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Resistance bands are a great way of adding versatility to your workout and, when compared to free weights, they offer variable resistance during an exercise.
This means that as the resistance on the band increases, the exercise becomes more difficult. This makes them ideal for increasing muscle size and toning your whole body.
If you don’t already own a set of resistance bands, they’d be a worthwhile addition to your strength training.
They’re low cost, easy to store away and allow you to perform exercises pretty much anywhere.
But, before you rush off to buy your very own set consider that there are different styles which are best suited to certain exercises.
Recommended Reading – Discover The Best Gym Machines For Glutes
Resistance bands are available in several designs including as an open ended tube design with handles or a flat profile rubber loop style.
The loop resistance band is often referred to as glute bands or booty bands and are perfect for movements that require a small range of motion such as the glute kickback.
They are supplied in different colors, with each color representing different resistance levels.
In this article we’ll take a look at some of the best glute exercises at home with resistance bands along with the benefits and drawbacks.
Recommended Glute Exercises At Home With Resistance Bands
Below we’ve suggested an effective glute band workout that can be done either at home or the gym, helping to strengthen and tone the gluteal muscles.
Resistance bands are an exceptional tool for warm ups or isolation of muscle groups while training at home
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Resistance Band Squats
Squats are a multi joint exercise that works the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes whilst helping to improve mobility and balance.
Squatting with a resistance band is low impact and, when compared to a barbell squat, removes weight load from the lower back and knee joints.
Here’s How To Use Resistance Bands For Squats:
- Place the band around your legs, just above the knees.
- Stand on the ground with your feet apart (by slightly more than shoulder-width), keep your hands together at chest height.
- Ensure your knees remain over your feet and don’t allow them to roll in. This is your start position.
- Keeping your core tight, slowly push back the glutes as though you are about to sit. Keep your head and chest up throughout.
- Stop and pause once the top of your legs are parallel to the floor.
- Pushing through your heels, slowly rise back to the starting position.
- Perform three sets of between 8 and 12 repetitions.
The clamshell exercise, sometimes called side lying clams, targets the gluteus medius (side portion of the glutes), the inner thigh muscles and the hip flexors, improving strength and mobility. Regular undertaking of this exercise will help to protect your lower back and hip and knee joints.
How To Do The Clamshell Exercise:
- Start by placing a glute band around your legs just above the knees.
- Lie down on your side, preferably on an exercise mat, keeping one leg on top of the other.
- Bend your knees to around a 45-degree angle.
- Rest your head on the arm closest to the floor. Place your other hand on your hip.
- Keeping your feet together, slowly raise the knee of the top leg.
- Squeeze at the top of the movement, before slowly lowering back down to the start.
Aim for around 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions.
Banded Glute Bridge
The glute bridge exercise is a type of hip thrust movement and involves hinging the hips to activate the glutes and strengthen the lower back and core muscles which carries over to good posture.
How To Do The Banded Glute Bridge:
- Position the band around both legs and just above the knees.
- Lie down on your back, ideally on a yoga mat and keep your knees bent with feet around hip width apart.
- Keeping your arms down by your sides, press your lower back into the ground. This ensures proper form.
- Slowly raise up the hips whilst maintaining a straight back and squeezing the glutes.
- Pause at the top before slowly lowering your hips back to the ground.
- Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
Lateral Band Walk
Lateral band walks, sometimes referred to as crab walks, are especially good for activating the glutes and tensor fascia latae. It’s common in a physiotherapy setting as helps to strengthen the hip abductors and external rotators.
How To Perform The Lateral Band Walk:
- Place the resistance band around your legs and position it either just above the knees or around the ankles. You’ll get better glute activation if located around the ankles.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and push back the hips to assume a half squat position.
- Keep your chest and head up.
- Your knees should be rotated outwards slightly for external rotation of the hips.
- Make sure to keep your toes pointing forwards throughout.
- Take a small step to the side with your right foot then bring the left foot back to towards the right foot.
