When you think about toning and strengthening the legs, some of the exercises that first come to mind are squats, lunges, deadlifts, and leg presses. As for the machines used to do a typical leg workout, it’s is usually the leg press and angled leg curl. Free weights are also common. These exercises and equipment have been used for years but now there’s a fairly new thing on the fitness scene: resistance bands. Here are the top resistance bands benefits for legs, as well as 3 workouts to try.
Switch up your routine
Building muscle and getting stronger involves switching things up to make sure your progress doesn’t plateau. That’s why it’s a good idea to look for new ways to exercise.
While some people think about different exercises or variations of movements, others are on the lookout for alternative equipment. One that is inexpensive, portable and lightweight is resistance bands. Resistance band workouts for legs are a great way to add a new challenge for the leg muscles.
Why resistance bands?
Squats, deadlifts, leg presses, and the like are exercises that fall under the resistance training category. Just as the name implies, it’s all about training against resistance.
In weight training, you use weights as a force that puts your muscles under tension. While resistance bands don’t use weights in the form of iron plates, they do use elasticity to provide you with resistance.
When you use dumbbells or a barbell, the tension is felt only during a certain part of the motion of the exercise. If you do a dumbbell curl while prepping for a bodybuilding competition, for example, your arm usually feels the tension as it moves upward.
As for resistance bands, tension applies to your muscles differently than weights. Your muscles feel the tension throughout the entire movement. Since resistance bands are elastic, the more you stretch them, the more tension your muscles will feel overall.
How does resistance help my leg workout?
Resistance bands are usable in a lot of leg exercises where you would otherwise use free weights or a machine. Squats, for example, typically require you to carry a barbell on your back.
If you use a resistance band to squat, that can change the feel of the entire exercise. It would feel heavier as you ascend from a squat than how it feels when you descend, thus making you work with a different resistance throughout the movement.
The same goes for deadlifts. Whereas you would only feel the tension as you go up and not when you put the weight down with a barbell deadlift, a resistance band deadlift makes you feel the tension throughout the entire movement and in varying degrees. Resistance bands are a great way to change the way you work your leg muscles, giving them a stimulus that’s different from more conventional exercises.
Aside from that, using resistance bands can open up a whole new variety of movements for your leg workouts. For example, you can do lateral band walks with resistance bands.
If there’s no machine available to you to work your hip adductors, use resistance bands instead. With the help of these bands, you can do a lot more exercises that you normally wouldn’t be able to do if you don’t have an expensive machine or piece of equipment. The bands are affordable and can take a lot of stretch without breaking when they’re made well.
3 resistance band workouts for your legs
Here are some resistance band exercises that will give your legs a great workout!
1. Lateral-band steps
First, place the resistance band around your legs, positioning it above your knees. Now do a semi-squat posture with the feet hip-width apart.
Next, step right about one foot and step left with the left foot at the same distance. Your feet should be an equal width distance apart from hip to backside.
Repeat the process in the opposite direction. Continue to alternate with side-to-side steps. The typical repetition is 12-15 for each direction and each side.
2. Standing glute kickbacks
There are many moves you can do for the glutes and legs with resistance bands, including standing glute kickbacks. Begin by placing the resistance band around the ankles.
Then stretch the band by positioning the feet hip-width apart. Next, shift your weight to one leg.
While doing this, kick backward with the opposite leg to around 7 inches. Now do the opposite motion and gently tap with your elevated foot to the ground and behind the planted foot.
This movement makes one rep. Repeat 12-15 times on one leg, then switch to the other leg.
This final exercise focuses on the thigh muscles. To do this workout, you will have to place your band just above the knees around your thighs and lie down on your right side on a mat with bent knees.
Place your left hand on your left hip, and rest your head on your right forearm or hand. Now, push your thigh out as much as you can by squeezing your thigh muscles and glutes to work against the band.
After staying at the top position for a while, return your left thigh back to its original position. After 10 reps, switch to the other side.
Concluding words on resistance band benefits for legs
Resistance band exercises are great for strengthening both the legs and glutes. These bands give you that training edge to further build the leg muscles.
Finally, check with your doctor before starting a new type of workout to ensure that it is right for you and safe. Use care when doing these exercises too so that you reduce risks of injury.