Glute training has the interest of the entire lifting space — and with good reason. Whether you’re looking to round out your peach, improve your hip drive, or just move to feel better, tacking on some glute-specific work is right for you.
You’re going to want to find the best way to train your butt, but effective glute training takes many forms. It starts as simple as bodyweight exercises and progresses to using heavy barbells and machines. But you don’t need heavy weights to target your glutes to the max. All you need is some resistance bands.
Resistance band training is intimately tied to the glutes. You’ll find resistance band glute exercises anywhere from group fitness classes to powerlifting warm-ups. To get the absolute most out of your butt-based resistance band work, here are the seven best resistance band exercises for the glutes.
7 Best Resistance Band Exercises for the Glutes
- Resistance Band Lateral Walk
- Resistance Band Hip Abductions
- Resistance Band Air Squats
- Resistance Band Glute Bridge
- Resistance Band Glute Kickback
- Resistance Band Romanian Deadlift
- Resistance Band Good Morning
First up is your resistance band lateral walk. Using a resistance band around your ankles or knees is a great way to cue some tension into your glutes. As you take your strides, you’ll experience constant pressure to prevent the band from shoving your limbs toward your midline.
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This tension makes the resistance band lateral walk a fantastic warm-up tool. Expect to catch a great glute pump that makes your next few glute exercises even more effective. With improved proprioception from the added butt blood flow, exercises such as hinges or glute bridges get a lot easier to coordinate.
How to Do It
- Wrap a resistance band around your ankles or thighs. If you wrap at the ankles, choose a lighter band.
- Set your feet hip-width apart and slightly hinge over, keeping your ribcage and pelvis stacked.
- Set a light core brace and begin stepping to the right with your right leg. Make each stride as wide as possible without collapsing your left leg inward.
- Bring your right foot back to the starting position at around a hip-width stance. Continue for repetitions, completing the same amount of reps on the opposite side.
The resistance band hip abduction is another way to warm up your lower body for future exercises or even grow some sweet glute gains all on its own. Hip abduction is the act of splaying your knees apart. In this case, you’ll be moving against resistance. Your gluteus medius (the upper and outer part of your butt) lights up when you do this.
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Aim to rep out some pretty high numbers here to chase a huge glute pump. Similar to the lateral walks, the resistance band hip abduction makes for a wonderful warm-up for almost any lower body goal. An alternative way to use the resistance band hip abduction is as part of a superset or glute circuit to finish off your day.
How to Do It
- Wrap a resistance band around your thighs.
- Place your feet hip-width apart from a seated position or while in a standing squat. Hold onto an anchor point if you choose to squat.
- Starting with your knees pointed straight ahead, begin shoving them out simultaneously against the resistance band.
- Return to your starting position and continue for reps. Use a controlled eccentric for even better results.
The air squat is a simple bodyweight exercise that makes it accessible without any equipment. If you’re struggling with your squatting pattern, keeping your bodyweight balanced across your foot, or simply “don’t feel” the glutes, adding a resistance band is for you.
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Using a resistance band doesn’t magically add tonnage to the execution of your squat itself, but it helps refine your technique. The resistance band assists you in achieving the correct position to properly hit the glutes as you squat. Instead of being too toe heavy or overemphasizing your quadriceps, the resistance band encourages you into the best spot.
How to Do It
- Take your normal squat stance with a resistance band wrapped around your thighs.
- Make sure to keep your ribcage and pelvis stacked. Stay braced.
- Perform a normal body weight squat to at least parallel depth.
- Keep your knees from collapsing as you perform each squat by maintaining constant glute tension.
The glute bridge is an amazing choice to isolate your butt all on its own. However, it’s common to struggle with position or connecting with your glutes. In this case, you likely feel your quadriceps or hamstrings burning more than you’d like.
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Applying a resistance band once again enhances the effectiveness of your glute bridge by better aligning your technique. While resisting the band and keeping constant tension in your hips, expect a huge glute burn by staying in the pocket with proper glute bridge execution.
How to Do It
- Lie on your back with your legs bent to approximately 45 degrees. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- With a resistance band around your thighs, brace your core and drive your legs out.
