30-Minute Resistance Band Leg Workout

Glutes, quads, hamstrings and abductors (outer glutes and thighs) — this 30-Minute RESISTANCE BAND LEG WORKOUT hits every muscle in your lower body! These 8 leg exercises with bands build strong legs and strengthen knee joints; making this leg band workout a great addition to any home workout plan.

I will always advocate for women to pick up weights and strength train. But I also believe a well-rounded fitness routine includes VARIETY — using different equipment, training in all planes of motion and challenging your muscles in new ways.

Leg band workouts are one of the best ways to work BOTH the large and small muscles in the lower body.

These little powerhouse resistance bands go by a lot of names: resistance leg bands, resistance loops, mini loops, mini loop resistance bands, and booty bands.

Whatever you call them, resistance bands are a great piece of home gym equipment to activate your glutes and strengthen your hips through various lower body exercises. 

leg band workout | resistance band squat and rear leg lift

30-Minute Resistance Band Leg Workout

Strengthen all of the major muscle groups in the lower body; no fancy gym equipment needed. If you travel regularly or enjoy working out at home, this resistance band leg workout is for you (great for working out in small spaces).

These 8 leg exercises with bands are a great compliment to any strength training plan, designed to:

  • Active glute muscles
  • Strengthen weak knees and hips (especially important for runners)
  • Engage stabilizing muscles and core muscles

Workout Equipment: 

A mini loop resistance band.  I’m using a light-to-medium resistance band in this band workout.

*These are the mini loop resistance bands I have (get a discount using code: NML).

If you don’t have access to resistance loop bands you can: 

  1. Tie a pair of workout leggings around your legs (roll up or tie up excess fabric).
  2. Roll up a sports bra and put it around your legs.

Important Notes About Band Placement:

  1. Avoid placing the resistance band directly on a joint. This causes unnecessary pressure and can lead to injuries over time. Instead, place the resistance band above your knees or just above your ankles depending on the exercise.
  2. Placing the resistance band just above the knees makes each exercise slightly easier. Placing the band below the knees (around the calf/shin) will intensify each exercise. Choose where to place the band based on your fitness level.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the Resistance Band Leg Workout video at the top of this post. I’ll provide band placement, form cues and motivation throughout the video.

This is a more intense resistance band leg workout — alternating resistance band strength exercises with powerful plyometric exercises.

Perform 12 repetitions of each strength exercise, followed by a 30 second plyometric interval. Repeat all eight leg exercises with bands x 4 sets, alternating sides as needed.

8 Leg Exercises with Bands for Stronger Legs

  1. Strength: Banded Squat + Rear Leg Lift (alternate sides each set) – 12 Reps
  2. Power: Banded Squat Side Tap + Banded Squat Jump (alternate sides each set) – 30 Second Interval
  3. Strength: Lateral Band Walks – 12 Reps
  4. Power: Banded Squat Jacks – 30 Second Interval
  5. Strength: Resistance Band Leg Extensions – 12 Reps
  6. Power: 2-Pulse Squat + Quarter Turn – 30 Second Interval
  7. Strength: Banded Glute Bridge + Abduction – 12 Reps
  8. Power: Banded Glute Bridge Abduction Hold – 30 Second Interval

1. Banded Squat + Rear Leg Lift (alternate legs each set)

Targets: The glutes, quads, hamstrings, and hip-abductor muscles. A great exercise to target the stabilizing muscles around the knee, as well as strengthen glutes which are essential to every day movements.

Banded Squat and Rear Leg Lift | resistance band leg exercises

How to do a Staggered Squat and Rear Leg Lift:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your ankle joint (around your calves/shins).
  2. Start in an athletic stance or loaded squat position, with your feet hip-width apart and slightly staggered. Left foot slightly in front of right foot; 80% of your weight in your front left heel, and 20% of your weight in your back right toe.
  3. With your chest upright and your core engaged, squat until your left knee reaches a 90 degree angle. Driving your knees outward against the band as you squat.
  4. Drive through your front left heel to return to standing as you squeeze your rear right glute to extend your right leg behind you.
  5. Perform 12 reps with the left leg forward, the switch legs the second set.

How to modify Banded Squats with a Rear Leg Lift: 

  • Place the resistance band just above the knees to make this move easier.
  • Hold onto a chair or counter top for additional balance support as you perform the rear leg lift.

