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.

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

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

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.

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:

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.

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. 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

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

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