Resistance band loop leg workout

(that’s a mouthful, eh?)

The resistance band loop is one of my favorite barre tools. It looks so innocent, but it BURNs.

Killer resistance band leg workout

It’s an awesome way to target your outer thighs (abductor muscles) and your glute medius. I also like that similar to other types of resistance bands, there are varying levels of difficulty. Once something starts to feel too easy, you can widen your stance to increase the resistance, or switch to a thicker band.

Here are some of my favorite resistance band loop exercises. Some extra benefits of this tool: 

they’re inexpensive (a pack of 3 is $12)

and they travel well! Stash one in your suitcase for your next trip 🙂

Hope you enjoy the circuit!

Resistance band loop leg workout

Form cues:

1) Make sure your body is a nice straight line. Engage your core and relax through your hips, so they’re not tilting forward or back. Come up onto your highest point on your toes and sink your hips low into a squat. Try to keep your heels glued together. For full range, go nice and slow, and tiny pulses and hold at your lowest point.

2) Flat back, tight core, and feet right underneath your hips. Keep your hips parallel to the floor as you stamp your foot up towards the ceiling. Really engage your glutes to lift your leg. 

3) Extend your leg and point your toe as much as possible. As you lift your leg and tap the floor, keep your core tight and hips stable.

4) Squeeze through your glutes to lift your hips. For more of a challenge, transfer your weight into your heels and really try to pull the band apart.

5) Lift up through your chest, and flex your foot as your lift and gently lower. 

More uses for a resistance band loop:

-Put your feet in the straps, and come into a boat position. Hold the strap with one hand and row it back, holding your boat pose. (Row the boat!)

-Abs: place your feet in the straps and come down onto your back, in a supine position. Engage your abs to lift your head and shoulders off the floor and press your feet out as low as they can go. Inhale to bend your knees into your chest before repeating.

-Bicep curl: step on the strap with one foot and use the same hand to hold the loop and bicep curl

-Reverse fly: hold each end of the loop and try to open the band as wide as possible. Inhale to bring your hands back together and repeat. 

-Tricep extension: hold the loop over your head with one hand, and let the loop hang back behind your neck. Reach around your back to grab the other end of the loop with your opposite hand. Engage your triceps and exhale to straighten the band up over head, extending your arm as much as possible. Inhale to bend the arm and repeat.

-Side walks for the gluteus medius. Place the loop above your ankles and take a large side step. Take a small step in with the other foot and keep walking, alternating between a big step and a tiny step. Repeat back the other way. 

-Clamshell: come onto your side and glue your feet together. Exhale and open through your hips to bring your knees apart. Try full range, tiny pulses at the top and hold:

Clamshell  1 of 1

Clamshell  1 of 1 2

Do you use the resistance band loop, or resistance bands at all in your training?



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  1. Brynn on August 4, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Resistance bands are one of my ‘secret weapons’ in my workout routine. I can see a noticeable difference in my tone and shape when I use them. I can’t wait to give this routine a try!

  2. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 4, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Resistance bands are awesome! When I was at FitBloggin’ I went to a bootcamp that incorporated them into the workout and I felt the burn!

  3. Kirtley Freckleton@ The Gist of Fit on August 4, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I’ve only tried them in a class at the gym, plus a handful of other times. They are AMAZING! It’s cool how little you can work out with and how far you can go with it! Thanks for the tip and ideas!

  4. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on August 4, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Hi Gina! Love this circuit. I do use resistance tubes for my clients, especially for little side walks, in which they wear the band around their calves. It’s a great way for them to understand the feeling of glute activation.

    Question for you: is the 15 rep, 15 pulse, 15 second hold a timing/tempo pattern from barre teaching? I’ve never seen that exact pattern repeated, and I’m sure there is some reasoning behind it.

    Happy Monday!

  5. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 4, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I love using a resistance band! This looks like a great workout!

  6. Crystal on August 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

    I love bands! So portable and effective. Also, love your tank top!

  7. Britt@MyOwnBalance on August 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Yes! I love resistance bands! They are so sneaky and then they burn! Great workout!

  8. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on August 4, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Thank you for these! This is great. We just got some resistance bands not long ago and now I have an awesome workout to use them with!

