Looking for some awesome banded glute exercises for developing a stronger and more muscular booty? Here are the best band movements to help you get to Glutetown.
Glute training has taken off in recent years.
This is thanks to the effectiveness of exercises like the hip thrust (H/T to Bret Contreras) and research showing the effectiveness of training the glutes and hip activation for building muscle and athletic performance1.
In this guide, we are going to look at the best banded exercises you can do to target the glutes so that you can build a bigger, stronger booty.
By the end, you will have a series of exercises to add to your workout routine that can help you start building a more muscular behind starting today.
Let’s jump right in.
Benefits of Banded Glute Exercises
Why train your glutes with a band?
Welp, there are some pretty good reasons to do so:
⭐ Increased glute activation – when using a band with exercises like the hip thrust or glute bridge, there is increased gluteal tension happening. Adding a band above (or below) the knees cranks up the glute activation as they work to keep the knees straight.
⭐ Banded exercises can be done anywhere – whichever bands you choose, from your standard loop bands, Monster bands, or fabric resistance bands, they can be packed up tight and be used just about anywhere.
⭐ Increased tension on loaded lifts – you can also add bands to your loaded glute lifts (like barbell hip thrusts), adding resistance and time under tension, particularly at the top of the range of motion
⭐ Increased resistance at the top of the exercise – when it comes to pure muscle building, bands are an excellent tool as they create more tension and resistance right when you want it most—at the top of the lift! Bands make things hard (i.e. activate more muscle) by challenging you most at the top of the lift.
Keep in mind that although the exercises below target the glutes, they are still working a variety of other muscles up and down your legs.
Lower body exercises, whether a hip thrust or squat, uses a variety of muscle groups. Although these exercises primarily target the glutes, they don’t exclusively work them.
Best Banded Glute Exercises for a Stronger Butt
Here are my favorite exercises for developing for a stronger booty that can be performed with a band.
While there are variations that include using a barbell or dumbbell, we will focus on using a band.
1. Banded hip thrust
The hip thrust has become the go-to glute builder for countless lifters across the planet.
The barbell hip thrust in particular is a great way to build epic levels of booty muscle as you can go really heavy while going easy on your knees (just don’t forget your trusty hip thrust pad to protect your pelvis).
Hip thrusts are significantly more effective for building glute strength and muscle compared to back squats, deadlifts, or split squats.2
The banded variation has a variety of uses, from stabilizing the knees during barbell hip thrusts, hypertrophy (go for higher reps and slower rep tempos for increased muscle-building), and is great as an activation exercise before heavy hip days.
How to do banded hip thrusts like a champion:
- Loop a resistance band around your legs, above the knees or above the ankles
- Line up your shoulders on your hip thrusting bench of choice (aerobic stepper, or a plyo box can work, too)
- Place the edge of the bench at the bottom of the shoulder blades
- Your feet should be straight or slightly flared outwards
- Drive with your feet so that your shins are fully vertical
- Pause at the top for maximum glute activation and proper hip extension
- Avoid hyperextending your back by tucking the chin and keeping the ribs “down”
- Lower in a controlled manner
- Repeat as necessary
There is a TON of ways you can really maximize this exercise with bands, including using a dumbbell (see: Dumbbell Hip Thrust – Benefits and How to Do It Step-by-Step).
Because banded hip thrusts are a hip extension exercise, they are an excellent exercise to use during your warm-up for days when you plan on going heavy on deadlifts or other hip-hinging movements.
In other words, this exercise, banded or not, is kind of the best.
More Hip Thrust Guides:
2. Banded glute bridges
The glute bridge is a (usually) bodyweight exercise that is performed from the floor, instead of a bench like the hip thrust.
Although it looks a lot like the hip thrust, there is less quad activation, and in my experience, you can drive less power as you don’t have your shoulders pushing into a bench like the hip thrusts to generate more torque.
Trainer’s Note: For a more detailed breakdown of the differences and pros/cons of the hip thrust vs. glute bridge, read this article.
That said, you can get into the high rep ranges with this exercise, there are a TON of glute bridge variations that you can use for variety, and the learning curve on this exercise is short.
Here’s how to do the banded glute bridge properly:
- Place band around legs, either above the knees or below
- Lay down on your back, arms at your side
- Leading with your hips, raise your pelvis towards the sky
- Contract glutes at the top of movement
- Avoid hyperextension by tucking your chin keeping your ribs down to maximize glute activation
- Remember to push through the heels
- Shins should be vertical (or very close to vertical) throughout
If this exercise is too easy add a pause at the top of each rep to increase glute activation and make sure that you are properly engaging your booty each rep.
3. Quadruped Hip Extension
This is an exercise in the family of kickback exercises (the cable kickback is an exercise most glute aficionados are likely familiar with) and one of my favorite glute activation exercises for its ability to really zero in on the butt muscles.
Although it looks almost too simple, the exercise, generally done with bodyweight, there is extensive research has found it to be an absolute monster for firing the muscles in the glutes3.
The good news is that you can take the bodyweight version and crank up the resistance with a band to really get your glutes going.
How to do it properly:
- Get on all fours and loop the band around your legs, either above the knees or under the knees
- Keeping the working leg bent at 90-degrees, raise it slowly to the sky
- Contract the glutes to raise the working leg
- Pause at the top to really feel the contraction and resistance of the band
- Tuck your belly button in to keep your spine from hyperextending
Trainer’s Note: For this exercise, band placement creates most resistance above the knees. For less resistance, pin the band under your non-working knee
Although you want to keep your back and neck straight while doing this exercise, a *little* bend in the back is okay. (Remember the “tight belly button” cue to help keep your back from going into hyperextension.)