2. Banded Squat Side Tap + Squat Jump (alternate legs each set)

Targets: The legs, glutes (gluteus medius and gluteus minimus), quads, hips and calves. Build lower body strength while also raising your heart rate to burn calories.

banded squat tap and squat jump | leg band workout

How to do a Banded Squat Side Tap and Squat Jump:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your ankle joint (around your calves/shins).
  2. Start in an athletic stance or loaded squat position, with your feet shoulder width apart and a slight bend in your knees.
  3. With your chest upright and your core engaged, tap your left foot out to the side, creating tension in the resistance band and engaging your outer glutes and hips. Pull the band apart with each side tap.
  4. Bring your left leg back to center (under left shoulder), then explode upwards to jump off the ground.
  5. Keep tension in the band throughout the exercise (you should feel this in your outer thighs and hips).
  6. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds on the left leg, then switch sides the second set.

How to modify Banded Squat Jumps: 

  • Place the resistance band just above the knees to make this move easier.
  • Make this a low impact exercise by performing a squat instead of a squat jump.

3. Lateral Band Walks

Targets: The outer glutes (hip-abductors, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus) and quads.

lateral band walks | resistance band leg workouts

How to do Lateral Band Walks:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your ankle joint (around your calves/shins).
  2. Start in an athletic stance or loaded squat position, with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, hips back. See how low you can stay throughout the entire movement.
  3. With your chest upright and your core engaged, take two large steps to the right and then two large steps to the left. Pull the band apart with each side step.
  4. Stay low (don’t stand up between steps) as you continue alternating steps side to side. Keeping constant tension on the band throughout the exercise. The deeper the squat the more you will feel this in the tops of your thighs (quads).
  5. Repeat for 12 reps (6 walks per side).

How to modify Lateral Band Walks:

  • Place the resistance band just above the knees to make this move easier.

4. Banded Squat Jacks

Targets: The glutes, quads, abductors (or outer glutes) and calves. A lower body burnout.

banded squat jacks | leg exercises with bands

How to do Banded Squat Jacks:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your ankle joint (around your calves/shins).
  2. Start in an athletic stance or loaded squat position, with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, hips back. Again see how low you can stay throughout the entire movement.
  3. With your chest upright and your core engaged, “jack” your feet out into a wide squat (stretching the band to feet wider than shoulders).
  4. Land softly in a low squat, then “jack” your feet back to a narrow squat (feet hip-width). Aim to stay as low as possible throughout the entire movement (don’t stand up between squat jacks).
  5. Repeat for 30 seconds.

How to modify Banded Squat Jacks:

  • Place the resistance band just above the knees to make this move easier.
  • Make this a low impact band exercise by performing side-to-side squat instead of squat jacks.

5. Resistance Band Leg Extensions

Targets: The quadriceps or quads (the top of the thigh). Leg extensions isolate and strengthen the quad muscles.

leg extension with resistance band for quads | resistance band exercises for legs

How to do Leg Extensions with a Resistance Band:

  1. Start standing feet hip-distance apart, toes facing straight ahead. Anchor the band around your right ankle and around the shoelaces of your left foot.
  2. Maintain a soft bend in your standing, right leg as you float your left leg off the ground. Then use the top of your left thigh (quad muscle) to extend your left leg long in front of you. Think of kicking into the band as you squeeze your thigh.
  3. Hold left leg extended for a moment, then return to the starting position with control.
  4. Complete 12 reps on the left leg, then switch sides the second set.

How to modify Leg Extensions with a Resistance Band:

  • Option to hold onto a chair or counter top for additional balance support as you perform the leg extension.
  • Or perform the exercise without a resistance band and create resistance with your own bodyweight.

6. 2 Pulse Squat + Quarter Turn

Targets: The glutes, quads, outer glutes (abductor muscles) and calves.

banded squat quarter turn

How to do Pulse Squat and Quarter Turn:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your ankle joint (around your calves/shins).
  2. Start in an athletic stance or loaded squat position, with your feet shoulder width apart, knees bent, hips back. See how low you can stay throughout the entire movement.
  3. With your chest upright and your core engaged, pulse your hips down (2 pulses). Then explode up, rotating a quarter turn to your right in the air, landing in a loaded squat.
  4. Again pulse for two, then explode up rotating a quarter turn back to your right (starting position facing center).
  5. Again pulse for two, then explode up, rotating a quarter turn to your left.
  6. Stay low (don’t stand up between quarter turns). Keeping constant tension on the band throughout the exercise. Again, the deeper the squat the more you will feel this in the tops of your thighs (quads).
  7. Repeat for 30 seconds.

How to modify Quarter Turn Squat with Resistance Band:

  • Place the resistance band just above the knees to make this move easier.
  • Make this a low impact band exercise by performing 2 pulse squats, taking out the jump and quarter turn.

7. Banded Glute Bridge with Abduction 

Targets: The glutes, hamstring and hip-abductor muscles.

