Best Resistance Band Exercises For Leg Workouts

Updated: Nov 10, 2020


Using resistance bands for leg workouts is a surprisingly powerful way to build your leg strength, muscle mass, power and mobility as an alternative to weight training.


Building muscle, improving power and endurance can really be made easier by using resistance bands for leg workouts. Different exercises for your legs can target different muscles around your legs and resistance band exercises can help you make the most out of your time in the gym.


Not only do some resistance band exercises put minimal pressure on your joints, but they can also target smaller muscle groups as well as larger ones too. With different strength resistance bands, they are certainly an option for everyone.


Why are resistance bands so good?

Resistance bands are the ultimate portable gym accessory that can provide a wide range of workouts and exercises for your full body. Most importantly however, resistance band exercises for your legs help you improve your form and produce top end power.


With stand alone weights, the resistance stays constant throughout the movement as the weight remains the same and the force pulling it down (gravity!) remains the same too. With resistance bands, as you expand the band and finish your movement the resistance gets stronger as the band is being expanded. This means that you consistently contract your muscles and improve top end power and strength with resistance bands.


When using resistance bands for lower body workouts, like legs or glutes, the consistent muscle contraction helps you think about your form more and can also help with joint issues like knee pain, as resistance bands don't put pressure on the joints as much as resistance machines do.


In addition to this, resistance bands have a valuable and cost effective attribute in that they are versatile in their use. While many high level weight lifters may opt for the barbell as their strength tool of choice, you will see them warming up and activating their muscles with a resistance band. But for us lowly regular gym goers, they are perfect for building lower body strength, increasing mobility and muscle activation (especially in the glutes and the hamstrings).


We have outlined below the best 9 resistance band exercises for leg workouts just for you so take your pick and build your lower body.


1. Lateral Band Walk


The lateral band walk is a great resistance band exercise to activate your glutes and hamstrings before you squat or do any leg exercise. Activating your inner and outer thighs, this movement can be performed with the resistance band around your ankles or if you really want to feel it, around your lower thighs, just above your knee, just make sure the resistance band stays tight the whole time.

How to do a lateral band walk: Put your resistance band around your ankles or just above your knees and with a slight bend in your knees, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Engage your outer thighs whilst hinging at the hips slightly, step one foot to the side. Then with your other foot, bring your feet together again and keeping the resistance band tight. Repeat until you feel the burn!


Resistance Band - Heavy

Sets - 3

Reps - 8-10 on each side


2. Diagonal Band Walk (or Monster Walks)


Just like the Lateral Band Walk, this exercise will leave your thighs burning and muscles activated whilst also improving the mobility of your hips.

How to do a monster walk or diagonal band walk: Place a resistance band around your ankles or your knees whilst standing feet hip-distance apart with knees slightly bent. Take a wide step up to the right side with your right foot and with a slight hinge at the hips. Don't forget to keep the resistance band tight around your legs, then you can take a step up and to the left with your left foot. Repeat until you've completed your reps.


Resistance Band - Heavy

Sets - 3

Reps - 8-10 on each side


3. Clamshells


Whilst we are still on glute and thigh activation, we couldn't avoid the infamous clamshell. This resistance band exercise is perfect for muscle activation and strength work for helping with caving knees in the squat. Be sure to do the clamshell with control and to a full range of motion so that you can get the best out of this exercise.

How to do clamshells: With your resistance band around the middle of your thighs, lie on your right side on a yoga mat or soft surface and bend your knees at around a 45 degree angle. Open your thighs out as wide as you can, engaging your thighs and glutes and pushing against the band. Pause and contract at the top of the movement and then bring your legs back together. Repeat for your rep count.


Resistance Band - Medium

Sets - 3

Reps - 10-12 on each side


[We recommend Heckin Fit Resistance Bands for Leg Workouts for its durability, style and price!]


4. Fire Hydrant


The Fire Hydrant resistance band exercise is much like the clamshell exercise but this time you are on all fours which really engages the core as well as working out the glutes and outer thighs. With this exercise, pay attention to your core and torso so as not to twist your body or break down your midline, this will help keep the activation in your glutes.

How to do fire hydrants: Put your medium strength resistance band above your knees. Get into a tabletop position with your hips directly over your knees and your shoulders over your wrists, with your back straight, neutral spine, looking straight down at the ground. Lift one knee out to the side as far as you can go without twisting your torso or shifting your hip. Engage your core and slowly return back to starting position, repeat on both side with the prescribed reps.


Resistance Band - Medium

Sets - 3

Reps - 10-12 on each side


5. Resistance Band Side Leg Lifts


Now we have activated our leg muscles it's time to build strength with them. The resistance band side leg lifts are a great way to target the smaller muscles in your glutes as well as your outer thigh. Much like the resistance band side-to-side leg walks, make sure your balance is strong and you keep focussed.

How to do resistance band side leg lifts: Place your medium resistance band around your ankles or your thighs whilst standing, feet hip-distance apart. Engage your core and tighten your thighs and glutes whilst balancing on your right leg. Lift your left leg out to the side as far as you can without twisting or breaking down your form. Pause and slowly bring your left leg back to its starting position and repeat for your prescribed reps.


Resistance Band - Medium

Sets - 3

Reps - 10-12 on each side

6. Tabletop Glute Kickbacks



Kickbacks are probably the most popular booty building resistance band exercises for legs. Not only is this exercise great for engaging your core, but it burns your glutes oh so good! One of the most simple but effective booty building exercises for your legs.

How to do tabletop glute kickbacks: Either place a medium resistance band around your thighs or around your feet whilst in the tabletop position. Engage your core and keep your torso strong whilst kicking back one of your legs directly behind you either with a straight or bent leg depending on your resistance band placement. Then lower your leg, remaining in control of your core. Repeat as desired.


Resistance Band - Heavy

Sets - 3

Reps - 10-12 on each side


6. Resistance Band Squats

The squat is the boss of leg exercises. There is no comparison to how useful a good squat is. The squat builds the most muscle, activates the most amounts of muscles and is best for mobility and overall health and fitness. There are so many influencers who frustratingly get the squat wrong (I know its shocking!).


Resistance band squats are a great way to correct your form as well as build your strength to a point where you can lift heavy weights. As you perform your resistance band squat don't forget to go slow, focus on form and importantly engage your core.

How to do squats: Use a heavy resistance band around your thigh, just above your knee. Feet in your preferred squatting position, ideally shoulder width apart with feet facing 10 and 2, Squat down where your hips go below parallel focussing on pushing your knees outwards against the band. Repeat for your reps.

Resistance Band - Heavy

Sets - 3

Reps - 10

Conclusion


Using these resistant band exercises for leg workouts are a great way to activate your leg muscles as well as building strength and mobility with your resistance band. Resistance bands are such a great tool and more importantly can be used anywhere, at home or in the gym.


There are so many resistance bands out there for you to try so make sure you get one that fits your needs. Get the right strength, size and one that is durable too! We like the resistance bands that have grippy interiors to prevent slipping and to give you good purchase whilst performing your exercises.


These resistance band exercises for leg workouts are designed to use a small loop resistance band, however if you have a larger resistance band don't worry. You can loop your larger resistance bands around twice or three times to get your desired size or strength as needed. Alternatively if you have a resistance strap where you have no loop, you can always tie your strap together to your desired resistance.


Check out our best resistance bands for legs workouts to buy yours today.

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