- Press through your full foot and squeeze your glutes until full lockout. Repeat for repetitions.
The resistance band glute kickback is a fabulous tool to seriously work your backside when you’re searching for some single-leg options. Where similar single-leg butt exercises like donkey kicks, clam shells, or leg lifts might normally be good alternatives, they’re much harder to effectively do with a band.
The kickback itself uses the length of your leg to make even the smallest resistance feel much harder. The band also gets progressively harder the more you stretch it. Together, this means that each rep receives a double whammy of a challenge as you progress through the full range of motion.
How to Do It
- Wrap a band around your ankles. Alternatively, grab a resistance tube with handles. Stand on the tubing with your feet hip-width stance and hold the handles snug in each hand.
- Maintain a slight hinge and a solid core brace and keep your working leg with a slight bend in the knee.
- Place your weight on one leg and hover the other in the air. While maintaining a straight leg, flex your glute to move the leg away from your body at an approximate 45-degree angle.
- Perform for 12 to 15 repetitions before swapping sides to repeat.
The resistance band Romanian deadlift offers a dual possibility for gains. You can use the band on its own or as an accessory to make a free-weight Romanian deadlift even more challenging. This makes the resistance band Romanian deadlift an option for both teaching the technique or simply blasting your glutes into orbit.
The hip hinge is a key player for glute gains, and the resistance band Romanian deadlift serves as a main exercise for just that.
How to Do It
There are two options here.
Option 1 – Glute Gains
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- Grab a resistance tube with handles and assume a hip-width stance. Stand dead center on the band and grip the handles tightly.
- From the standing position, slowly slide your hips back into a hinge. When you feel a stretch across the glutes, you’ve reached full range.
- Brace and stand back up by squeezing your glutes. Repeat for repetitions.
Option 2 – Learning to Hinge
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- Wrap a medium-strength mini band around two anchor points. Align the band such that it is horizontal and at a height that sits nicely at your hip crease.
- Walk forward into the band to create resistance. You should be able to stand tall despite the band pressing into your hips but actively need to brace.
- Using light dumbbells or a dowel in your hands, brace and allow the bands to help slide your hips back into a proper hinge.
- Flex your glutes and stand tall once again, driving through the resistance of the bands. Repeat for repetitions.
Another great resistance band glute exercise is the good morning. The good morning is a hip hinge just like your Romanian deadlift, but the length of your torso and placement of the resistance produces much more challenge with less load. This makes the resistance band good morning a perfect tool for traveling or training at home.
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Given that the hip hinge is one of your most powerful options for glute training, having a few tricks up your sleeve is great for any occasion.
How to Do It
- Wrap a long resistance band around your feet using a hip-width stance. The opposite side should be looped around the back of your neck or shoulders to create a full circle.
- Hold the resistance band on either side of your shoulders to prevent slipping. Slowly slide your hips back into a hinge.
- Maintaining a strong brace and neutral torso, hinge until you feel a deep stretch in the glutes. Do not let go of the band or lose your brace.
- Stand up by squeezing your glutes. Repeat for repetitions.
Why Resistance Bands Are Effective
In an ideal world, you would always have the best tool for the job. But sometimes, the best tool is what you actually have available. Resistance bands are lightweight, mobile, and relatively inexpensive. This makes them ideal for nearly any training environment or scenario, a true “in case of emergency” and “everyday” piece of equipment.
Resistance bands also provide a non-linear challenge. As you stretch on the band, it provides greater degrees of elastic tension. Machines, free weights, and bodyweight exercises offer their specific patterns of resistance, but bands are consistently more challenging as you near the end of a range of motion.
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Aside from direct resistance, bands are extremely useful for helping to refine positioning in tough lifts. Squats, hinges, glute bridges, or any number of your favorite glute exercises are difficult to coordinate at first. Not only do bands help provide direct stimulation for growth, but they also help you figure out exactly how to execute your major glute exercises long-term.
How to Target Your Glutes
The best way to hit your glutes comes from choosing the right stance. Too narrow and you’ll be in a weaker position to force the knees out. You’ll also draw on a lot more quads for exercise like your squat. A hip-to-shoulder-width stance is often a great starting place for you to best leverage your glutes.
