Can Resistance Bands Build Your Glutes?
Reading Time: 6 minutes 10 seconds
Whether your clients are looking to develop their glutes for performance or aesthetics, resistance bands can help. There’s really no reason not to incorporate them into your clients’ workouts because they are easy to use, don’t require much space, versatile, and inexpensive. Although they can be used in a variety of different ways for many different parts of the body, they are an incredible way to target the glute muscles.
The Anatomy of the Glutes
The glute muscles are made up of three main muscles that all play an important role in many human movements:
- Gluteus maximus: The largest of the three muscles. The gluteus maximus provides the bulk of the shape of the buttocks. It plays a large role in extending the hip and helps externally rotate the thigh (1).
- Gluteus medius: The second largest glute muscle. It abducts the hip and helps internally rotate the thigh (2).
- Gluteus minimus: The deepest and smallest gluteal muscle. It plays a role in abduction of the thigh and helps stabilize the hip (3).
All three muscles work together to help stabilize the pelvis and are one of the most powerful regions of the body.
Types of Resistance Bands
They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and tensions. Most resistance bands are color-coded by the amount of resistance the provide to help clients determine the appropriate tension they need. However, bands can also be made of different materials that affect the tension. Certain shapes and sizes are more appropriate for certain band exercises than others. A few of the most common band shapes are:
- Loop bands: shaped like an over-sized rubber band
- Tube bands with handles: like the shape of a jump rope but with grip handles on each end
- Figure 8 bands: shaped like a figure 8 with hand grips on each end
- Sheet bands: one long resistant band
As a personal trainer, it’s important to know which size, shape, and tension are most appropriate and safest for your clients’ exercises. Some glute exercises are best suited for one type of band whereas other glute exercises could be executed using one of many of the different types of bands.
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5 Resistance Band Exercises for Your Glutes
As with all exercises, proper form is essential. It is also important to ensure the band is held, anchored, or secured firmly throughout the exercise. There are many different ways to use resistance bands to activate the glute muscles. Here are a few of our favorite band exercises to add to your workout:
1. Glute bridge
The client should place the resistance bands around the thighs just above the knees. They will lie down on their back with bent knees and the bottoms of the feet resting on the floor. They will turn their toes and knees slightly out and press their knees away from each other to create tension in the band. The client should then press the hips up towards the ceiling squeezing the butt at the top and then slowly lowering back into the starting position.
2. Donkey Kicks
The starting position begins on all fours making sure the wrists are aligned with the shoulders and the knees are aligned with the hips. The client will hold or attach one end of the resistance band in front of them. Wrap or loop the opposite end of the band around one heel. Keeping the hips and back square the client will flex the foot, slightly turn the toes out, and kick the heel back. They will slowly return the leg to the starting position and complete all repetitions before switching to the opposite leg.
The client will place the loop resistance band around their thighs just above their knees. They should lay on their side with the knees slightly bent. The legs should be stacked on top of one another. The client will slowly separate the top knee (raising it towards the ceiling) from the bottom knee while keeping the feet together. They will slowly lower the knee back down to the starting position. They should complete all repetitions on one side before switching to the other side of the body.
4. Lateral Walk
To begin, the client should place the loop resistance band around their ankles. They will begin in a partial squat position with the feet and knees shoulder-width apart so there is slight tension in the band. While in the partial squat position, they will take a step out to the side with the right foot. They should focus on keeping the knees and toes pointed straight ahead. The left foot will then step to the right foot (back to the starting position). Clients should complete repetitions going one direction and then alternating the direction so that the opposite leg becomes the leading leg.
5. Sumo Squat
The loop resistance band should be placed around the thighs above the knees. The client should create tension in the resistance band by getting into a stance slightly wider than hip-width. With the toes pointed slightly out, core engaged, and straight spine, the client will squat down while keeping the tension in the band throughout the movement. They will press back up through their heels and squeeze their butt at the top.
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- Elzanie A, Borger J. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Maximus Muscle. [Updated 2020 Apr 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-.
- Shah A, Bordoni B. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Medius Muscle. [Updated 2020 Apr 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-.
- Greco AJ, Vilella RC. Anatomy, Bony Pelvis and Lower Limb, Gluteus Minimus Muscle. In: StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020.
Certified Glute Specialist
The ISSA Glute Training Specialist Course teaches trainers the science behind building better glutes and how to focus on these muscle groups to give clients the best results. You’ll learn how to unlock the hips, create better programming, and deliver envious results. You’ll master the art of developing a superior posterior and be the go-to glute expert!