Exercises

9 Best Leg Exercises with Bands

The band has become and increasingly popular piece of gym equipment, down to both it’s effectiveness and the fact it’s one of the most affordable items out there! 

What’s more, when you know the best leg exercises with bands, you can do a fantastic lower body workout that targets a range of muscles in the leg. 

Whether it’s at home or in the gym, check out our top nine picks for the best leg exercises with bands.

The 9 best leg exercises with bands are: 

  • Banded Squat
  • Banded Split Squat
  • Banded Deadlift
  • Banded Donkey Kick
  • Banded Hip Thrust
  • Banded Single Leg Hip Thrust
  • Banded Clams
  • Banded Leg Side Raises
  • Banded Bridge

Who should try leg exercises with bands? 

The above resistance band leg exercises are suitable for a whole host of people looking to bring something new to their training routine. 

If you prefer to work out from home, then leg exercises with bands area great choice, as the bands are small, light and easy to store away conveniently. 

Furthermore, you might be a seasoned lifter, in which case leg exercises with resistance bands can be a brilliant way to activate key muscles, like those in glutes, ahead of a heavy training session.

It’s also worth noting though, that resistance bands have their limitations. There are a range of different options out there with varying resistance, so it is possible to progress from a light band to a heavier one, however, it’s worth noting that there is only so much stress a band can put on the muscle and it may become a lot easier as you get stronger. 

It may be that, at this point you swap the band out for bars, dumbbells and weights, but it’s just worth bearing this in mind. 

And, if you need a band to help you along the way, check out our review of the 23 best resistance bands on the market.

9 Best Leg Exercises with Bands

Below, we’ve listed out our top leg exercises with bands that will focus in on a great selection of muscles in your lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings and quads. Or, if you’re interested in developing your booty, check out our 4-Week Bigger Booty Workout Plan

Banded Squat

A squat is a brilliant compound exercise, and works a huge range of muscles in your lower body. However, add a band into the mix and you quickly have a much more challenging movement, which puts extra emphasis on key muscles like the glutes. 

How to do a banded squat: 

  • Stand with your feet just outside shoulder width apart and point your toes slightly outwards. Position your band just above the knees
  • Drop down and backwards into a squat. Throughout, the band will be pulling your legs inwards, keep pushing against the resistance and keep your knees strong. 
  • Push up back into a standing position, keeping your knees in a strong position. 

Banded Split Squat

The spit squat is a super effective movement to help put the focus on your glutes. It emphasizes the pressure on the butt, helping to improve strength and size, but also working on stability too. 

For this movement, you’ll need a long resistance band and a bench (although a sturdy and stable chair will do!). 

How to do a banded split squat: 

  • Stand in your split squat position with one foot on the bench behind you.
  • With your front foot, stand on the middle of your band and hold the band securely in front of your shoulders
  • Perform a split squat

[Related Article: Calisthenics Chest Workout: 9 Amazing Exercises]

Banded Deadlift

The deadlift is a fantastic compound movement, which works a huge range of muscles across the body. If you’re new to fitness or weight lifting, starting off with a resistance band can be a great way to build that initial strength before you move on to weights. 

For this movement, you’ll also need a long resistance band. 

How to do a banded deadlift

  • Stand in your deadlift stance with the middle of the band securely under each foot
  • Go to the bottom of your deadlift position and hold the band on each side
  • Lift up to the top of your deadlift, holding on to the band. Adjust if necessary

Banded Donkey Kick

Another excellent movement for strengthening the glutes, a weighted donkey kick would normally require a cable machine. However, with a resistance band, this is a super easy and convenient leg exercises with bands. 

For this, we’re going to be using the small looped booty band. 

How to do a banded donkey kick

  • On all fours, ensure the band is positioned just above the knee
  • Kick one leg back and up, feeling the resistance from the band at the top of the movement

Banded Hip Thrust

Much like the band itself, the hip thrust has become increasingly popular in recent years and is now a staple movement of any butt workout. 

By adding a resistance band to your hip thrust, it intensifies the stress placed on the outer butt and provides a new element of challenge to the movement. 

Grab your booty band for this one. 

How to do banded hip thrusts: 

  • Begin in the start of your hip thrust movement, with your upper back on the bench behind you and the bar across your hips, using a hip thrust pad to protect you, and the band positioned just above the knees.
  • Push the bar up, resisting the pull of the band as it tries to bring your knees inwards.
  • Return the bar to the floor

Banded Single Leg Hip Thrust

Like the hip thrust, but using just one leg, this is a surprisingly effective leg exercise with bands. It may not look challenging, but you’ll feel this in your glute and hamstrings after just a couple of reps. Add a band in, and you’ll really feel it. 

You’ll need your booty band again for this leg exercise with resistance bands. 

How to do a banded single leg hip thrust

  • Start in a hip thrust position, with upper back against the bench and the band placed just above the knees
  • Push up with one leg and allow the other to come off the floor, maintaining the same hip and knee angle throughout
  • Feel the pull of the resistance band as you reach the top of the movement and the legs are further apart. Do not let that pull your other leg down, maintain that strong hip angle throughout
  • Return the foot to the floor 

Banded Clams

The humble clam is a truly innocuous looking movement, but if you done more than about 5, even at body weight, you can’t deny it’s a brilliant strength building exercise for legs. 

By adding the band to the movement, you will really feel this on the outer glute, and put the emphasis on building great strength and shape in this area. Grab your booty band and give it a go.

How to do banded clams

  • Lie on your side as you would when doing clams, but with the band around the lower thigh
  • Raise the upper knee, keeping the hips still and the ankles together, ensuring you don’t let the band pull your lower leg up

Banded Leg Side Raises

banded side raises

This is another leg exercise with resistance bands that you’d otherwise need a cable machine for. But, as it’s not something realistically most of us can install at home, a small looped booty band will definitely do the trick! 

How to do banded leg side raises:

  • Stand with your legs hip width apart with your band around your ankles, or raise it up to around the knee if that’s too hard. Hold on to something sturdy for support if needed
  • Raise one leg out to the side as far is you can, pushing against the band and bring it back to the start position

Banded Bridge

Similar to the hip thrust, but a little more simple, the banded bridge will help to build strength in the glutes and quads. Simply by adding a band, this puts additional stress on the outer muscles in your upper leg and butt so you can take your workout up a notch. 

How to do the banded bridge

  • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and the booty band around your lower thigh
  • Push through your heels so your body is in a straight line from your shoulders on the floor to your knees

Leg Workout with Resistance Bands

With these exercises, we recommend you take a few movements from he list and start mixing it up to focus on different areas of the leg. You can realistically use these movements to concentrate on the quads, glutes and hamstrings to do a really challenging leg workout with resistance bands. 

We’d recommend taking four or five movements and performing 12-15 reps of each movement, two or three times through depending on how you’re feeling. 

That way you’ll work a range of different muscles through these leg exercises with bands, whilst providing enough intensity to feel some great results. 

gymgirlfit

gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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