10 Lower-Body Exercises You Can Do at Home (With a Resistance Band!)

Looking to get your lower body toned and fit? Working out your lower body can easily be done from the comfort of your own home with minimal equipment. All you need to get in a solid lower-body workout where you torch calories, increase strength, and create toned muscles is your own body weight. However, if you want to add a little extra fun, you can add a resistance band!

A high-quality resistance band is an inexpensive tool that can add a new layer to your workout routine. Resistance bands offer a unique element that traditional weights can't, accommodating resistance. Resistance bands work in that as you stretch the bands, the resistance increases, and as you release the band, the resistance decreases.

The best part of resistance bands is their versatility. They can be used for all types of workouts, including your upper and lower body and your core. Not only can you use them for these at-home exercises, but since they are lightweight and portable, you can also take them to the gym, on road trips, to the beach, and pretty much anywhere else that you want to exercise. Today, we are going to give you ten incredible lower-body exercises utilizing the resistance band to challenge your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and abductors.

Exercise #1: Banded Squats

Standing with your feet between hip to shoulder-width apart, with your toes turned slightly out, pull the resistance band up and around both knees. The band should land about one to two inches above the kneecap. As you sit into your squat, where your thighs are parallel to the floor at a 90° angle, the band will pull your knees together. To properly complete this exercise, you must maintain your knees at the proper width, resisting the band's pull.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 seconds between sets.

Level Up: If it is too easy, you can either add resistance by holding weights or shorten the break time.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  2.     Engage your glutes by pushing your big toes into the floor.
  3.     Keep your back flat and look forward, do you not your spine curve.


Exercise #2: Standing Clam Shells  

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out, ensure that your knees are bent moderately to allow for proper movement (similar to a mini squat). Pull the resistance band above your knees. Slowly move your knees together and apart in a slow pulse. Your knees should reach no more than 2 inches past your big toe when coming together. You should feel the exercise around the sides of your hips.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

Level Up: If this is too easy, pause for one second at the farther extension or take shorter breaks. 

Pro Tips:

  1.     Always maintain band tension; never let it become loose. 
  2.     Keep your feet stable without letting your arches collapse.

Exercise #3: Standing Single Leg Hip Abduction

Standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned slightly out, bend the knees into a mini squat position. Place the resistance band above the knees. Shift your body weight to one leg and lift the opposite leg until your foot hovers above the ground. Slowly lift your non-standing leg away from your standing leg as far as possible before slowly releasing to the starting position. Your legs should extend 9-12 inches to engage the glutes and hamstrings properly. 

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps on each leg. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If this is too easy, hold for 1-2 seconds at the farthest extension (when your legs are the farthest apart) or take shorter breaks. You can also move the band lower down the legs for increased difficulty.

Pro Tips:

  1.     You can use a wall or chair for support if your balance is shaky.
  2.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  3.     Keep your feet stable without letting your arches collapse.
  4.     Keep your back flat and look forward, do you not your spine curve.
  5.     Contract your glute after each rep for an additional challenge.

Exercise #4: Lateral Band Walk

Standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned slightly out, bend the knees into a mini squat position. Keep the resistance band above the knees. Use your right leg to step out about 6-9 inches; then, let your left leg follow. When placing your foot down, your feet should be the same distance apart as the starting position. Take a total of 3 steps to the right (one step is moving both feet) before switching direction to take three steps to the left.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. One rep is 3 steps to the right and 3 steps to the left. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If it is too easy, hold for 1-2 seconds at the farthest extension (when the feet are at the maximum distance apart) or take shorter breaks. Additionally, you can move the band below the knees for increased difficulty.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  2.     Aim to align your knees over the center of your foot during the exercise.
  3.     Keep your back flat and look forward, do you not your spine curve.
  4.     Contract your glutes after each rep for an additional challenge.
  5.     Take smaller steps while maintaining band tension to increase glute recruitment.

Exercise #5: Forward Band Walk 

Standing with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, with toes turned slightly out, bend the knees into a mini squat position. Keep the resistance band above the knees. Take 4 small steps forward (right, left, right, left) and then 4 small steps backward (left, right, left, right) until you return to the original position.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps (one rep is 4 steps forward and 4 steps back.) Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If it is too easy, hold for 1-2 seconds at the farthest extension (when the feet are at the maximum distance apart) or take shorter breaks. Additionally, you can move the band below the knees for increased difficulty.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  2.     Aim to align your knees over the center of your foot during the exercise.
  3.     Keep your back flat and look forward, do you not your spine curve.
  4.     Contract your glute after each rep for an additional challenge.
  5.     Take smaller steps while maintaining band tension to increase glute recruitment.