- Side step as many times as space allows then switch directions.
- You should maintain the partial squat position during the movement to keep tension on the glutes.
Diagonal Band Walk
The diagonal band walk, sometimes called the monster walk, is a more challenging variation of lateral band walks. If you want to increase resistance, place the band around your ankles. If you want it a little easier, position it just above the knees.
How To Do The Diagonal Band Walk Exercise:
- Place the band around your ankles or just above the knees.
- Keeping your feet shoulder width apart with toes pointing forwards, push the glutes back to a partial squat position.
- Maintaining that position, take a step out and forwards with your right foot (diagonally).
- Next, bring your left foot closer to the right, and then take a wide forward step diagonally with your left foot.
- Make sure you don’t allow your knees to rolls inwards and keep your toes pointing forwards.
- Step forwards as many times as space will allow and then you can either turn around and repeat or step backwards.
Fire hydrants are great for adding tone and definition to gluteal muscles. They also help with back pain and posture alignment and improve hip mobility.
How To Do The Fire Hydrant Exercise:
- Place a resistance band around your thighs.
- Position yourself on all fours (tabletop position), ideally on an exercise mat.
- Keep your hands directly below your shoulders and knees below the hips.
- Maintain a straight back and engaged core. This is your start position.
- Raise your right knee out to the side until your leg is 45 degrees from your body.
- Briefly hold the position then slowly return to the starting position.
- Repeat the same exercise with your left leg.
- Alternate between both legs with subsequent movements.
- Do at least ten reps for each leg.
Banded Glute Kickbacks
The banded glute kickback is a great glute isolation exercise and very simple to perform making it ideal for those new to resistance band workouts.
How To Do The Glute Kickback With A Resistance Band:
- Position a band around your thighs
- Stand a couple of feet in front of a wall or chair, feet hip-width apart.
- Push the glutes back slightly and place your hands on the wall / chair for stability, draw your shoulders away from your ears.
- Keeping your spine neutral (no arching to the back), extend one leg back behind you.
- You should feel your glutes engage with tension in the band.
- Hold briefly and then lower the leg back down.
- After 8 to 10 reps, switch to the other leg.
Donkey kicks are a more challenging variation of glute kickbacks. It targets the gluteus maximus and helps with toning and stabilization of the hips.
Here’s How To Do Them With Resistance Bands:
- Position your resistance band around your thighs.
- On a mat, resume a table top position (on all fours).
- Ensure your knees are under your hips and hands under your shoulders.
- Make sure your feet our on their toes and that your spine remains neutral with your chin tucked in.
- Taking one leg, push your foot back and up towards the ceiling.
- Pause at the top and squeeze the glutes.
- Slowly return back to the start and repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Benefits of Using Resistance Bands
- Help to improve joint mobility
- Low impact so less chance for injury
- Good for muscle priming
- Large variety of exercises
- Suitable for rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Can target both small and large muscle groups
- Can aid with muscle growth
What Are The Symptoms Of Weak Glutes?
There are numerous signs of weak glutes which can often manifest themselves in other parts of the body and show as hip, back and knee pain and even poor posture. Many people suffer from weak glutes due to leading a sedentary lifestyle.
How Do You Test For Weak Glutes?
1. A quick and simple test for glute weakness is the following
2. Lie with your back flat on the floor
3. Raise your knees to the ceiling keeping your feet flat on the floor until you form a 90 degree angle between your shin and your hamstring.
4. Push your hips away from your feet to form a glute bridge movement.
5. Put your hands on bony part of your hips
6. Extend each leg straight in front of you.
7. Your hips should remain at the same level and not drop as you switch from one leg to the other.
Glutes are strong and large muscles that play an important function to the body. For this reason, people with weak glutes are more prone to muscle and knee injury, generalized body pain, and movement difficulties.
Banded glute exercises strengthen the glutes, thereby reducing pressure on knees and other body muscles. Additionally, they improve hip flexibility, and posture alignment, thereby helping with any mobility difficulties.