Forget the gym — sculpt your lower body muscle with just a resistance band and 7 moves

a woman performing a standing donkey kick with a resistance band around her legs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you own some of the best resistance bands and want to develop strength in your lower body and add tone and definition to your glutes and quads, then you are going to like this routine.

The workout comes from fitness trainer, Hayley Madigan and uses a workout band to add tension and resistance to a series of lower body exercises. Resistance bands are a great low-impact alternative to training with weight or resistance machines, and according to research published in the SAGE Open Medicine Journal, they have the power to promote similar strength gains to conventional strength training equipment. 

You can use just one band for the full routine or, if you own bands of varying resistance levels then absolutely use this to your advantage. Just like you would aim to move up weight size if you were trying to build muscle with a set of the best adjustable dumbbells, you can also increase your strength gains by working up the resistance level in your banded workouts. This is known as progressive overload training, which is a way to constantly challenge your muscles and avoid a plateau in muscle growth.

Want to give this workout a go? Keep reading to find out what this banded routine entails.

KANGFITER Fabric Resistance Bands: was $19 now $9 @ Amazon
This set of bands offers great quality exercise gear for a little price. The bands are made of a

KANGFITER Fabric Resistance Bands: was $19 now $9 @ Amazon
This set of bands offers great quality exercise gear for a little price. The bands are made of a fabric and elastic latex interweave technology to prevent them from slipping down during workouts. There are three levels of resistance in the set and they come with a carrying bag so that you can workout with them anywhere!

What is the 7-move banded workout?

There are a total of seven exercises to complete. This may sound like a lot but remember you can drop down to a lighter resistance band or remove the addition of a band altogether to make sure your legs don't give up on you before finishing the full routine.

The rep number varies per exercise so we have outlined a breakdown of the workout below. Madigan recommends you complete three sets of the routine and leave time for 45 seconds of rest between each set. If you want to know how to perform each move, she demonstrates each exercise in the post below. 

  1. Straight Leg Abductors x 10 reps (5 per leg) ⁣
  2. Squat to Knee Drive x 12 reps per leg⁣
  3. Banded Split Squats x 12 reps per leg⁣
  4. Squat Side Toe Taps x 20 reps (10 per side)⁣
  5. Squat in and out Jumps x 15 reps ⁣
  6. Wide Sumo Squats x 12 reps⁣
  7. Seated Abductors x 20 reps (add a 5 second pause hold on each rep for an extra burn)

If you're looking for a more time efficient way to complete the routine, or you simply want to really push your muscles, Madigan says you can superset or tri-set the exercises. This means putting two exercises back to back or three exercises, for the latter option, to make the workout more challenging but the perk is, it'll be over and done with quicker.

Wondering how the bands benefit your workouts? In short, they provide resistance against muscle contractions as you perform an exercise wearing them, this then stimulates muscle growth and develops strength.

Unlike bulky gym equipment, bands are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for home workouts, travel, or exercising in smaller spaces.

One reason why we love resistance bands is their portability and convenience. Unlike bulky gym equipment, bands are lightweight and compact, making them ideal for home workouts, travel, or exercising in smaller spaces. They also offer a lot of versatility to your lower body exercise. Whether adjusting the band's placement, tension, or angle of resistance, there are countless variations to challenge your leg muscles. 

Additionally, bands can easily be incorporated into various lower body exercises, such as squats, lunges, hip thrusts, and abductions, providing a thorough workout without the need for expensive machines or heavy weights. 

If you lack confidence with resistance training but want to try a banded workout, speak to a professional fitness trainer to find out if this type of training is suitable for your needs and how best to get started.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.