4 Ways To Use Resistance Bands To Sculpt Legs & Butt From Every Angle (Video)

September 11, 2017

When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I was in love with running.  Getting into the zone and crushing a few miles every day seemed like a piece of cake!  Even though running keeps your legs in great shape, it can be taxing on the knees and joints.  Eventually, I had to stop my daily running and switch to less impactful workouts.  That is where resistance bands come in! I have a love hate relationship with these.

4 Ways To Use Resistance Bands To Sculpt Legs & Butt From Every Angle

The workouts may appear easy, but the resistance bands generate a major leg & butt burn! Resistance bands are extremely effective in toning your legs and sculpting your booty.  Here are 4 exercises you can do 3 times a week to transform your lower body.

1. Jump Squats- Jump squats are great because they immediately increase your heart rate by including a jump rather than just a traditional squat. Just a few of these, and you will start breaking a sweat in no time!

How to:

  • Place the resistance band on the lower part of your thigh, above the knees.
  • Start with feet wider than hips distance, toes facing forward.
  • Bend knees 90 degrees until you are in a squat.
  • Jump from squat to standing.
  • Jump from standing back to squat.  Be sure to land softly into your squat.
  • Find your rhythm. As you can see below, my “standing” is more of a fast touch.

Activated muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Spinal erectors

Perform jump squats for 3 sets of 10.

2. Leg Extension- Leg extensions are great for the back of the legs and core. The slight angle in your upper body asks your core to wake up and start stabilizing! I’ve done a lot of leg extensions in fitness classes and discovered a trick that increases effectiveness.  Just like their name, the trick is to resist the bands when lowering the leg back down to the ground. Working against the resistance forces your muscles to work even harder!

How to:

  • Place the resistance band around the right ankle and in the arch of the left foot. Option to place band around both ankles. Try both ways to see what technique works best for less band movement. We want the band to stay in place.
  • Step left foot back until resistance band is taut (approx. 1.5 ft)
  • Bend your right knee slightly, and notice how your upper body leans forward.
  • Engage your core! Imagine a corset is synching around your entire belly and back.
  • Keeping the left leg straight, press the foot back and up off the floor. Hold for 1 second
  • SLOWLY lower the left foot back down to the floor for a count of 3 seconds, resisting the band the entire way.

Activated muscles:

  • Hamstrings
  • Biceps femoris
  • Gluteus maximus
  • Gluteus medius
  • External obliques
  • Spinal erectors

Perform 2 sets of 15 on each side.

3. Squat Side Steps- Even I’ll admit this exercise looks very easy, but it is intense!  A squat alone fires up your legs and booty; add in steps and resistance bands, and you’ve got one heck of a workout.  Squat side steps are slow, controlled movements that fire up the outer thighs, slimming down the trouble spots.

How to:

  • Place the resistance band around both ankles.
  • Step your feet slightly wider than hips distance apart.
  • Bend your knees to come into a half squat. Half the depth of a regular squat, no lower than 90 degrees. If you have knee pain, lessen the depth of the squat.
  • Engage your core–synch that corset!
  • Step your right foot forward and to the right (approx. 3 o’clock.)
  • Bring your left foot to join the right. Keeping the distance between the feet so the resistance band is never slack.
  • Step the left foot forward and to the left (approx 9 o’clock.)
  • Bring your right foot to join the left (same as above)
  • Stay LOW in your squat the entire time!! That’s when the magic happens.
  • Continue to move forward AND backward, adjusting direction depending on the size of space you are in.

Activated muscles

  • Gluteus maximus-medius-minimus (hello booty!)
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Bicep femoris
  • Spinal erectors
  • External obliques

Perform 3 sets at 1 minute per set.

4. Clam shell- I love this move because it involves laying down! The movement in this exercise is small and powerful.  Not only does this exercise target the outer thigh, it works the muscles in the bottom of the butt, giving your bum a nice lift…. now who doesn’t want that?!  You can try without the resistance bands if it feels too difficult. Those who have tight hips will find this exercise challenging. I would suggest trying without resistance bands and work your way into them as this exercise will strengthen your hips with or without resistance bands.

How to:

  • Place the resistance band below the knees.
  • Lay onto your right side. Propped up on your right elbow. Placing left hand on the floor in front of you.
  • Bend your knees. Legs are angled to create a straight line from your ankles to hips to shoulders
  • Bring the heels to touch
  • Balls of feet are apart. Imagine your feet in a V shape
  • Knees are open
  • Engaging the left leg, pull the knees farther apart. Top knee moves up towards the ceiling
  • Keep the heels touching the entire time
  • Lower left knee back down slightly, keeping the resistance bands taut.
  • Repeat on each side!

Activated muscles:

  • Gluteus maximus
  • Gluteus medius
  • Gluteus minimus
  • Hamstrings

Perform 3 sets of 10 per side

You can purchase the resistance bands online or from most fitness stores.  The brand I used in the video was Nyma.  The package is modestly priced and includes three bands, slider discs, and an instructional video. I personally think the bands are a great investment because they are lightweight and easy to travel with!  Whether you want to sculpt in your own home, r maintain your workouts while on the road, resistance bands are the perfect addition to your fitness regime. Have fun and feel the burn!

Have you tried resistance bands?

Also by Kayla: 4 Fun Sliders Exercises That Will Trim & Sculpt Your Entire Body (Video)

Related: 5 Resistance Band Exercises To Improve Your Posture & Make You Look Taller

5 Best Exercises to Lift Your Butt (Video)

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Video: Kayla Adams; Music: “Playful” from iMovie

Kayla is an artist and a health warrior. Always discovering new ways to improve health and live an authentic, expansive life. 3 must haves: the sunshine, her girlfriends, and veggies. Follow Kayla on Instagram @kaylaadamslife.


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