If you’re looking for a great and simple method to work on building muscle in your legs, look no further. Here is our detailed guide on some of the best resistance band leg exercises. There are a lot of leg exercises out there, but we focus on a few of the main ones that are sure to show you results if you stick with them. Here’s a quick peek into which exercises we’ll cover:
- Hamstring curls
- Leg press
Let’s get into it! Learn some easy ways to work on your legs wherever you can take your resistance bands.
Resistance bands for legs
Leg resistance bands exercise 1 – Squats
This is a really great exercise to work all of the muscles in your legs. You’ll be activating your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves with this compound exercise. I would consider this a staple in any exercise program, including resistance band training. Always warm up with some light cardio prior to doing your leg training, and perform dynamic stretches to work on your mobility which will be important for the squat.
- Place your feet on top of your resistance bands and hold the handles with your knuckles facing up as shown in the image.
- Keep your hands around your shoulders, and keep your back and elbows tight. You want to keep your upper body stationary.
- Squat as low as you can, you eventually want to get your quads below parallel – this may be a work in progress. Work on getting lower in your squat every time you do this exercise.
- Squeeze your glutes and press off of the floor back into standing position.
- Perform up to 15 repetitions as you’re able to over 3-4 sets.
Having a good, deep squat requires frequent practice. Don’t be discouraged at first if you can’t hit the proper depth, or go below parallel. Keep working at your squat, and performing this exercise while going as low as you can. The lower you can go, the better you will be able to work your glutes and hamstrings which are important to develop as they are often the weakest part of our legs.
Leg resistance bands exercise 2 – Lying hamstring curl
The hamstring curl is a great supplement to the squat when you’re first starting out. You want to build nice balanced legs, so you should do hamstring exercises to build up those muscles alongside other leg exercises which will focus primarily on the quad. In this exercise you’ll be activating your hamstrings in a lying hamstring curl.
- Loop a band around a pole or hook it underneath the bottom of a door. Attach the bands to one of your legs, if you have an ankle attachment: great. If you have two ankle attachments, you can choose to do both legs at once.
- With your leg(s) attached, lay on your stomach with your face down
- Take a deep breath in, keep your upper body rigid and stable, and by contracting your hamstring; pull your ankle towards your butt.
- Bringing your foot to your butt counts as one rep, lower it back to the ground slowly and with control for more hamstring work – this is called the eccentric phase of the lift.
- If you have both ankles attached at once, perform up to 15 repetitions as you’re able to over 3-4 sets. If you’re doing one leg at a time, perform up to 15 reps for one leg, and swap over to the other. Keep swapping back and forth until you’ve completed your 3-4 sets.
With the hamstring focus in conjunction with squatting, you should be able to get deeper into your squat easily by practicing these two movements; and we’re not even done yet! Still one exercise to go.
Leg resistance bands exercise 3 – Leg press
This is another great entire-leg exercise that’s sure to help you develop the muscles in your legs and get those legs stronger. All you need for this exercise is your band, no attachments necessary! For this exercise you’ll be working your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
- Start with the ends of the bands in your hands, and have the end of the band wrapped around one foot with your legs fully extended.
- Pull your knee and leg up towards your chest
- Now fully extend your leg again to work your leg muscles in a leg press style resistance band exercise.
- Perform up to 15 reps per leg for 3-4 sets as you’re able to.
- Check out the advanced tip below for when this becomes easy for you to perform!
Advanced tip for more hamstring and glute work: Attach the ends of the bands to a door or loop them around a pillar object instead of holding them. What this does is put more resistance on the band, and allows you more tension when you bring your knee up to your chest. You can bring your knee and leg as far up towards your head as possible, to provide more resistance on your hamstrings and glutes in addition to your quads.
So there you have it! Three great resistance band leg exercises to work into your regular resistance band routine. Work these exercises in to see development and strength increases in your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. If you don’t have a set of resistance bands yet, check out our resistance band review page!
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