Bands Bands Bands- Build a Better Butt with Bands! Say this ten times fast…adding it to my mouth and vocal warm up phrases HAHA! But for real…I have been using booty bands in my workouts A LOT recently and I absolutely love them. The reason I really started to give them a go in my workouts is because I have been dealing with a nagging shoulder issue and using my typical heavy dumbbells has been a little iffy. I’m seeing a Physical Therapist about my shoulder this week, but that is a whole other story that I will keep you updated on in a different post.
SO, since holding heavy (15-20 lb) dumbbells on my shoulders and down by my sides isn’t currently making my body happy, I have swapped them out for lighter ones (8 lb or maybe a 10 lb if I’m feeling jazzy) OR no weights at all and a booty band instead. Either way- I have been using the bands, with our without added weight. I am LOVING the results.
So, here’s what I do. I put the tight booty band around my mid thighs and use it for the whole leg focused workout. I have been doing the leg day workouts on the Sweat App and they are always killer! I don’t take it off! Having the band around your thighs activates your booty, especially the outer butt area that is sometimes hard to target. It also forces you to put less weight in your quads so you are using your hamstrings and butt for all the exercises…which is typically our goal when doing a leg workout right?? That’s my goal at least! The more BUTT THE BETTER! The band also helps you squat properly by making you push your knees out against it- your knees should NEVER buckle inward when you squat.
I actually remember when I first started going to the gym when I was a teenager, I had 2 free personal training sessions for signing up, which I used of course! I can’t remember the trainers name or anything about him or the workouts really…except for ONE thing: he put a band around my thighs to teach me how to squat properly. He explained that we should always be pushing our knees out when squatting, especially on the ascent when most people start to buckle their knees inward. People tend to do this when fatigue sets in and it can lead you toward a plethora of injuries and knee pain. I have always been fascinated with the science and biology behind fitness- I want to know how to do something properly and how to get the most out of a movement…so this whole band situation made perfect sense to me! The band helps train you to squat properly, with perfect for that will yield you the best results in a very efficient way. Who doesn’t want that??
I sort of forgot about this whole thing for a while- I always relied on weights when doing moves for my butt and legs because using weights is a very quick, effective way to build muscle in all the right places…AND I knew my form was pretty damn good so I had no worries. BUT I will say that using the bands again has been the absolute best reminder and my butt has been more sore from these exercise that it has been recently with heavy weights! The bands really target the whole booty, all sides of it and really burn it out without leaving you putting half the weight and impact in your quads. This is amazing! I hate when my quads are sore and I am really not looking to work them much- I want to work them a little bit of course for balance and general body strength, but I mostly want to work my butt and hamstrings…I am SURE I am not alone on this.
OK, so here is a little run down of my favorite moves using the bands!
Squats of course are a favorite for sure. I love to use dumbbells and the band together for a regular squat- you just get more bang for your buck that way. I like to use a medium to heavy band for squats because it keeps the tension high. I focus on really sticking my butt far back and squatting LOW- none of this halfway bullshit! Get your thighs parallel to the floor to get the full effects of the squat! Then lift back up and squeeze your cheeks- I have a tutorial about proper squat form here if you want to know more! I also love jumping squats with a band, no weights. This get your heart rate up and the jumping really works your butt SO well and so effectively. Plyometric movements really lean out my legs more than other movements, while still building lean muscle, so if you don’t play around with jumping much then give it a try! Sumo jumping squats (feet wider, tows turned out slightly) with the band are also killer in the best way possible.
Lunges are another favorite! I use a light strength band (not the heaviest one) for lunges because your legs have to be further apart and a tight band is almost impossible to use while maintaining proper form. I like to do a curtsy lunge, a reverse lunge and a jumping lunge with the light band! Make sure that your weight stays in your butt and your torso stays straight, you shouldn’t be leaning too far forward or backward while doing a lunge. Keeping your abs tight will help you stay straight. I like to tap my lunging knee down to the ground lightly before pushing back up because it ensures I am getting as low as I possibly can. Using a band with these lunges really helps activate your butt and your inner/outer thighs so you really hit a lot of areas with one movement. Of course, similar to the squats, the jumping lunges are SUPER effective and also really challenging with a band. I have a love hate relationship with them!
Crab walks are also amazing with the band. It’s basically a lateral walking squat. You step your leg out to the side, sit into a squat and continue like this staying low with your weight in your heels and then repeat the same thing on the other side. These are amazing and not only do they work your butt, they really activate your outer thighs! You can also hold a medicine ball or a weight to take it up a notch.
I also do burpees with the band around my thighs. It takes burpees from being difficult to being insane! Burpees are a full body movement, but adding the band really makes it MORE of a leg move and I have to say…I’m surprised at how much they really burn my booty when I do them this way! Much more effective in my opinion- cardio, full body and a little extra butt work is what I love.
Jumping jacks and high knees are both great bursts of cardio to mix in with the band. Like all the other movements, it just makes these simple moves more difficult and keeps your butt activated.
You can also get down on the ground and do some hip raises with the band and some clam shells to work that outer butt area again. There are so many options!
I really love to take these with me while traveling…you can use them anywhere and don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ll have access to a proper gym with all the dumbbell options. I have already noticed that my butt is a little higher and tighter since incorporating the bands into my routine for the past 2 months! I love seeing results, so I cam going to keep up with this for sure.
Let me know if you love them as much as I do!