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10 Resistance Band Leg Exercises For At-Home Lower-Body Workouts

trainer kehinde anjorin performing quadruped resistance band leg exercise

Kathryn Wirsing

Don’t get me wrong; I love using weights to build stronger, more defined legs—but it IS absolutely possible to see results without them. Whether you’re working out at home from a teeny-tiny bedroom or just need a break from the dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells (oh my!), do yourself a favor and give resistance band leg workouts a chance.

But how can you possible reap major benefits with just resistance bands—especially if you’re used to hitting the weights? Two simple tactics make a world of difference.

The first: unilateral (a.k.a. single-leg) exercises, which require your working leg to fire double-time. And the second: tempo work, in which you slow down your pace to increase the amount of time your muscles spend under tension (or actively engaged), ultimately increasing the stress you put on them and boosting the results you see.

Trust me, DIY a workout with the resistance band leg exercises here and you’ll never underestimate this super-simple piece of equipment ever again. Your entire lower body, from your glutes to your quads to your hamstrings, will be torched for days.

Time: 15 minutes

Equipment: long resistance band, box (or another sturdy, elevated surface, like a stair)

Good for: legs, lower-body

Instructions: Choose four exercises below. Perform 15 reps of each, then continue onto the next, resting only as needed. After you’ve finished all of your movements, rest for at least one minute. Then, repeat three times more for a total of four rounds.

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Banded Curtsy Lunge

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, a long resistance band beneath arch of right foot, and one end of the band in either hand at chest-height, elbows bent and close to body. Take a big step back with left leg, crossing it behind right side. Bend knees and lower hips until right thigh is nearly parallel to the floor. Keep torso upright and hips and shoulders as square as possible. Return to start. That’s one rep. Perform 15 on each side, then continue on to your next move, resting as needed. After you’ve finished all of your exercises (remember, you’re doing four total), rest for one minute, then repeat the entire workout three times more for a total of four rounds.

Pro tip: Press right knee outward throughout movement to engage side-butt (a.k.a. glute medius) muscle.


Banded Front Squat

Muscles worked: quads, glutes, hamstrings

How to: Stand on the middle of the resistance band with feet hip-width apart, holding one end of the band in either hand. Bend arms to bring hands up next to ears, and lift elbows up until triceps are parallel to the floor and narrow. This is your starting position. Keeping arms still, engage core and bend at knees to sink hips back and down until thighs are parallel to floor. Press through feet to extend legs and return to standing. That’s one rep. Perform 15, then continue on to your next

Ready To Upgrade Your Workouts? Our Fitness Guide Is On Sale for Prime Day

If you clicked on this story, there’s a good chance you care about your fitness. Instead of having a professional trainer, fancy gym membership, and hours to commit to exercising, you have to a full-time job and bills to pay. And, as you get older, you might not be able to do some of those grueling workouts from your twenties.

a man in a blue shirt: On October 13, Amazon shoppers can save big on Men's Health "Muscle After 40" fitness guide as a limited time lightning sale. Learn more about this deal here.

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On October 13, Amazon shoppers can save big on Men’s Health “Muscle After 40” fitness guide as a limited time lightning sale. Learn more about this deal here.

You want to get in shape, but where do you start?

text: Muscle After 40: Build Your Best Body Ever in Your 40s and Beyond

Muscle After 40: Build Your Best Body Ever in Your 40s and Beyond


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We know how hard it is to find a workout you like—and to stick with it—so we created a fitness guide called “Muscle After 40” to help. The best part: You can snag the entire guide for just $17.56 on Tuesday October 13, starting at 7 a.m. EST as part of this Amazon lightning deal

Gallery: 25 Workouts You Can Do Right Before Bed (

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These workouts are designed to build muscle and combat sarcopenia, a loss of muscle tissue that usually occurs after 40 years-old. Our multi-joint exercises ensure you hit every muscle, while our occasional isolation movements will help you get results without pulling a muscle. Most of our workouts consist of shorter, more frequent bursts, you can always take your workout to the next level with some extra repetitions.

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Tracy Anderson’s At-Home Workouts Just Got Easier With Her Online Studio

Tracy Anderson, fitness guru and trainer to stars like Jennifer Lopez and Gwenyth Paltrow, isn’t heading back to the gym IRL any time soon. “It’s just not a safe place for people to be right now,” she told STYLECASTER. “I was one of the first people to close mine and I’ll be one of the last people to open.” Her physical gym locations might be closed for the foreseeable future, but the Tracy Anderson Online Studio is revamped and better than ever.

