The 5-Move Resistance Band Workout for a Strong Butt

Trainer Emily Skye shares go-to glute-strengthening moves.

When you're looking for a fitness tool that totally ups the ante on your strength workouts, particularly those that target your butt, look no further than a resistance band. Those looped mini bands work wonders for firing up your glutes and working your backside from all angles—a smart strategy for those who sit most of the day, who want to run faster, or for anyone aiming to feel stronger all over.

Benefits of Glute Exercises

"Glutes" refers to the three fleshy muscles in the butt: the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius, and gluteus maximus (the largest of the three). These muscles are incredibly important for daily functioning because they work together to help you move your lower body and keep you upright.

When they become weak (often from sitting too much), the hip flexors can tighten and cause pain in your ankles, legs, or back, according to a 2019 article in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy.

Emily Skye, Australian trainer and founder of Emily Skye FIT, told Health that she credits glute exercises with helping to ease her back pain. "One of my favorite body parts to train is my glutes," Skye said. "I used to be quite imbalanced, where I was really strong in my quads and my glutes were quite weak."

Strengthening your glutes can also make you more athletic and powerful. Take a study published in 2015 in the Journal of Human Kinetics. Researchers found that athletes that warmed up with glute exercises had a more powerful squat jump post-workout. In another study, published in 2012 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, researchers reported similar results.

Benefits of Resistance Band Exercises

Resistance bands—also known as booty bands, glute bands, butt bands, and hip bands—are a great tool for glute exercises because they provide extra resistance for strengthening and can help engage smaller muscles. They're also relatively cheap and take up little space. Skye recommended them as a workout on their own or as a way to increase blood flow to the backside before a high-intensity workout.

Get a few bands of varying resistances, Skye suggested, so you can learn each move with a lighter band before moving up to heavier resistance as you get stronger. You'll know you're using something with enough resistance if, by rep 12, the move feels nearly impossible to complete with perfect form, Skye said.

Ready to feel that fire in your glutes? Here, Skye offered five resistance band exercises to strengthen your butt that you can do anytime and anywhere. One key form tip to keep in mind: Do each exercise with good posture. "You do that by standing nice and tall with your belly button drawn in toward your spine. And then, slightly squeeze your glutes before you start," Skye explained.

When you're standing tall and strong, step right into this butt workout.

Resistance Band Glute Workout

Do each exercise below for 10 to 12 reps and two to three rounds. If you're new to these moves, start with the band above the knees for all of them. If you're intermediate or advanced, you can move the band around your ankles for the first three exercises.

Banded Squat

1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart and band around ankles, hands clasped in front of you.

2. Push hips down and back, bending knees and lowering into a squat. Make sure chest stays tall, back flat, and core tight. Resist knees collapsing in toward each other by driving them outward.

3. Then, drive heels and toes into the ground to stand back up. Repeat.

Crab Walks

1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart and band around ankles.

2. Lower into a shallow squat position, sending hips down and back and bending knees. Hold this position as you take three steps to the left.

3. Next, take three steps to the right. That's one rep. Make sure your chest stays tall, back flat, and core tight. Resist knees collapsing in toward each other by driving them outward and aim to keep feet parallel the entire time. Repeat.

RELATED: This Full-Body Resistance Band Workout Only Takes 15 Minutes

High Plank Leg Lifts

1. Start in a push-up or high plank position, with the band around the ankles, forming a straight line from shoulders to heel. Line shoulders directly over wrists.

2. Without arching your back, squeeze your right glute and lift your right leg up toward the ceiling. Then place it back down.

3. Then, squeeze the left glute and lift the left leg up toward the ceiling. Then place it back down. That's one rep. Don't let your hips drop or pike up; pull your belly button up toward your spine and push the floor away from you with your hands. Continue alternating.

Banded Glute Bridge Abductions

1. Start lying on your back, with the band above your knees. Bend the knees, and place your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Make sure heels are close to your butt and your back is flat against the floor.

2. Drive through the feet and squeeze glutes to lift hips toward the ceiling. Make sure to maintain a slight posterior pelvic tilt, so you're not arching your low back.

3. When you reach the top with hips forming a diagonal line from knees to shoulders, drive knees out against the band, going wider than shoulders.

4. Then bring knees back to shoulder-width, and slowly lower back down to the floor. Repeat.

Banded Clamshells

1. Start lying on your right side, with the band above your knees. Place right forearm on the ground and stack right shoulder over the right elbow, pushing the floor away to create space on the right side. Bend knees and hips about 45 degrees and stack knees and hips on top of each other. This is your starting position.

2. Then, squeeze the left glute and rotate the left hip outward, lifting the left knee toward the ceiling.

3. Slowly lower back down. Repeat for reps, then switch sides.

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  1. Buckthorpe M, Stride M, Villa FD. Assessing and treating gluteus maximus weakness – a clinical commentary. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2019;14(4):655-669.

  2. Comyns T, Kenny I, Scales G. Effects of a low-load gluteal warm-up on explosive jump performance. J Hum Kinet. 2015;46:177-187. doi:10.1515/hukin-2015-0046

  3. Crow JF, Buttifant D, Kearny SG, Hrysomallis C. Low load exercises targeting the gluteal muscle group acutely enhance explosive power output in elite athletes. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. 2012;26(2):438–442. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318220dfab

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