Keeping your torso aligned properly is another major way to hit the glutes as hard as possible. Although your glutes are primarily used to extend your hips, not stacking your core will for the glutes to stabilize your pelvis. Avoid this by maintaining a stacked ribcage over your hips and bracing hard during all glute exercises. This way the glutes are most effectively used for hip extension and not as an emergency stabilizing muscle.
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Finally, manipulating tempo in your strength training is a powerful way to keep tension exactly where you want it. Compound exercises such as squats and hinges benefit from manipulating your tempo, or the time it takes you to complete each component of your reps.
Try slowing down your eccentric portion or adding in hard contractions and pauses at full lockout. This helps to keep the glutes loaded throughout each repetition and reduces your chance of losing position.
What Muscles Make Up the Glutes
Your glutes are one of the largest muscle groups in your entire body. They are composed of three muscles that overlap one another to help you with hip extension and external rotation.
- Gluteus Maximus: The biggest of the three, this sits most superficially on your hips. The gluteus maximus produces huge hip extension force during your squat, glute bridge, or hip hinge exercises.
- Gluteus Medius: The second largest of the three gluteal muscles sits on the upper and more lateral part of your hips. The gluteus medius helps with stability when you’re on one leg and also externally rotates and abducts your hips.
- Gluteus Minimus: The smallest of the three gluteal muscles sits underneath the gluteus medius and performs similar actions. It helps to stabilize and internally rotate your hip.
Benefits of Training Your Glutes
The glutes are essential for heavy lifting. Being one of your largest and strongest muscles, it would be a huge oversight to not prioritize them in training. A big, strong set of glutes helps you perform heavy squats, deadlifts, and other major lower-body exercises, including lunges.
A healthy dose of glute training also assists with core and lower body joint stability. The core musculature is often thought of as just your abdominals, but it includes much more. The core is a group of muscles that all work to stabilize your spine.
Your glutes are a part of the lower set of muscles acting to do just that. Fear of hurting the lumbar spine (low back) is common among athletes. Keeping your glutes strong with a well-grooved technique is a great asset to the rest of your core.
Aesthetic benefits are a final major standout for some athletes. From bodybuilding competitors to your average gymgoer, a well-proportioned set of glutes can go a long way toward keeping your overall physique in balance.
Programming Suggestions, Sets, and Reps
Resistance band workouts can go a long way toward building your lower half. Considering the type of resistance bands provide, you’ll generally want to use higher volume to accomplish your goals.
The greater resistance toward lockout and an easier start early in each repetition mean that you might not be able to reasonably hit a hard set of five using bands. The disproportionate challenge forces you to scale your sets and reps to the weakest link to get the broadest stimulation across each exercise.
This means that high repetitions are likely the best move. Performing two to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions allows you to scale the resistance so that you are challenged throughout the entire range of motion. Instead of aiming for strength, aim for a burn.
The same goes for warming up. A massive pump is one of your biggest benefits here, so aim for two sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.
More Glute Training Tips
With resistance band glute exercises added to your arsenal, check out some of these other glute training articles for even more gains.
- The 17 Best Glute Exercises for Size, Strength, and Activation
- The Five Best Glute Workouts for Strength, Performance, and Aesthetics
- How Bikini Bodybuilder Daraja Weidemoyer Builds Her Glutes
Featured Image: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock
As an expert in glute training, I can provide you with valuable information on the concepts mentioned in this article. I have extensive knowledge and experience in this area, and I will use evidence-based information to support my explanations. Let's dive into the concepts related to glute training!
Glute Training with Resistance Bands
Glute training has gained significant popularity in the fitness community, and for good reason. Whether you want to enhance the shape of your glutes, improve hip drive, or simply feel better overall, incorporating glute-specific exercises into your routine can be highly beneficial.
Resistance band training is closely associated with glute exercises and is widely used in various fitness settings, from group fitness classes to powerlifting warm-ups. Resistance bands offer a versatile and effective way to target your glutes without the need for heavy weights or machines.
The 7 Best Resistance Band Exercises for the Glutes
Resistance Band Lateral Walk: This exercise involves placing a resistance band around your ankles or knees and taking sideways steps to engage your glutes. It serves as an excellent warm-up tool and enhances coordination for other glute exercises.
