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October 3, 2018

5 Best Glute Building Exercises With Bands

5 best glute building exercises with bands by Annie Miller

I like big glutes and I cannot lie.

But seriously. A round, well shaped backside is not only visually appealing but can be useful in decreasing back pain and increasing strength and power in other lifts like the squat and deadlift.

Banded Glute Exercises

High reps are my favorite for all of these as a larger volume is needed to tire the glutes. I support using heavy loads to build the glutes, but these five exercises are VERY useful and effective with as little equipment as a resistance band.

I suggest 20+ reps for all exercises below (for multiple sets). Your experience and level of resistance will determine the reps you’re able to complete.

The red band I am using in these videos is the Hip Circle by Mark Bell. You can get yours here.

Have at ’em.

The Frog Pump

This exercise gives the hip adduction machine (aka baby maker) a run for it’s money as the most awkward movement one can perform in the gym setting. Is this any reason to NOT perform the frog pump? Absolutely not. Pump away. Just avoid eye contact with all humans. Or not, and maybe find yourself a hot date? Kidding. Avoid eye contact. Please…

  • To get the most out of the pump, a band above the knees is best.
  • Your legs are in a diamond (you can move your feet forward or closer to you to find the best glute contraction – all our hips are different, that’s okay).
  • Bottoms of the feet are glued together. (I have to lay something down to pad my ankles like a pillow or towel).
  • Tucking the chin to the chest helps to ensure no hyperextension of the low back. You can even put a half bosu under your head for support.

And pump, pump, pump away my friend. Squeeze the glutes as hard as you possibly can while driving knees out the entire time (against the band).

You can do these with or without a band. Higher reps are best as frog pumps are an awesome burner. 25+ reps for multiple sets is not uncommonly programmed.

Mini Band Air Squat

Note that this band in the video is too tight for me to get into my normal squat position. I should use a less tight band, allowing me to get my legs wider so I can sink into my hips and avoid the butt wink (lumbar flexion at the bottom).

Simple but so brutal when you throw a band around your thighs and keep tension the entire time.

My favorite way to perform these for the best glute burn is with constant tension. This means no pausing at the top or bottom of the squat. I don’t like to lock out at the top (personal preference).

The “how” is just the same as a normal air squat.

  • Feet fully planted (heel, outside of foot, ball, and all toes)
  • Feet straight forward or slightly turned out (to 15-30 degrees)
  • Tight core, ribs pinned down, knees tracking with toes, hips and knee angle opens and closes at the same rate.

Hip Thrust (glute bridge)

Again, simple, but so effective.

  • Lay on your back, feet and knees shoulder width or just outside.
  • Feet can be straight forward or angled outward.
  • Press through heels.
  • Fight knees out against the band.
  • Keep ribs pinned down and squeeze ONLY the glutes so that there is no use of the low back.

You can elevate your back, your feet or both for a different angle and larger range of motion.

Lateral Band Walk

These might take the holy grail of mini band work. Widely used among trainers, physical therapists, performance coaches, and chiropractors for strengthening the hips.

Also very easy to perform incorrectly.

The feet, knees, hips and shoulders all stay square to the front. I like to line my toes up on a line of some kind if it is available.

Common mistakes are feet turning out and knees caving in as you pull agains the bands.

If you keep your knees pressing out the entire time, you’ll be fine.

  • Knees are slightly bent.
  • Shin angle can be positive (with knees a bit forward) or vertical (hips back more and higher). Play with this to find the biggest burn for YOU.
  • Keep tension in the band the entire time for the best burn.
  • Note: Band can be at ankles or right above the knee. Either way, the point is that you keep tension, and alignment through the movement.

I personally feel better and teach with the band at the ankles. However, both are effective.

Angled Kick-back

Hello instagram fitness model favorite exercise of all time. Gag me. But I can’t hate too much. Kick back variations are popular because THEY WORK sister.

You can perform many types of kick backs with bands. The angled kick back is my favorite for building the top of the glute (the ledge, or shelf). This is your gluteas medius or more commonly known as the glute med.

Band at the ankle (less restrictive band):

Band around the thighs (more restrictive band):

The angled kick back looks more simple than it is to perform. Please see some cue points below.

  • Planted foot is straight forward, knees is soft (slightly bent), chest can be forward slightly.
  • HIPS SQUARE TO THE FRONT. This is a big one. Keep your shoulders and hips square to the front.
  • Working leg is externally rotated to 45 degrees or more if you can (but hips stay square).
  • The leg remains straight as the leg raise is initiated at the hip via the glute med.

This bad boy should burn real quick. Controlling and fully isolating the glute med will likely be your biggest struggle to start.

A bent leg kick back on a machine or all fours is best for building the gluteas maximus (to round out the bottom of the glutes). linked below.

Now get to building that booty my friend.

And if you’re looking for a progressive, functional program that inspires you to learn as you train without asking you to figure it out for yourself, click here to see if Built By Annie is right for you (three options available)

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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