhythm, getting your legs spread far as possible on the outside movement. Repeat 12-15 times, exhaling when you open the legs and inhaling on the return.

Having Babies

Sit back on your elbows with your feet together and the booty band above the knee. Raise your hips up as high as you can and push the knees outward against the band. Hold for two seconds, then back again, keeping the feet together. Exhale as you open the knees, inhaling on the return.

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This movement also engages the hip abductors, core, and triceps. Repeat 15-20 times.

Soccer Pro

Sit back on straight arms with your bottom lifted off the ground, with the band above the knee, and in a rear soccer kicking motion with feet flat on the floor. Begin by kicking your right leg up straight, then put it back down on the ground. Then, kick your left foot up in the air the same way. 

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Repeat each leg 12-15 times, creating then tension on the band when kicking the top leg up in the air. This exercise also works the abdominals and hip flexors with overall core engaged.

Scorpions 

Get into plank position (top of a push-up) with the booty band over the knees and bottom arched up into the air. Drive one leg at a time back and up, squeezing the glute at the top.

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Alternate right side then left side with 10-15 repetitions each. Exhale as each leg is going up.

Choo-Choo 

Get on your hands and knees with the resistance band around the top of the knees. Crawl forward, driving your right knee up and to the front off the floor as you travel forward, alternating knees. 

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Take about four crawls forward, then begin to travel backward. On the backward movement, drive your leg straight behind you before you set it down with four reps. Exhale as the knee drives forward and as it straightens out on the rear motion. Repeat 10 times.

Swimming Superman 

Lie on your belly with your hands straight forward. With the band above the knee, raise both feet off the ground. 

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Then, arch your back and begin opening and closing your legs. This works the gluteus medius very well while firing the hip abductor muscles as well. Do 10-15 repetitions exhaling as your legs spread apart.

Gator Bites

Roll over onto your side with your body flat against the floor. Your bottom arm should be extended straight out under your head. 

Place the booty band over the knees. Lift the top leg, stretching the band to its maximum resistance, then back down. Exhale when you lift your leg then inhale on the way down. 

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Do these slowly with proper form keeping legs straight. Do 10-15 reps on each side.

Plank Pop-Ups

With the band over the knees and knees bent, get down on the floor. Get ready to pop into plank position. 

With your hands on the floor, pop your feet out straight behind you. Then, jump your legs up close to your hands. Your legs should still be apart. 

Next stand up, with your arms bent close to your chest. Then, on the standing straight position with your feet hip-width apart, drive your arms up into a touchdown position, squeezing your glutes. 

Then bend your arms back down close to your chest and return to the ground into plank position again, with your feet shoulder-width wide. These are some burners! 

Exhale three times on this exercise. Once when sending your legs back into the plank position, inhale, then again when knees are bent and standing up, then lastly when squeezing the glutes together in touchdown position.

5 Bonus Exercises You Can Do With Resistance Bands 

If you’re looking to mix things up, add these additional exercises to your leg and butt workout. These movements are fairly simple and are great choices for beginners, especially if you’ve never used a resistance band in your workout before. Including these in a resistance band workout will help you achieve toned legs at any age.

  • Clamshells: Place a resistance band around both legs. It should be placed right above the knee. Lie on your side. Position your legs so they’re bent at a 45-degree angle. Your legs and hips should be stacked. With your feet touching, raise your top knee as high as you can without moving your hips. Try to keep your core engaged, too! Switch sides after completing 8-15 reps.
  • Glute bridge: Place a resistance band around your thighs. Lie on your back and bend your knees. Engage your core as you press your feet firmly on the floor, about hip-width apart and with your hands on your sides. Lift your hips until they are about the same height as your knees. Squeeze your glutes at the top before you return back to the floor.
  • Standing glute kickbacks: For these, place the resistance band around your ankles. Stand straight and engage your core. This requires some balance, but you can hold on to a wall or a chair if you need to. Slowly bring your left foot behind you, kick the leg up and engage your glutes at the top. Bring your leg back down and then repeat on the right side.
  • Lateral band walks: Place the resistance band just above your ankles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Get into a half-squat position and step sideways with one leg at a time. Go for 8-12 repetitions and then start walking in the opposite direction.
  • Leg extension: Sit on the edge of a chair. Your back should be straight and keep your feet flat. Take one end of your band and place it either beneath the leg of the chair or one of your feet. On the other foot, loop the resistance band around your ankle. With your foot flexed, slightly lift your thigh as straighten your leg. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions on each side.

These exercises are really fun and great to do at the gym, home, or when traveling. If you’re new to exercising, this is a great way to start! Or, you can incorporate a few minutes of a mini band workout into your regular exercise routine to act as a warm-up or for accessory work. 

Make sure to couple these exercises with a high protein diet that is also low in saturated fats. Making sure you eat enough protein is key to helping you build muscle (and don’t worry, ladies, you won’t get bulky!). Good luck and happy booty building!

Resistance band fitness at home Asian woman doing leg workout donkey kick floor exercises with strap elastic. Glute muscle activation with kickback for thighs cellulite.
Photo of author

Shannon “Dallas” Hall

While competing as a professional athlete on the American Gladiators Television Show, in the sport of boxing, professional wrestling and fitness, Shannon also obtained certifications in personal training, sports nutrition and boxing instruction. She has over 30 years of experience in the industry and has trained hundreds of clients both online and in person, having tremendous success as a weight-cut specialist and fitness mentor to those who seek to improve their mental and physical wellbeing.

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