Band Exercises for Lower Body
Workouts Without a Gym
When you’re traveling, it can be tough to get to a gym for a workout. As the pandemic raged, gyms were shut down. Weights shot up in price and became hard to find. Fortunately, you can get an excellent workout with nothing more than resistance bands. They’re light, cheap and fit in a suitcase.
These exercises all require a larger flat looped band, also known as a sheet or therapy looped band. The heavier or thicker a band is, the more resistance it provides. That means it’s harder to move. Look for a band that allows you to complete your exercise with the proper form. As you grow stronger, you can get heavier or thicker bands to make your workout more challenging.
Here’s how to hit different muscle groups for your lower body.
Stand on the middle of the band with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Loop the band around the tops of your shoulders. Bend your arms and reach back with your hands to hold onto the band.
Put your weight on your heels and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your elbows up, chest up and shoulders back, exhale and return to the start position. Squeeze your butt at the top of the exercise and repeat.
Don’t let your knees cave in while performing the squat. Keep your knees over your feet for the entire range of the exercise. Perform 8-12 reps.
Stand with your feet staggered, one foot in front of the other. Loop a band under the foot that’s in front. Bring the band up and over your shoulders, but not over your head. Grab the band in front of you with both hands, lifting your elbows out, so they are parallel with the floor.
Extend the rear foot back, with your toes touching the floor. Lower your body, with your front leg going into a squat position and your rear knee going down until it almost touches the floor. Keep your shoulders back, chest proud and head up. Then slowly return to the starting position.
To work the quads more, come straight up. To work the hamstrings more, push back as you come up. After you finish one set, repeat on the other side. Perform 5-15 reps.
The following two exercises work better with smaller sheet or therapy bands.
Lateral Band Walk
Step into a loop band or tie a therapy band around your lower legs, just above your ankles. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and move your body into a half squatting position.
Moving sideways, shift your weight onto your left foot and take a big step with your right foot, pulling the band tighter. Shift your weight to your right foot and bring your left foot in until your feet are back under your shoulders, always keeping the band tight. Perform 5-10 reps in each direction.
Glute Bridge with Hip Abduction
Tie a band around your legs, right above your knees. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart. Your knees should be bent, and put your hands at your sides.
Squeeze your abs and your glutes, push with your heels and raise your hips. Keep moving your hips up until your shoulders, hips and knees are in alignment. Pause at the top of the movement, then press your knees out wide. Return your knees back and lower your hips down to the starting position. Perform 10-20 reps.
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