Exercise #6: Banded Sumo Deadlift 

Standing in a wide stance, with feet 6-9 inches wider than shoulder-width and toes pointed significantly outward, bend your knees slightly. Keep the resistance band above the knees. Hinging at the hips, lean forward while keeping your back flat and your head up. Your goal is to keep the knees slightly bent the entire time with the movement focused solely on the hips. 

Hold the bottom position for 2-3 seconds to target the glutes and hamstrings. Contracting your glutes, return to the upright position.  

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If it is too easy, you can hold a weight to your chest as you complete the reps, hold for 1-2 seconds at the farthest extension (when you are at the deepest point of the position), or shorten the time of the breaks.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  2.     Aim to align your knees over the center of your foot during the exercise.
  3.     Keep your back flat and look forward, do you not your spine curve.
  4.     If you feel your back is hurting, complete a smaller hinge movement.

Exercise #7: Banded Hip Bridges

Begin by lying flat on your back with your feet wider than shoulder-width. Keep your knees bent at a 90° angle with your weight focused on your heels, and your toes pointed slightly out. Place the resistance band above the knees. Contract your glutes to lift the hips toward the ceiling forcefully. Be sure to keep your core tight and focus on minimizing movement in the lower back. Keeping your knees pushed out (don’t let them fall towards each other) hold the top position for 3 seconds before returning to starting position. Hold the starting position for 3 seconds before starting the next rep.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If this is too easy, hold the lifted position for an extra second for each rep. You can also hold a weight over your hips to increase difficulty or take shorter breaks.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Maintain constant pressure on the band, and don’t let your knees angle in.
  2.     Aim to align your knees over the center of your foot during the exercise.
  3.     Contract the glutes hard at the top of every rep.
  4.     Keep the core tight to prevent back pain.
  5.     To add calf sculpting, complete the exercise on the balls of your feet.

Exercise #8: Butterfly Hip Bridges

Begin by lying flat on your back with your feet pressed tightly together. Keep your knees bent at a 90° angle with your weight focused on your heels, and your toes pointed straight ahead. Place the resistance band above the knees. Contract your glutes to lift the hips toward the ceiling forcefully. Be sure to keep your core tight and focus on minimizing movement in the lower back. At the top of the rep, push your knees outward as far as they go and hold. Return your knees slowly to the original position. Do not lower the hips to the floor between reps. Hold both the initial and farthest extension for 3 seconds while keeping the glutes tight.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If this is too easy, hold the lifted position for an extra second for each rep. You can also hold a weight over your hips to increase difficulty or take shorter breaks.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Contract the glutes hard at the top of every rep.
  2.     Keep the core tight to prevent back pain.
  3.     To add calf sculpting, complete the exercise on the balls of your feet.

Exercise #9:  Side-Lying Hip Abduction

Begin by lying on your side. Keeping your legs straight and stacked on top of each other, pull the resistance band above the knees. While contracting the glutes, push your bottom leg into the floor as you lift your top leg towards the ceiling. Lift your leg as high as you can without losing the integrity of the exercise. Slowly return the legs to the starting position and repeat. Hold both the initial and farthest extension for 3 seconds while keeping the glutes tight. Throughout the exercise, be sure to keep your core tight and spine straight.

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If this is too easy, hold the lifted position for an extra second for each rep. You can also move the band lower on the legs for increased difficulty or take shorter breaks. 

Pro Tips:

  1.     Contract the glutes hard at the top of every rep.
  2.     Keep the core tight to prevent back pain.
  3.     Try your best not to tip over, and don’t let your hips rotate during the exercise.

Exercise #10: Clam Shells with Side Plank 

Begin by lying on your side. Place your bottom elbow on the floor below the armpit (axilla). Keeping the knees bent at a 90° angle, with the heels behind the glutes to provide balance, lift your hips off the ground. Be sure to keep your core muscles tight, and your hips pushed forward. Maintain a straight line from your hips to your shoulders, not allowing the hips to sag during the exercise. Contracting your glutes, push the bottom leg into the floor as you lift the top leg towards the ceiling. Slowly return the legs to the starting position and repeat. Hold both the initial and farthest extension for 3 seconds while keeping the glutes tight. Do not lower your hips to the floor between reps. Throughout the exercise, be sure to keep your core tight and spine straight. 

Complete 3 sets of 10 reps. Rest 30-60 between each set.

Level Up: If this is too easy, hold the lifted position for an extra second for each rep. You can also move the band lower on the legs for increased difficulty or take shorter breaks.

Pro Tips:

  1.     Contract the glutes hard at the top of every rep.
  2.     Keep the core tight to prevent back pain.
  3.     Try your best not to tip over, and don’t let your hips rotate during the exercise.

Tags: Exercises

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