  9. Kady on August 4, 2014 at 9:56 am

    This looks painful/wonderful, I will try it today! Just some friendly information – with the side leg lift with hip flexed and externally rotated, you’re hitting more of the TFL and quad than gluteus medius, but it’s OK because you’re getting some glute med activation in some of the other exercises (eg. both sides on the kick-backs, based on research I did in PT school).
    See this article for info on rotation of the hip during sidelying abduction (doesn’t talk about hip flexion, I don’t have an article off the top of my head that mentions that, but we strength test the glute med with the hip as extended as possible):

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2014 at 11:00 am

      yes, this is a total leg workout; i meant that the band itself can help to strengthen some harder-to-target muscles, like the glute med and abductors
      thank you for the article, too

  10. Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness on August 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I do have a resistance band but I always use it only for stretching. Thank you for this workout because now I have found it another use!!

  11. Masala Girl on August 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    i have a 5pack of the regular resistan bands and like to take them on vacations! still not too good on making a whole workout out of them though..

  12. Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona on August 4, 2014 at 10:17 am

    Looks like another great workout. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on August 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I’m a huge fan of resistance bands! I use them all the time in my Pilates classes. I haven’t actually used a loop one before, but I have tied mine together to make a loop. They are the best for traveling!

  14. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 4, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I started using resistance bands during physical therapy. Actually since I graduated from therapy I forgot about these. I’ve recently started doing hip and hamstring exercises after my runs to help strengthen them, but I bet a resistance band would help even more. Thanks for the tips!

  15. Katrina on August 4, 2014 at 11:10 am

    I thought the adductor muscles were your inner thigh. Am I wrong??

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

      no, you’re right. typo fixed!

  16. Angie on August 4, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Looks like a great workout. Quick question – where is that tank top from? Love it!

  17. Jamie on August 4, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Gina!

    How many times do you recommend completing the circuit? Does 1 time suffice, or do you suggest 2-3? Keep in mind I have to wear a bikini soon 😉 thanks!!

  18. Jennifer on August 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Great post! I just opened my inbox and found your extremely awesome email. Thank you so very much, Gina. I’ll be reading it over and over again for motivation. Thanks again. xo

  19. kristin on August 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    i never use resistance bands, but totally should. this would be so easy to incorporate into my week.

  20. Jen on August 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    This is super helpful! I’ve always wanted to do more with resistance bands but didn’t really know how to use them! Thanks for the tips!

  21. Laura @ She Eats Well on August 4, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Pretty sure this workout would kill me…in the best way possible ha.

  22. Justine on August 4, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Just completed the circuit. Wow it’s a lot harder than it looks! My glutes are screaming!
    Thanks for the fun:)

  23. shaina on August 4, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    oooooh the clam…and the SUSPENDED clam. Owie! My 2 favorite moves from Brazil Butt Lift 🙂

  24. Alex @ Kenzie Life on August 4, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    We use these all the time in Pure Barre and I actually did pick up one as well as a ball to pack with me when I leave for vacation! They look innocuous but they make for one tough workout!

  25. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs on August 4, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    I don’t use resistance bands, but I really should add them into my rotation! Thanks for the ideas 🙂

  26. Shelly on August 4, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I’m traveling this week and meant to bring my resistance band. I love them for travel! Of course I forgot to put it in my suitcase. I just might be purchasing another one this evening!

  27. Jessica valant on August 4, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Great workout and pictures! We also use the band in our barre classes, and the bands are pretty much a standard tool we give all our physical therapy patients :). Just a thought I’m sure you know but some readers using the bands for the first time might not – most versions use latex, so if you have a latex allergy make sure you purchase latex-free bands (super easy to find). Thanks! I hope your thumb is feeling better!

    • Fitnessista on August 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm

      that is an awesome tip; i didn’t think of mentioning that. thank you!

  28. Yaara Leve on August 4, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I love your tank!! It’s so pretty. Where’s it from? Is it OmGirl? I have a similar one from them in a darker shade of purple with a lotus flower. Also–I don’t know how far San Diego is from Joshua Tree, CA–but in September is Bhakti Fest! I wish I could go. It’s a full weekend of yoga/music/dance workshops. Some of my fave people are playing like Krishna Das and Matisyahu and Shiva Rea and various other yogi celebs are doing workshops. You should check out the site! Just thought you’d be interested! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2014 at 12:38 am

      thank you! it was from nordstrom rack. I SAW THAT WAS COMING! will definitely check out more details

  29. Pua on August 5, 2014 at 4:11 am

    I just used my resistance band today! It definitely burns, but in a good way. 🙂

  30. jolie on August 6, 2014 at 10:23 am

    i use them all the time

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