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How to tone your glutes using resistance bands, like Vanessa Hudgens


Vanessa Hudgens' resistance band workout Pin It
Photo: Instagram/@vanessahudgens
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When it comes to taking sweat sessions up a notch (did you see Karlie Kloss’ snow-day workout?), the celebrity-beloved DogPound is a veritable breeding ground for fitness inspo. And one of the trainers’ most beloved tools? None other than a simple resistance band you can get on Amazon.

It’s not only a go-to accessory for Ashley Graham when she hits up the New York City–based gym, but Vanessa Hudgens also amped up some simple exercises by adding a little resistance during a recent visit.

“Bands are much easier on the joints than weights and also allow for a more dynamic and fluid motion, rather than isolating a single muscle.” —Emily Samuel, DogPound trainer

“Using a resistance band has many benefits,” says DogPound trainer Emily Samuel. “Bands are much easier on the joints than weights and also allow for a more dynamic and fluid motion, rather than isolating a single muscle. You can use them for a warm-up or an intense workout, no matter your fitness level.”

Hudgens, in particular, used the bands in two common moves you can easily do at home: glute bridges and jump squats. The resistance helped to fire up her muscles even more and ensured she was doing everything correctly in the process. Safety first, folks.

“Using the band during glute bridges engages glute activation,” Samuel says. “When you add a mini-band around your knees, you activate the gluteus medius as it fights to resist the force of the band trying to push your knees inward.”

The accessory is also a great way to keep everything aligned (while also providing for a serious muscle burn) during squat jumps.

“When incorporating a band during squat jumps, you’re giving a cue or focus to align the knees, hips, and ankles when jumping and landing. Oftentimes we see knees caving in during squat jumps, which can later cause irritation or discomfort in some of the lower extremities.” —Ariel Foxie, Nike master trainer

“When incorporating a band during squat jumps, you’re giving a cue or focus to align the knees, hips, and ankles when jumping and landing,” says Ariel Foxie, Nike master trainer and strength coach at S10 Training. “Oftentimes we see knees caving in during squat jumps, which can later cause irritation or discomfort in some of the lower extremities.”

Want to try these Hudgens-approved moves for yourself? Foxie explains exactly how to get your best burn.

Get Started
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1. Glute bridges (15 to 20 reps)

1. Step into your resistance band, placing it above the knees no higher than mid-thigh.
2. Lay on your back, with knees bent, and feet flat on the ground (or on an elevated surface), hip-to-shoulder-width apart.
3. While in a posterior pelvic tilt, draw your knees and thighs apart, and maintain constant tension in band.
4. Raise your hips toward the ceiling by pressing through the heels while maintaining constant tension in the band, engaging glutes throughout the lift.
5. Lower hips back to start.

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2. Banded squat jump (10 to 15 reps)

1. Step into your resistance band, placing it around the low thighs.
2. From standing position, draw your hips back and down into a partial squat.
3. Without knees caving inward, shoot the hips forward, into a medium broad jump.
4. Absorb landing while maintaining tension in resistance band and not allowing your knees to break inward.
5. While keeping the thighs apart and maintaining tension in band, hop backward two to three times.

Tone your whole body with this stability workout. Or, focus on your legs with the workout Emmy Rossum did during her downtime at Sundance.