Choosing to incorporate resistance bands into your glute workouts can drastically increase your results. Using resistance bands for glutes is a great way to target those muscles that might otherwise remain under-stimulated by conventional exercises.
There is no better way to help with gluteal activation and add an extra challenge to the stability requirements of your muscle groups.
Resistance band are cheap, ultra portable, and ultra versatile. If you travel, it’s a great way to ‘mobilize’ your gym by simply packing a few grades of resistance bands into your luggage – they take up next to no room at all!
Why Do I Need a Resistance Band?
Physical therapists regularly prescribe resistance bands in their treatment plans, and for good reason.
The very act of working against a resistance during a movement requires more activation and recruitment of muscle fibers compared to the same movement performed without resistance.
In addition, incorporating a resistance by using a resistance band also requires activation of many smaller accessory muscles for stabilization throughout the exercise. Without this kind of stimulation, such muscles may rarely be used, activated or stimulated. If this continues over a lifetime, you can end up with muscular imbalances, poor posture, aches, pains and general ill-health. No wonder these bands are a favorite prescription of physical therapists!
What are Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are an elastic band, often made of rubber, that are intended to be used as part of a physical exercise program to add an extra resistance challenge to your movements.
By positioning the band to provide stretch resistance against the particular movement you are performing, you can get added loading on your muscles. This means more drastic strengthening and toning results in a shorter timeframe.What Kind of Resistance Bands are There?
Resistance bands come in a few different types, and the correct choice for you will depend on what exercises you intend to use your band with:
- Round Flat Band – these are one of my favorite types of resistance band for butt exercises, because they easily loop around the feet, ankles or legs to provide resistance against opening the legs outwards (a great way to activate lazy glutes)
- Round Tube Band – A variation on the flat band, round tube bands are also designed to loop around the body and are very versatile. Some may prefer this type because they can come with padded handles or a central tie to make them more manageable. However, I prefer the flat band as it is less prone to ‘rolling’ out of position as you stretch it.
- Straight Length of Flat Band – This type of band is commonly prescribed by physiotherapists for all kinds of rehabilitation exercises, and cut to the desired length if you want. They can be tied into loops if you require, but I find that a purpose built flat loop is a more ideal option.
- Straight Length of Tube Band – Also called resistance tubing, this is another type of band that is commonly prescribed by physiotherapists. It can also be tied off into loops and cut to desired lengths, so is quite versatile.
- Straight Length of Tube band with Handles – This option is a popular one for most users. Padded handles are attached to resistance band tubing, making the resistance band much easier to grip and use.
- Large Full-Body Loops – These type of large full-body loops are often used in crossfit and can be great for assisted pullups, as well as monster walks and other exercises. They are basically a giant version of the smaller resistance band loop, and can be around 41 inches in length or more when laid flat.
Resistance Band Grades
In addition to these different forms of resistance bands, there are different grades of bands which allow for different levels of resistance.
The grade of a band refers to the strength of the elastic material used to manufacture the band. A ‘heavier’ or stronger band is one that is harder to stretch, while a ‘lighter’ band is one that is easily stretched when pulled.
With so many different combinations of resistance bands out there, it can be difficult to select the right one for your needs.
Sometimes there is no concrete answer, and you’ll find that a lot of the time it is simple trial and error to find out what feels best and works best for you.
Often when purchasing resistance bands you can buy a pack with several different grades of bands for not much more than the price of a single band. It can be extremely affordable to buy like this, and it means that trialing different resistances is unlikely to break the bank.
What to Look for in a Resistance Band
You should choose a grade or weight of resistance band that is suitable for the muscle groups and exercises you wish to perform. For example, the legs are much bigger and stronger muscles than the arms, so it is generally more appropriate to use a heavier band for leg exercises that target the larger muscles.
To target the glutes specifically, I recommend starting off with a lighter band. Yes, the glutes are one of the body’s largest muscles, but in very many people they are so under utilized that they have become inactive and extremely weak. You’ll need to start small in order to build them up again.
Many manufacturers sell resistance bands in packs which come with different grades, but it’s important to note that these resistance levels will vary between manufacturers and brands. Experiement to find one you like.
You can also ‘stack’ bands to give higher levels of resistance as you become more advanced. Try looping two or more bands around instead of just one for even more of a challenge.
I ran into this issue with one resistance band that I own. The band was a heavy grade, but it got to a certain stretch point and became impossible to lengthen any further. This limited the range of motion on exercises I wanted to perform with the band.
A good resistance band will be closer to a linear relationship between stretch length and resistance, whereas mine was more like an exponential one. Luckily, this is a problem that should be rare if you buy quality, reputable brands.
Choosing the correct size can also be a factor. As mentioned previously, some bands come in pre-formed loops, or as a straight length that can be tied off in a loop to the correct size.
You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you, and this also depends on what exercises you choose to do with the bands.
Many people report that when choosing fixed loops a wider and larger band can be more comfortable. Loops tend to have a habit of rolling up and digging in right in the middle of an exercise set and it can get pretty annoying when this happens.
A wider, longer loop does suit some people, so be mindful of how much tension you’d like to have applied in your starting position when considering what size band to buy.
Always go for a more reputable looking brand which has good reviews.
Some common problems with bands are:
- Poor size/stretch rate – difficult to use
- Not durable – prone to nicks/tears, which can lead to snapping or breakage
- Inferior material – will degrade quickly and not last. If dangerous chemicals are used these may irritate the skin
- Contain Latex – those with allergies will need to buy latex free bands
Some manufacturers offer lifetime guarantees – these are the ones you’ll want to go for. One example of a manufacturer who does this is Black Mountain Products – and they offer a great resistance band set which is one of the most versatile that I’ve seen. Click through to check out my review of the Black Mountain resistance band set.
The Best Glute Exercises With Resistance Bands
I love using resistance bands to my workouts, but many people are a bit perplexed when it comes to glute exercises and how to incorporate bands into their butt workouts.
If you are purchasing exercise bands specifically for butt building, I recommend getting a resistance band loop first and foremost, as they are very versatile.
Glute Exercises using a Resistance Band Loop:
- Monster band walks
- Squat Arabesque
- Donkey Kick
- Plank with lateral leg kicks
- Lying side leg raises
- L-sit lying side leg raises
- Glute Bridge
Glute Exercises using a Resistance Band with Handles:
Resistance bands have a very big thumbs up and positive recommendation from me! They are super versatile, lightweight, and an excellent all-rounder for any type of fitness training.
If you really want to work your glute muscles, you’ll want to invest in a resistance band loop. Progressive overload is the only way to build bigger muscles (read: a bigger, rounder, shapelier butt), and resistance bands are the way to do it for many glute exercises.
Be sure to consider factors like size, grade/weight, and quality when purchasing resistance bands. Where possible, buy from manufacturers that offer a guarantee. Multi-packs offer the best value for money option for those who are starting out and are unsure of what resistance level will suit them best.
Do you use resistance bands in your workouts, and how do you find them? I’d love to hear your feedback, so drop me a comment below! In any case, I, for one, am absolutely sold on these fantastic little bits of rubber!