Lower body mini band workout you can do anywhere. Why? Because your mini band can fold up so small you can do it on the road, you can take it to the park, you can do it in your living room, in the gym. These bands are so versatile and offer the perfect amount of resistance at the right joint angles for maximum results! I take my bands along on every lower body workout, because even if I do not incorporate them into my workout, I use them to warm up/activate my glutes beforehand. This is important because most people do not know how to properly engage their glutes, and therefore causing an anterior pelvic tilt (quadriceps/hip flexors are tight, glutes/hamstrings are weak and pelvis tips forward). This can cause a lot slew of problems like low back pain, hip tightness, core instability and much more. So make sure you are properly warming up and engaging the glute muscles with your mini bands so you can perform at your best! Now let’s get into this mini band workout, and if you don’t have a mini band, check out one of my body weight lower body workouts!
− 20 Lateral band walks
− 20 Banded squats
− 20 Kickbacks
− 10(e) Leg curls
− 10(e) Knee pulls
− 10(e) Side-kicks
− 20 RDL
− 20 Hip abduction
− 20 Banded jacks
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Form: Place the band above your knees. Get into a “athletic stance” with knees slightly bent, core tight, back flat. Step side to side making sure you are driving with your KNEE and not your FOOT. That means the knee moves at the same time as the foot, not the foot and then the knee. You also want to make sure you keep your knees bent so that the glutes are properly targeted.
Modifications: Modifications here is just making the band resistance tighter or looser. You can also place the band at the ankles to decrease tension on the glutes.
Form: Band is placed above the knees. Drive into the band with your knees as you squat down (weight in heels and knees never going in front of toes) and then stand up. Knees should NEVER cave in, there should always be resistance pushing on the band as you squat and stand. This is going to engage your glutes and help with proper squat form.
Modifications: Changing the resistance of the band is going to determine if the exercise becomes easier or harder.
Form: Place the band around your ankles. Keep your knees straight ad bend forward at the waist a little, keeping your back flat and core engaged. Kick one leg back at a time, getting a nice contraction at the top of the glute. Squeeze for a second before releasing and completing next rep. Try to keep a little tension on the band the entire time.
Modifications: You can do kickbacks in a quadruped position to make it easier for balance, with your knee bent or straight.
Form: Place the band around your ankles and lay flat on your stomach. Flex one one (the one you are curling) and bend your knee pulling your heel towards your butt. You want to make sure you keep your hips on the floor and the other leg on the floor at all times. This is going to isolate one hamstring at a time.
Modifications: Resistance of the band is going to make things harder/easier.
Form: Place band around the arches of your feet and lay flat on your back. Keeping your feet flexed (to hold the band in place) pull one knee to your towards your chest and then release it back down. This movement is going to fire your quadricep (or top of your thigh). Make sure you press your low back to the floor so your core is engaged and your quadriceps are working and not your hip flexors!
Modifications: Modifications for knee pulls is making the resistance of the band (color) change to make things easier or harder.
Form: Put the band around your ankles and you are starting in a standing position. Keeping your core tight stand on one leg and raise the other leg out to the side (as far as you can) and then bring it back in slowly. Remember that both the raise and the lower of the exercise are both very important. Try not to lean the opposite direction too much, you want to stay in a straight line/standing position as much as possible. Always think about lifting from the hip, and not from the knee. If you have to at all bend your knee to raise your foot to the side then your band resistance is too hard for you.
Modifications: You can hold onto something to make it easier on for the balance aspect of the exercise. Otherwise changing the resistance of the band will make things easier/harder. Also, keeping tension on the band the entire time will also make things harder.
Form: Place band around the arches of your feet and start in a standing position. Grab the band with both hands and you are going to pull up on the band to try and stand up, keeping your arms straight. You want to also keep your back flat and core tight. This movement is going to be working your hamstrings. You likely will not be able to stand all the way, so make sure you just keep tension on the band as you rise and lower. Weight is in the heels and you are shifting your butt back as you lower down and then drive up with your hamstrings and you pull up on the band.
Modifications: Resistance of the band is going to make things easier/harder. You can also do one leg at a time to add more resistance or try doing it in a seated position to make it easier (for this one band sure arms stay straight otherwise you will be using your back muscles instead of your hamstrings).
Form: Place band around knees and sit down on the floor. Put your feet together and bend your knees to 90 degrees. Make sure you keep your back flat and core engaged, you are opening and closing your knees. Driving into the band and firing those glute muscles is the primary focus here. This is going to work the glute medius that is typically weak and over-looked by most people as it is hard to engage. You want to make sure you keep your feet together and back flat because that is what will allow you to properly hit this muscle group.
Modifications: You can also do this seated on a chair/bench instead of on the floor. But again, make sure you are sitting up straight and your feet are together and slightly behind your knees. To make things harder you can lay flat on your back and perform this movement while holding a hip bridge.
Form: Place the band around your ankles. You are going to perform a regular jumping jack, with some added resistance of the band. This again is going to fire those glute muscles that are typically over-looked.
Modifications: Instead of jumping you can simply just step tap one foot out to the side at a time. Increase the resistance of your band to make it harder, or hold a weight as your feet jack in and out and your arms go up and down with the weight.
Warming up and cooling down after a lower body workout is CRUCIAL if you want to be able to sit down the next day without needing a handle to hold, or even walk up the stairs faster than a snail! These are my favorite exercise to do before and after a mini band workout.
− 20 Lateral band walks (around ankles)
− 20 Banded bridges (band above knees)
− 10 (each) Banded clams (band above knees, lying on side with knees bent, opening only the knees)
− 10 (each) Quadruped kickbacks (band above knees, keeping knee bent and kicking foot towards ceiling)
− 10 (each) Quadruped fire hydrants (band above knees and lifting knee out to side)
− Seated hamstring stretch (sit with legs straight reach towards feet)
− Lying figure 4 stretch (lye on back, cross one foot over your opposite knee and pull leg that has foot crossed over towards chest)
− Kneeling hip flexor stretch (kneeling with one foot up and leaning forward to open up kneeling hip)
− Standing leg crossover IT band stretch (stand with one foot crossed over the other and reach down for the instep of the back foot)
− Standing quad stretch (grab one foot/ankle behind you and pull towards your butt)