Resistance Band Hip Abductions: By placing a resistance band around your thighs, you can perform hip abductions, which involve moving your knees apart against the resistance. This exercise specifically targets the gluteus medius, the upper and outer part of your glutes.
Resistance Band Air Squats: Adding a resistance band to air squats helps refine your squatting technique and ensures proper glute activation. The band assists in maintaining the correct position and prevents overemphasis on the quadriceps.
Resistance Band Glute Bridge: The glute bridge is an effective exercise for isolating the glutes. Incorporating a resistance band into this exercise enhances its effectiveness by aligning your technique and increasing glute activation.
Resistance Band Glute Kickback: This exercise targets the glutes while focusing on single-leg movements. The resistance band adds challenge and intensity to each rep, making it an excellent choice for glute development.
Resistance Band Romanian Deadlift: The Romanian deadlift is a compound exercise that primarily targets the glutes and hamstrings. Adding a resistance band to this exercise further challenges the glutes and can be used for both teaching proper technique and increasing difficulty.
Resistance Band Good Morning: The good morning exercise is another effective glute exercise that can be enhanced with a resistance band. The band increases the challenge and engagement of the glutes, making it a great option for home workouts or when traveling.
Why Resistance Bands Are Effective
Resistance bands offer several advantages for glute training. They are lightweight, portable, and relatively inexpensive, making them accessible for various training environments. Additionally, resistance bands provide a non-linear challenge, meaning the tension increases as the band stretches. This allows for consistent resistance throughout the range of motion.
Furthermore, resistance bands are valuable for refining positioning in challenging lifts. They help with coordination and provide direct stimulation for glute growth. By using resistance bands, you can optimize your major glute exercises and improve long-term execution.
Targeting Your Glutes Effectively
To effectively target your glutes, it's important to consider your stance and maintain proper alignment. A hip-to-shoulder-width stance is generally recommended to optimize glute engagement. Additionally, maintaining a stacked ribcage over your hips and bracing your core during glute exercises ensures the glutes are used for hip extension rather than as stabilizing muscles.
Manipulating tempo in your strength training can also be beneficial for glute activation. Slowing down the eccentric portion of exercises or incorporating pauses at full lockout helps keep the glutes loaded throughout each repetition and reduces the risk of losing proper form.
Muscles Involved in Glute Training
The glutes consist of three main muscles that work together to facilitate hip extension and external rotation:
Gluteus Maximus: This is the largest of the three gluteal muscles and is responsible for hip extension during exercises like squats, glute bridges, and hip hinges.
Gluteus Medius: The gluteus medius is located on the upper and outer part of the hips. It aids in stability when standing on one leg and contributes to hip external rotation and abduction.
Gluteus Minimus: The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles and sits beneath the gluteus medius. It assists in hip stabilization and internal rotation.
Benefits of Training Your Glutes
Training your glutes offers numerous benefits, especially for heavy lifting. Strong glutes play a crucial role in exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and other lower-body movements. Additionally, glute training contributes to core and lower body joint stability, as the glutes are part of the muscle group that helps stabilize the spine.
Aesthetic benefits are also noteworthy, as well-developed glutes can enhance overall physique and balance. Whether you're a bodybuilding competitor or a regular gym-goer, well-proportioned glutes can make a significant difference in your appearance.
Programming Suggestions, Sets, and Reps
When incorporating resistance band exercises into your routine, higher volume training is generally recommended. Due to the unique resistance provided by bands, it's best to focus on higher repetitions rather than heavy loads. Aim for two to four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions to ensure a challenging workout that targets the glutes throughout the entire range of motion.
For warm-up exercises, two sets of 12 to 20 repetitions are ideal to achieve a significant pump and prepare your glutes for the main workout.
Glute training with resistance bands offers a versatile and effective way to target and strengthen your glutes. By incorporating the seven best resistance band exercises mentioned in the article, you can enhance your glute development, improve coordination, and achieve a well-rounded lower body workout. Remember to focus on proper form, maintain alignment, and adjust the sets and reps according to your goals and fitness level.
Keep up the great work in your glute training journey!