A resistance band is one of the most inexpensive, convenient pieces of workout equipment you can own. You can get a pack of multiple online for $30 or less, and they take up essentially no space—perfect for anyone whose "home gym" is the sliver of space between their sofa and TV.
While there are a million ways to use resistance bands, they're especially great for the glutes. Lena Marti, a NASM-certified personal trainer in New York City, tells SELF that bands are great for activating the muscles in the butt, which basically means getting them ready to work.
It's common for your quads to take over in exercises like squats and lunges, when you really want your butt to be doing the majority of the work—part of the reason is because many people are quad-dominant, meaning that you tend to overuse your quad muscles during workouts that aren't meant to target them. There are a few things that can cause it, but one of the big culprits is tight hips. When your hips are tight, you're more likely to initiate movements like squats from your knees instead of your hips, putting the pressure on your legs instead of your butt.
Band workouts are really great for targeting the muscles in the butt—the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. That's great if you just want to do a butt-focused workout, but it's helpful if you want to prime your glutes for an all-encompassing workout, too. Isolated glute exercises, like the ones Marti demos below, will warm up your glutes and get them ready to work so that you "turn on the right muscles," Marti says.
Here's how to do this workout:
- Ankle Jumping Jacks — 20 reps
- Lateral Band Walks — 20 reps
- Standing Glute Kicks — 20 reps each side
- Banded Walks — 20 reps
- Squat to Lateral Leg Lifts — 20 reps
- Clamshells — 20 reps
- Hip Bridge Pulses — 20 reps
- Fire Hydrants — 20 reps
- Hip Bridges With Alternating Leg Extensions — 20 reps
- Donkey Kicks— 20 reps
- Do this circuit two times.
Marti recommends doing this workout two or three times per week. She also suggests just picking two moves to do before every lower-body workout to warm up and activate your glutes. "I do this before leg day," Marti says. "I'm working with the bands first, every single time."