If you have a knee injury or knee pain while squatting or lunging, glute bridges are a great exercise to substitute for squats and lunges.

banded glute bridge with abduction | resistance band exercises for legs

How to do Glute Bridges with Resistance Band Abduction:

  1. Place the band about 6 inches above your knees and lie on your back, arms straight at your sides, feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Feet should be about six inches in front of your glutes. The farther your feet are from your glutes the more you work the hamstrings (and we want to target glute activation here, so keep your feet close to your butt).
  2. Engage your core and tuck your pelvis toward the ceiling. Then squeeze your glutes as you drive through your heels to lift your hips off the floor.
  3. Hold at the top of the glute bridge for a moment and drive your knees out towards your pinky toes to active your outer glutes (abductors), opening the band (knees wider than hips).
  4. With control return your knees back in alignment with your hips and lower your hips back towards the ground with control.
  5. Then lower your hips with control back down to a hover position and repeat this movement.
  6. Keep constant tension on the band throughout this movement.
  7. Repeat for 12 reps.

8. Banded Glute Bridge with Abduction Pulses

Targets: The glutes, hamstring and hip-abductor muscles.

Banded Glute Bridge with Abduction Pulses

How to do Banded Glute Bridge Abduction Pulses:

  1. Start at the top of a glute bridge, pelvic tucked, glutes squeezed and core engaged.
  2. Pulse your thighs out towards the outside of your feet.
  3. Place the band about 6 inches above your knees and lie on your back, feet flat on the floor, hip width apart. Feet should be about six inches in front of your glutes. The farther your feet are from your glutes the more you work the hamstrings (and we want to target glute activation here, so keep your feet close to your butt).
  4. Engage your core and tuck your pelvis toward the ceiling. Then squeeze your glutes as you drive through your heels to lift your hips off the floor.
  5. Hold at the top of the glute bridge for the entire 30 seconds as you simultaneously pulse your knees out towards your pinky toes to active your outer glutes (abductors); pulsing the band open with control. Think of pulling the band apart with your knees.
  6. Hold the glute bridge and pulse the band open for a 30 second burnout.

Quad extension with resistance band | resistance band leg workouts at home

Resistance Band Exercises for Legs FAQS:

What are the benefit of resistance band leg workouts?

Mini loop bands have been used by physical therapists for decades for these reasons:

  1. Resistance Band Exercises Directly Target and Activate the Glutes and Hamstrings. If you frequently experience tight hamstrings, or struggle to feel your glutes ‘turn on’ during leg exercises, you may be more ‘quad-dominant’. This essentially means that the muscles in the front of the leg, quads and hip flexors, overpower the muscles on the back of the legs, glutes and hamstrings (Runner’s World). Using exercise bands helps properly ‘turn on’ or activate your glute muscles.
  2. Resistance Band Leg Workouts Target Smaller, Stabilizing Muscles. Resistance exercise bands target the smaller, stabilizing leg muscles that can be overpowered by larger muscle groups. So you get a super effective glute workout, targeting both large functional muscles and small stabilizing muscles in the lower body. This is also great for strengthening weak knees and injury prevention.
  3. Leg Exercises with Bands Work Your Muscles Differently Than Free Weights. Bands make your muscles work harder as there is constant time under tension.

Can you build strong legs with resistance bands?

Yes! In fact, resistance bands target the legs in a way weight training cannot.

Weight training typically targets the larger lower body muscles:

  • Glutes
  • Quads
  • Hamstrings
  • Core

Leaving out the smaller, stabilizing muscles in the lower body (critical for balance and joint stability):

  • Hips (hip flexors)
  • Hip Abductors (outer glutes and thighs)
  • Obliques (side abdomen, part of core)

Resistance band leg workouts are one of the best ways to work BOTH the large and small muscles in the lower body.

Is this leg band workout pregnancy/postpartum Friendly?

Follow the modifications offered below each leg exercise above.

  • Make the jumping exercises low impact.
  • Add a chair for balance support on single leg exercises.
  • If you’re not comfortable laying on your back for glute bridges, you can sub hip thrusts (with your shoulders on a bench or couch).

More Resistance Band Leg Workouts:

Or try using a resistance band for your lower body AND upper body in this Full Body Resistance Band Workout.

Pin this Resistance Band Leg Workout: 8 Best Leg Exercises with Bands

Resistance Band Leg Workout for Women

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12 comments
  1. I love your workouts! I always laugh when you talk about postpartum mamas… I am 334 months postpartum, even after that many years I have gotten so much stronger from your workouts. Thank you!

  2. thank you so much for this. My insurance cut my PT and I still have so much more to go and you’ve included everything and more that my PT was doing with me. Im not able to use resistant bands just yet but im excited to have a challenge to work towards.

  3. This was an awesome combination of moves with a resistance band! I loved every minute of it and have repeated it 4 other times!

  4. Loved this 30 min. Resistance band workout. Love all your workouts. It really helps me to get every su day the plan for the week.
    Thanks!!