How To Get A Killer Lower Body Workout With Resistance Bands
If you’re looking to get a quick workout in without having to schlep to the gym and use a ton of equipment, mini resistance bands are your new best friend. These nifty bands allow you to challenge your lower body effectively with some extra resistance without having to use free weights. Plus, they’re super easy to transport and not too expensive. Here are six of our favorite exercises for strengthening your lower body that
1. Lateral Band Walk
This exercise strengthens your hip abductors (the muscles responsible for moving your leg out to the side) and your gluteus medius (the butt muscles closest to your hips). It also helps you increase the stability of your knee joint, preventing knee injuries down the line. It’s especially beneficial for those who play sports like soccer that require a lot of running, jumping, pivoting and twisting.
Place the mini band around your ankles and start with your knees slightly bent and hip-width apart so that there’s some tension in the band. Step to your left, keeping your knees slightly bent and in line with your ankles, your toes facing forward and your torso tall. Perform one lap stepping to your left, and then switch to your right side. Do three laps on each side.
2. Standing Glute Kickbacks
This movie is great for your booty, and it’s super simple! Start by placing the mini band around your ankles and standing with your knees slightly bent and hip-width apart. Shift all of your weight onto your left leg and place your right toes on the ground at a diagonal angle behind your left heel, approximately one inch away. Kick your right leg behind you by squeezing your glutes, keeping your core engaged and slightly tucking your pelvis. Slowly lower your right leg back down to the starting position. Repeat 20 times with each leg, and repeat that cycle three times. Pro tip: Keep the movement small to avoid arching your lower back as you move.
3. Banded Clamshells
If you’re looking to strengthen your glutes and hips, add clamshells to your exercise rotation. Begin by lying on your side and placing the mini band slightly above your knees. Let your head rest on your bottom hand. Let your legs rest on top of each other and bend your knees so that your hips are in line with your ankles. With the bottom leg always touching the floor, keep your ankles touching each other as you lift your top knee towards the ceiling. When you lift your top knee, always keep it parallel to your bottom knee and avoid rotating your hips outward. Lift your top knee three to four inches off the ground and squeeze your butt at the top of the movement before lowering your leg back down to the starting position. That counts as one rep. Do 20 reps on each side, and repeat that cycle three times.
4. Banded Curtsy Lunges
Take your curtsy lunges to the next level by placing a resistance band slightly above your knees while you do them. This exercise is great for strengthening your quads and inner thighs, and it tones your legs all over. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent so that you’re in a mini squat position with the resistance band slightly above your knees. Lunge with your left leg behind you and diagonally to the right so that your left foot is in line with your right heel or slightly to the right of it. Bend both knees as if you’re curtsying, and then return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps on each side, and repeat that cycle three times.
5. Squat With Leg Lift
Work your butt, quads and hip abductors with this dynamic squat variation. Start by placing a resistance band above your knees and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down to at least a 90-degree angle, making sure that your knees remain behind your toes. As you stand up out of the squat, lift your right leg out to the side. Lower back down into the squat position and repeat the lift with your left leg. Do 10 leg lifts on each side, 20 squats total, and repeat that cycle three times.
6. Plank Jacks
Get your heart racing while simultaneously strengthening your outer hips and glutes with banded plank jacks. Start in a high plank position with the resistance band around your ankles. Keep your hips level and your core tight as you jump both feet out to the sides (jump your left foot to your left and your right foot to your right). Jump your feet back together and repeat. Continue jumping for 30 seconds, take a 30-second break, and repeat the cycle two more times.
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