The 7 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Building Bigger, Better Glutes

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 exercises for the glutes.
Credit: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

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

  1. Resistance Band Lateral Walk
  2. Resistance Band Hip Abductions
  3. Resistance Band Air Squats
  4. Resistance Band Glute Bridge
  5. Resistance Band Glute Kickback
  6. Resistance Band Romanian Deadlift
  7. Resistance Band Good Morning

1. Resistance Band Lateral Walk

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

  1. Wrap a resistance band around your ankles or thighs. If you wrap at the ankles, choose a lighter band.
  2. Set your feet hip-width apart and slightly hinge over, keeping your ribcage and pelvis stacked.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

2. Resistance Band Hip Abductions

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

  1. Wrap a resistance band around your thighs.
  2. 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.
  3. Starting with your knees pointed straight ahead, begin shoving them out simultaneously against the resistance band.
  4. Return to your starting position and continue for reps. Use a controlled eccentric for even better results.

3. Resistance Band Air Squats

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

  1. Take your normal squat stance with a resistance band wrapped around your thighs.
  2. Make sure to keep your ribcage and pelvis stacked. Stay braced.
  3. Perform a normal body weight squat to at least parallel depth.
  4. Keep your knees from collapsing as you perform each squat by maintaining constant glute tension.

4. Resistance Band Glute Bridge

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

  1. Lie on your back with your legs bent to approximately 45 degrees. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  2. With a resistance band around your thighs, brace your core and drive your legs out.
  3. Press through your full foot and squeeze your glutes until full lockout. Repeat for repetitions.

5. Resistance Band Glute Kickback

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

  1. 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.
  2. Maintain a slight hinge and a solid core brace and keep your working leg with a slight bend in the knee.
  3. 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.
  4. Perform for 12 to 15 repetitions before swapping sides to repeat.

6. Resistance Band Romanian Deadlift

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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  1. Grab a resistance tube with handles and assume a hip-width stance. Stand dead center on the band and grip the handles tightly.
  2. 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.
  3. Brace and stand back up by squeezing your glutes. Repeat for repetitions.

Option 2 – Learning to Hinge

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Using light dumbbells or a dowel in your hands, brace and allow the bands to help slide your hips back into a proper hinge.
  4. Flex your glutes and stand tall once again, driving through the resistance of the bands. Repeat for repetitions.

7. Resistance Band Good Morning

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

  1. 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.
  2. Hold the resistance band on either side of your shoulders to prevent slipping. Slowly slide your hips back into a hinge.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

A person using a resistance band to workout.
Credit: Shopping King Louie / Shutterstock

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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.

Two people using resistance bands in their exercise.
Credit: DmitryStock / Shutterstock

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.

Featured Image: Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock