Leg day—as much as it can burn—is very important to your overall strength. Your legs carry you throughout your entire life and provide key support in your mobility. While there are countless different lower body exercises you can choose from to give this muscle group love, one of the easiest ways to work your lower half is with a resistance band.
This week, our Trainer of the Month Simone De La Rue, founder of Body By Simone, is bringing us a resistance band leg workout that strengthens and lengthens your leg muscles while sneakily hitting your core and your upper body, too. Specifically, the four-exercise workout (which only takes about 11 minutes, BTW) will target your hamstrings and your glutes. Strengthening the back of your lower body, (i.e. your hammies and your butt), can help prevent lower back pain in the long run, which is all the more reason to burn 'em out.
To get started, all you need is a resistance band, or you can use an ankle weight or even no weight at all. Now keep scrolling to get sweating.
Try this resistance band leg workout for yourself
1. Parallel kickback—left: Grab your resistance band and place your hand in the loops or grab the ends, and put your foot in the center of it, just underneath the sole. Set up in tabletop position, making sure your wrists are underneath your shoulders, elbows slightly bent. Kick your foot directly behind you, foot flexed, knee extended and leg parallel to hip height. Draw that knee in to your navel and kick it back. Do three sets of 10 reps.
2. Parallel kickback—right: Roll your wrists out, then get back into tabletop position and switch sides. Kick your right leg straight back, keeping it entirely straight. It can help to workout in front of a mirror so you can check your form. If you need to, lift your head up and breathe between sets. Do three sets of 10 reps.
3. Leg pulse—left: From tabletop position, put the band around your left foot and lift it up to parallel, foot flexed. Drive your foot up and down with a small pulse. The contraction should only be a few inches up and down. Make sure you're not swinging your leg or using momentum—this trains your glutes to fire up. Do three sets of 10 reps.
4. Leg pulse—right: Kick your right leg back and hold with the resistance band around the foot. Pulse it up and down, using your butt. Rest between sets. Don't forget to pull your navel to your spine and make sure there's no strain in the neck. Do three sets of 10 reps.
5. Abductor raise—right: Now work your outer thigh. Lay down onto your side and line your body up perfectly so that your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder. Stack your hips and wrap the band around your right foot. Grab the ends of the resistance band and place them on the floor in front of you. With no strain in the neck, navel into spine, kick your foot out directly to the side, not too high or too low. If you have neck issues you can modify by lying your head down on the side. Do three sets of 10 reps.
6. Abductor raise—left: Switch to the other side and wrap the band around your left foot. Stack your hips and kick your left leg out. Do three sets of 10 reps.
7. Abductor pulse—right: Flip back around to the other side. Wrap the band around the sole of the foot and do the abductor pulse. Hold the resistance and just do a slight contraction up and down. Do three sets of 10 reps.
8. Abductor pulse—left: On the other side, slip the band over the left foot. Keep your hips stacked and kick your left foot out as you pulse up and down. Do three sets of 10 reps.
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