Since going into quarantine with her family, Anderson has made sure that her workout routine is a priority in her daily life. “Showing up for your exercise routine is one of the best things you can do for your mood, for your happy hormones and for your health,” she explained. “It’s one of the best things you can do for your immune system.”

To help others bring more of those happy hormones into their lives, especially during the stressful year that has been 2020, Tracy re-launched her Tracy Anderson Online Studio with new features to help make the virtual experience feel more personal. “We launched it with the hashtag that staying in is the new going out for fitness way back in 2014,” Anderson reveals. And that messaging feels more relevant now than ever.

STYLECASTER | tracy anderson

Courtesy of PMC.

“We’ve been living with the shock of COVID long enough now,” muses Anderson. “So I think the first step for people to [take back control of] their health is not be in denial,” she says firmly. “This is here to stay, so what are the things that I can do to make my quality of life better and still protect myself.”

The new online studio offers features like virtual and interactive classrooms and locker rooms, a prescription office with personalized body consultation programming, and of course, weekly fitness content from Anderson, filmed in real-time.

The best part? These workouts are perfect for any sized home, whether you’re in a house in the suburbs or a small apartment in New York City. “You just need to be able to lay your body on the ground and do a snow angel,” explained Anderson. “If you can do that, if you can find that space you can be really effective with your body.”

Of course, working out is one of the best ways to keep your brain and your body in tip top shape, but what you put into your body is just as important as keeping it moving. “I don’t take a lot of supplements but I do take MitoQ, which is a form of CoQ10 which is an antioxidant that the body actually makes.” MitoQ helps the body restore itself quicker, giving you more energy to get through the day. But at the end of the day, for Anderson, it all comes back to working out. “I’ll never let it go,” she says resolutely. “I think it’s been my biggest source of strength.”

Along with taking care of her physical health, Anderson

How Often Should You Take A Rest Day? It Goes Beyond Workouts, Fitness Pros Say

It can be exhilarating to push your body to its limits with your workouts, but you know that you’ll hit those limits at some point. If you try to push hard all the time, fitness pros have one request: take even more rest days than you think you should.

“Being gentle with yourself allows your body to rest and heal itself,” says Ali Duncan, a yoga instructor and the founder of Urban Sanctuary, the first women-run, Black-owned yoga studio in Denver, Colorado. “When the body is pushed without any rest, both physically and mentally, something will eventually have to give.”

Hustle culture leaks into the gym to tell you to constantly grind, but four fitness pros explain how you can revamp your workout routines to feature more rest, community care, and self-love.

Why People Don’t Take Enough Rest Days

A lot of people never realize that they feel like they have to “earn” rest. From sticking with soccer practice because “winners never quit” to working through unpaid parental leave, people are taught to always be working harder — AKA, constantly grinding, as we say in the gym.

“We have been taught to go, go, go,” says Emma Middlebrook, a personal trainer and the owner of REP Movement, a workout space in Portland, Oregon that emphasizes body affirmation, anti-racism, and queerness. Getting three hours of sleep might be a badge of honor around the office, but you don’t have to work every weekend or drag yourself out of bed every day at 3 a.m. to hit up the gym in order to “earn” that four-hour session of Animal Crossing or that chocolate fudge cake.

“Hustle culture is a result of capitalism, white supremacy, and patriarchy being deeply ingrained in our cultural outlook,” says Helen Phelan, a Pilates instructor who specializes in body neutrality and mindfulness. “Choosing rest and deciding not to let wellness marketing guilt you into going ‘harder’ when it’s not right in that moment is what self-care actually is,” Phelan says. You don’t deserve to constantly run on fumes, she explains.

Make Self and Community Care The Center Of Your Fitness Routine

“The terms self-care and self-love are fairly new, which in itself is wild,” Middlebrook tells Bustle. “We had to create a term to help us stop and take care of ourselves, but this is something we should have all been allowed to do without having to create a hashtag.” She invites her clients into self-love practices by encouraging folks to do gentle stretch routines instead of intense workouts when energy levels just aren’t there. This creates a community that puts members’ emotional and physical needs ahead of ideas about what their workouts and lives “should” look like.

The more people, especially those from marginalized communities, surround themselves with affirmation and care for their community, the less pressure there is to work constantly to earn crumbs of relaxation. “I was tired of being the only Black person practicing yoga in all of the studios I practiced [at],” Duncan