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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs to Strengthen and Tone

11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs to Strengthen and Tone

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) while 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 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.

Before diving in, you’re also recommended to get the free resistance band workout plan – 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge to challenge yourself!

1. Resistance Band Squat

Muscles worked: Glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings

This is one of the best glute exercises with bands, and it has the added bonus of also working out the quads and hamstrings, ensuring your legs get a well-rounded workout.

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

Muscles worked: Entire back of your legs and glutes

If you’re looking for a booty band workout, this exercise is a great place to start!

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Lie on your back with your feet hip width apart and flat on the floor. 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

Muscles worked: Glutes, hip-abductors, and quads

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

Muscles worked: Hamstrings

Lie on the floor, face down, with your legs straight. Loop a resistance band around your ankles. Slowly curl one leg bringing your heel up to your bum by bending your knee. Hold this for several seconds, 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.

Rep range for each leg: 10-15

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5. Resistance Band Tabletop Glute Kickbacks

Muscles worked: Glutes and core

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

Muscles worked: Quads and glutes

Using resistance bands for buttocks workouts is a great way to build strength and stability. For this exercise, 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:

7. Resistance Band Leg Lifts

Muscles worked: Smaller muscles in the glutes

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.

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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

8. Resistance Band Clamshells

Muscles worked: Glutes and core/obliques

For this resistance band exercise for legs, 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

Muscles worked: Gluteus medius and minimus

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.

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

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10. Resistance Band Standing Rear Leg Lifts

Muscles worked: Glutes and hamstrings

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

Muscles worked: Quadriceps

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 in the world.

More Resistance Band Exercises

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Oliver Anwar

Fitness Entrepreneur, Health Consultant & Qualified Nutrition Coach

12 Best at Home Workouts (No Equipment Needed) resistance band exercises for legs 11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs to Strengthen and Tone 15 Healthy Eating Tips from a Professional Health Coach

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

Benefits of Static Stretches

Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

Improved Flexibility

If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

Prevent Injuries

If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

Think of it this way:

When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

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However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

Improvement in Recovery

If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

  • Improved relaxation
  • Increased movement efficiency
  • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
  • Reduction in muscle tension
  • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
  • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
  • Relief from cramping

15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

1. Neck Stretch

    While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

    Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

    2. Chest Stretch

      Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

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      3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

      Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

        Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

        4. Triceps Static Stretch

          Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

          Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

          5. Biceps Stretch

          Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

            Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

            6. Wrist Stretch

            11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

              While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

              7. Side Stretch

                Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

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                8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                  Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                  9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                  Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                    Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                    Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                    10. Knees to Chest

                    Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                      Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                      11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                      How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                        Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                        12. Figure 4 Stretch

                        How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                          Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                          13. Standing Quad Stretch

                            Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

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                            Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                            14. Hamstring Stretch

                              Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                              Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                              15. Calf Stretch

                                Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

                                Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

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                                Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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