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Published on August 27, 2020

11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs

11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs

Hitting the weight room isn’t the only way to build strong, toned legs. In reality, gym workouts typically focus on hitting the large muscle groups – glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves whilst also training the core muscles. If you’ve been working out at home or don’t have access to a gym, then you’re probably wondering what exercises you can do to still get an effective workout. Well, don’t worry because there are resistance band exercises for legs that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Resistance band exercises for legs provide lots of variety to work all the major muscle groups in the lower body and also provide the flexibility of letting you train from anywhere.[1]

If you travel regularly, like to go on holiday, or simply enjoy working out of your bedroom, then this is for you.[2]

In this article, I will be sharing the top 11 resistance band exercises for legs.

Let’s dive in.

1 Resistance Band Squat

What they work on: Glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings

How to perform: While standing, place a resistance band just above your knees. Keep your feet around shoulder-width apart and hold your arms out in front of you. Keeping your glutes and core tight, sit into a squat by pushing your butt back and down. Push against the resistance band with your knees and keep the weight firmly on your heels by pressing on the ground and standing back up.

Progression: Add a 1-second pause at the bottom of the movement to make this harder.

Rep range: 10-15

2. Banded Glute Bridge Pulses

What they work on: Entire back of your legs and glutes

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How to perform: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place the band above your knees. Keep your core tight and then push your hips up, driving through your heels until your knees reach a 90-degree angle, creating a bridge. Then, come back down to fully complete the rep. Be sure you push your knees out and against the band to keep them in line with your shoulders.

Progression: To make the exercise more difficult, you can do it by lifting either your right or left foot off the ground. Make sure you alternate legs.

Rep range: 10-15

3. Lateral Band Steps

What they work on: Glutes, hip-abductor muscles, and quads

How to perform: Place the resistance band just above the knees. Stand in a quarter squat position with your feet around shoulder-width apart and pointing directly forward. With the left foot, step around 10 inches to your left and then step in with the right foot from the same distance so that your feet are back to your starting position. Continue alternating steps, side to side, and repeat in the opposite direction.

Progression: Place the resistance band around your ankles instead of the knees to increase the difficulty.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

4. Resistance Band Leg Curls

What they work on: Hamstrings

How to perform: Lie on the floor, face down, with your legs straight. Loop a resistance band between your toes. Slowly curl one leg bringing your heel up to your bum by bending your knee, so your one leg is past 90 degrees. Hold this for a second and then lower the bent leg down to the starting position.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

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Rep range for each leg: 10-15

5. Resistance Band Tabletop Glute Kickbacks

What they work on: Glutes and core

How to perform: Position yourself on all fours and place a resistance band in the arches of your feet. Squeeze your glutes and core and then kick your left foot directly behind you in a straight line. Then, bring your foot back to your starting position and alternate legs.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

6. Single Leg Resistance Band Box Squat

What they work on: Quads and glutes

How to perform: Sit on the edge of a chair or bench and place the resistance band above your knees. Ideally, you want to be sitting so that your knees are bent at 90 degrees. Ensure that your torso and chest are in front of your hips. Then, lift your left leg off the floor so that only your right leg is on the floor. Stand up on your right leg until it is fully extended and then sink down onto the chair or bench slowly. Repeat this on the other leg.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

If you find it too difficult to do single leg box squats  with a resistance band, here’s a version of it without a resistance band for beginners:

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7. Resistance Band Leg Lifts

What they work on: Smaller muscles in the glutes

How to perform: In the standing position, place the resistance band around your ankles with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintaining an upright posture (eyes looking forward and chest up) and placing your hands on your hips, bring your right leg out to the side as far as you can without shifting the hips. Once you feel the tension, lower your leg to the starting position.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

8. Resistance Band Clamshells

What they work on: Glutes and core/obliques

How to perform: Lie down on your side with your legs on the floor and hold yourself up with your forearm. Place the resistance band just above your knees and then bend them to 90 degrees. Ensure that both feet are together and your abs are engaged. Drive your top knee upwards as far as possible and then slowly bring it back down to the starting position. Repeat this on the other leg.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

9. Resistance Band Fire Hydrants

What they work on: Gluteus medius and minimus

How to perform: Go on all fours and place a resistance band just above your knees. Keep your core and glutes tight and then lift your knee to the side without moving your hips. Straighten and stabilize your body as you push against the resistance band. Bring your knee back to your starting position on all fours. Repeat with the opposite leg.

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Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

10. Resistance Band Standing Rear Leg Lifts

What they work on: Glutes and hamstrings

How to perform: In the standing position, place the resistance band around your lower calves. Press your hands on the wall or something sturdy to ensure that you can keep your balance. Raise one leg behind you until you feel the tension in the resistance band. Once you reach the top of the movement, contract your glutes and bring your leg back to your starting position. Repeat with the other leg.

Progression: When descending on the rep, come down with a 3-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

11. Resistance Band Leg Extension

What they work on: Quadriceps

How to perform: Lie flat on your back and bend your left leg towards your chest. Using both hands, hold the resistance band tightly and place your left foot in it. With your right foot planted on the floor, press your left leg out at a 45-degree angle and then bring it back to the starting position. Repeat this with the other leg.

Progression: When the quadriceps are lengthening, come down with a three-second negative to make the movement more difficult.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

Final Thoughts

These are the 11 best resistance band exercises for legs that you can ever find.[3] Give them a go, and you’ll be well on your way to growing those glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps from anywhere you want!

More on Resistance Band Exercises

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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Oliver Anwar

Fitness Entrepreneur, Health Consultant & Qualified Nutrition Coach

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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