While quadruped hip extensions are generally limited by how much resistance you can apply, I love it as an activation and “feeler” exercise before heavy hip thrust days.
Because it is such a good exercise for isolating the glutes, you can really get the mind-muscle connection going and “feel” the glutes.
4. Lateral band walk
Lateral band walks are an excellent addition to anyone’s training toolbox, whether you are trying to build a big booty or not.
The lateral band walk is a hip abduction movement (hip abductors are one of the most injured lower body muscles with athletes3), generating stability in the lower body (i.e. protecting your knees) and helps stabilize the pelvis4.
Lateral band walks are an excellent exercise for firing up the glutes before a big lifting day or as an exercise for targeting your hip abductors.
The exercise is super simple, too.
Here’s how to do it:
- Place the band around your legs, above the knee (for thicker bands like fabric bands) or around the ankles
- Get into an athletic stance, knees slightly bent, hips slightly bent
- Take a lateral step
- Step either back-and-forth or take several steps in a row before returning to the starting position
- Keep your core braced to maximize glute activation and maintain stability
Although with banded lateral walks it can feel like you are working one side at a time, both legs are working hard.
After all, the planted leg is working overtime to stabilize the body, while the moving leg is doing so in a dynamic manner.
This is especially key to remember if you are doing lateral hip extensions on leg at a time (ten reps per side, at a time, for example).
Does band placement matter?
When using a band for glute exercises like monster walks and lateral walks, the band can be placed in a variety of places, including above the knees, above the ankles, or around the feet.
Placing the band above the knees is better for higher resistance sets and bands (fabric resistance bands, for example, which don’t stretch very much) and for people with less-than-awesome knees as there is less shear placed on the knees.
In lighter load situations, like a therapeutic setting or high-rep burnout sets, placing the band around the feet induces more glute activation compared to around the ankles or the knees4.
5. Monster band walks
Monster band walks are often confused with lateral band walks.
While lateral banded walks have you going side-to-side, monster walks have us shuffling forward and backward.
(The confusion is apparent across the web, with many trainers and big name fitness websites lumping them together. In this case, I defer to Bret Contreras, the definitive expert on building glutes, who notes the difference between monster and lateral walks.)
Monster band walks are another hip abduction exercise, which helps you go after the upper portions of your glutes.
How to do monster band walks like a champ:
- Loop a band around your legs, either above the knees or around the ankles
- Get into your athletic stance, knees slightly bent, core braced
- Separate the legs to create tension in the band
- Walk forward either straight or in a zig-zag motion
- Remember to keep tension in the band throughout
As with lateral walks, even though it feels like you are only working one leg when moving, both legs are working, either stabilizing or moving dynamically.
Trainer’s Note: Because you can’t really load hip abduction exercises with a ton of weight, they are best used in high rep scenarios. Use them as a “finisher” at the end of a heavy lifting day to really go after your upper glutes.
6. Banded frog pumps
This is one of those love it or hate it exercises that is awesome for powering up your glutes.
While a lot of glute exercises make beginner lifters blush a little bit—there is a fair amount of thrusting with most of these exercises, after all—the frog pump can raise even more eyebrows.
It’s essentially a modified glute bridge with feet titled on their side and knees pointing out.
Although it looks a little goofy for first-timers, this exercise is a good choice for people with weak or injured knees as there is zero knee flexion.
Frog pumps are also a good choice on days where you are feeling beat up after a heavy day of squats or deadlifts and your lower back is a little tender.
How to do it properly:
- Loop a band around your legs, above the knees
- Lay down on your back (in the same starting position as a glute bridge)
- Place your hands at your side
- Move your knees externally and tuck the bottom of your feet together
- Bring your heels close to your butt
- Raise your pelvis towards the sky
- Contract your glutes (pretty hard not to when your knees and quads can’t help you “cheat” the movement)
- Lower and repeat as necessary
Although doing this exercise in the gym might get you a double-take or two, it is absolutely deadly for firing the glutes.
I especially love how this exercise is low-load, forces you to zero in on the glutes, removes the knees and lower back from the equation, and doesn’t require any equipment besides a resistance band to get a hellacious burn in the glutes.
20-Minute Glute Band Workout
Here’s one of my favorite glute-focused workouts that you can do using just a band and around 20-minutes or so of your time.
Take around 90-120 seconds to perform the reps and sets of each exercise with a minute or so of rest before moving onto the next exercise.
Banded hip thrusts — 3×15 (with 2-second pause at the top of each rep)
Banded glute bridges – 3×15 (with 2-second pause at the top of each rep)
Lateral banded walks –3×20 (pause between each step and maintain tension throughout)
Banded quadruped hip extension – 3×10 (use a rep tempo of 2-seconds up, 2-seconds pause, and 2-seconds down)
Monster walks – 3×20 (Pause between each step and maintain tension throughout)
Frog pumps – 2×30 (use this exercise as a burner to maxout the number of reps you can do while maintaining excellent technique)
Don’t forget to warm-up properly beforehand and do some glute stretches afterwards to loosen up your hips and glutes—they are gonna need it!
The Bottom Line
Possibly my favorite thing about training glutes with a band is the portability and ease-of-use with this piece of resistance.
It removes a lot of the excuses and hesitation that comes with training glutes. After all, not all of us have the confidence (yet!) to hip thrust in a crowded gym, making them an excellent choice for training at home.
The next time glute day comes around, and you want to set your backseat afire and grow a stronger, more functional behind, give these banded glute exercises and workout a go.