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Last Updated on March 2, 2021

11 Resistance Band Exercises for Legs to Strengthen and Tone

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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 October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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