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5 Best mini-band exercises for butt and thighs

These light, portable and travel-friendly "Mini-Exercise Bands" are the ultimate body sculpting tool, and they’re all you need to get a super effective thigh trimming and butt sculpting workout.

It's one set that will completely transform and reshape your thighs and butt.

Band exercises have gained props over the years for being portable, affordable, and super efficient, but their mini version (mini-band) has received less attention.

That's a shame.

Utilizing a mini-band in traditional lower-body exercises such as squats, lunges, and glutes bridges increase the effectiveness of the workout by a large margin.

Here is why.

The resistance from the mini-band activates the gluteal muscles, engages your hip rotators, and takes pressure off your knees, says Men’s Health Fitness Director B.J. Gaddour, C.S.C.S.

Again these mini-bands are the ultimate sculpting tool that is inexpensive (less than $25 for 5 bands), versatile, and portable.

They are also super easy to use.

Just by wrapping the mini-band around your legs for your favorite leg exercises (squats, clamshell, donkey kicks) immediately makes each exercise more challenging, thanks to the added resistance.

Here are 5 mini-band exercise ideas you must try.

1. Glute Bridge

Mini-band butt bridge exercise

Loop a mini band around your legs, just above your knees and lie face-up on the ground with your arms at your sides, palms facing up. Bend your knees 90 degrees and pull your toes up toward your shins so only your heels touch the floor.

Contract your glutes to raise your hips off the floor until your knees, hips, and shoulders are all in a straight line. Pause 1-2 seconds, then lower back down and repeat for 12 to 15 repetitions for 2-3 sets.

Tips: Squeeze your glutes and maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement. You should feel it working mainly your glutes (butt) and to a lesser extent in your hamstrings and lower back.

2. Bodyweight Squat

Mini-band bodyweight squat

To squat with the band, stand with a mini band looped around your legs, just below the knees, arms at your sides, and feet shoulder-width apart.

Initiating movement with your hips, squat back and down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Stand up by pushing through your hips. That's one rep. Continue for the full set.

Tips: Keep your knees behind your toes. Keep tension on the mini band by pressing your knees outward against the band, so that your knees do not collapse to the inside. Extend your arms in front of you to sit back more comfortably. Keep your chest up and your back flat throughout the movement.

You should feel it working your glutes, outer thighs, hamstrings, and quads.

3. Donkey Kick

Mini-band donkey kick

Get down on all your fours and place a mini loop resistance band around your feet. Pull your shoulders away from your ears and your core engaged.

Push the heel of one leg backward against the resistance of the band until it is parallel to the floor. Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the start. That's one rep. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions. Switch legs and repeat.

4. Prone (Lying) Leg Curl

Mini-band leg curl

Lie facedown on the ground with the mini-band placed around your to your right ankle and the other to a study non-moving stationary object.

Scoot away from the anchor to create tension. Tighten your core and bend your leg at the knee, bringing your heel toward your glutes as far as you comfortably can. Continue for 12 to 15 repetitions. Complete 2 to 3 sets. 

Tips: Keep your abs engaged and squeeze your glutes throughout. You should feel it on the back of the thighs and your glutes. 

5. Lateral Walk

Mini-band lateral walk

Put a mini band around your ankles, and stand in a quarter squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Step your right foot to the right, then follow it with your left, feeling resistance from the band. Complete a few steps to the right, and then complete a few to the left.

Tips: Keep your chest up and maintain a back flat throughout. Knees pushed apart and over toes at all times, toes pointed straight forward even as you move laterally. Keep tension on the mini band at all times
Do not let feet and legs come together

You should feel it working your glutes, and outside of your thighs. 

Recap: 5-minute exercises to reshape the thighs and butt. Use the appropriate resistance for each exercise to get the best bang for your buck. Aim for 12 to 15 repetitions and 2-3 sets for each move. 

5 best mini-band exercises for butt and thighs

 

The Takeaway

Adding a mini-band to traditional lower body exercises is not only a great way to add resistance, but it helps with your everyday performance by improving hips mobilizations and glute activation. These mini-band exercises will strengthen and tone your thighs and shape your butt completely.


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