Resistance bands can have a place in just about any strength training workout you can imagine. These wildly versatile training tools add a little oomph and nuance to all kinds of traditional exercises by isolating muscles and maintaining tension throughout the entire range of motion. And when it comes to working the glutes specifically, the humble resistance band brings the burn in a big way.
Here's what CPTs and fitness experts want you to look for in a resistance band that will fire up your glutes, plus seven of the best bands for your workouts and how to use them effectively.
The best resistance bands for glutes of 2023:
The best resistance bands for glutes of 2023:
Can using resistance bands build your glutes?
While it's true that resistance is resistance, whether you're using bands or body weight or dumbbells to rock those glutes, there's a subtle distinction that sets resistance bands apart.
"Resistance bands allow for constant activation in the glutes, which can help build muscular strength and enhance form," explains Maeve McEwen, CPT, a lead trainer at P.volve. "Resistance band exercises and weights are a great combination if your goal is building your glutes."
It's the constant activation that's unique. "Resistance bands keep more constant tension on the muscles throughout the whole movement of an exercise compared to dumbbells," says Luke Zocchi, head trainer at Centr. "That creates the micro-tears you need to repair and build your muscles."
"Exercises with load have a primary purpose of building muscle, but adding bands is a great way to support muscle growth through tone and strength," explains Mike Curry, ACE CPT and founder of StrongBoard Balance. He likes incorporating bands toward the end of a workout to really fatigue specific muscle groups like the glutes.
Another benefit to the band? "Resistance bands have a lower impact on your body than weights and you typically have a bit more control," says Zocchi. That means you can really dial in the workout to activate all the muscles in the glutes, and you'll engage various stabilizing muscles in the process. Plus, they're super portable and easier to take on the go than your favorite dumbbell set.
Aren't all resistance bands the same?
These days, resistance bands come in different widths, lengths, styles, and resistance levels. And no, resistance bands and glute bands aren't the same thing. While they're both stretchable bands, glute bands are smaller and thicker with a wide, flat design. And as the name implies, they're primarily used for lower-body training and worn around the thighs.
Some resistance bands have a tubular design with handles on either end, while others are a continuous loop. Some have a figure-eight shape or are designed as a mini loop with handles. And as you might have guessed, different bands lend themselves to different workouts, which we'll get into below.
How we picked
Cheap resistance bands may be easy on the wallet, but no one wants to get snapped in the face with what amounts to a giant rubber band. We prioritized bands that should perform properly for years.
We included bands that can be used for a variety of glute exercises so you can keep your muscles challenged.
We looked to our expert sources for their advice on finding the best resistance bands to build the glutes.
We included resistance bands that offer good value for the money.
mbg's picks for the best resistance bands for glutes of 2023:
Best kit: Centr Fitness Essentials Kit
- Kit includes a mix of resistance and glute bands
- Handles, ankle straps, and door anchor included
- Comes with a three-month membership to Centr
- Handles aren’t fixed
This is a good pick for anyone new to resistance band training for the glutes (or any body part). The kit features five tube resistance bands ranging from extra light to extra heavy resistance, plus three fabric loop bands for glute-specific work. Bonus: Zocchi says the bands have been tested for durability and notes the fabric glute bands are machine washable, which makes for easy cleanup after a sweaty workout.
Included handles, carabiners, ankle straps, and a door anchor in the Essentials kit mean extra versatility for different exercises and their appropriate resistance levels. The kit has a few bonus tools, too, including a foam mat, protein shaker bottle, travel bag, and a three-month subscription to the Centr app and all its training videos.
- Durable braided design for long-term performance
- Handle plug with grommet reinforcement minimizes risk of handles breaking
- Bands sold individually
Four tubes are braided together to create these super durable resistance bands, which have soft foam handles for better grip. Handles are notorious for being the weakest part of a resistance band, and this design allows all four tubes to come through the connector separately for a more secure hold.
These bands are sold individually, with lengths between 44 and 53 inches. Resistance weights are between 3 to 5 pounds for very light and between 20 to 27 pounds for extra heavy.
Best budget buy: Vergali Booty Bands
- Includes four resistance levels
- Comfortable on bare skin
- Limited range of stretch
If you work out in shorts, these are the kind of glute bands you want. The poly-cotton and rubber design keeps the band in place as you squat, thrust, or lift, with no unbearable pinch on your bare skin.
This set includes four glute bands that range in resistance from light (14-25 pounds) to heroic (45-60 pounds), so you’ll have plenty of options. All four bands are the same size and color coded for ease of use. Plus, they’re nicely made with reinforced joints, and they come with their own little bag and exercise guide.
Best fabric: TRX Glute Bands
- Sold in sets of three
- Cotton won’t pull or bunch
- High resistance
This trio from TRX is a great choice if you’re sick of flimsy glute bands that roll up as soon as you move. The wide fabric band stays in place no matter what you’re doing, and each band is adjustable so you can tailor it to the exercise. Despite the soft material, these bands pack serious resistance.
The set comes with three glute bands in light, medium, and heavy resistance, plus a mesh storage bag. The bands can be hand washed and hung to dry, which is a nice bonus.
- Adjustable, removable strap with optional extender
- Only one resistance option
The P.ball from P.volve isn’t your typical resistance band. This two-in-one training tool combines a wide, adjustable, removable resistance band with a patented ball precisely designed to fit into the curve of the thighs. It can technically be used for strengthening just about anything, but it really shines as a tool for the glutes, as well as the inner and outer thighs. “At P.volve we also focus heavily on hip mobility, which can help in strengthening your glutes and the surrounding muscles,” says McEwen.
Tester thoughts: I tested the P.volve method myself, and any initial skepticism I had was gone within the first five minutes. I tend to gravitate toward intense workouts—heavy weights, kickboxing—so I assumed I wouldn’t feel sufficiently “worked” with this approach to fitness. I was wrong, and the P.ball in particular is a great training tool for the glutes and thighs. My muscles feel deeply activated in a way I just don’t get with traditional weighted squats and deadlifts, and I leave every workout feeling loose and energized instead of shaky. If you fall into the “every workout should be punishing to be effective” camp, the P.ball could very well change your mind.
Best tube: Rogue Tube Bands
- Sold individually or in sets
- Textured-grip handles
- Hard handles
Rogue has made a name for itself in the world of quality strength and conditioning equipment, and their tube bands are no exception. They aren’t fancy or complicated; just well-made and available in a choice of six resistance levels identifiable by color and tube thickness.
Rogue’s bands are sold separately and in packages. The light and heavy packages come with the three lightest and three heaviest bands, respectively, and the complete package has all six bands.
Tester thoughts: I personally use these bands in my home gym, and they do the job nicely. One note that the handles are textured for grip, but they’re firm – no soft foam here.
Best flat latex: Rogue Loop Bands
- Sold in pairs
- Six resistance levels
- Two lengths available
- Can pinch on bare skin
Rogue made our list again with these loop bands. Just like their tube bands, these are simple and no-nonsense. They’re available in 9-inch and 12-inch diameters with six levels of resistance. They’re sold in pairs or in packages of six (one of each resistance level).
The dipped latex of these color-coded bands is durable, snap-resistant, and designed for short movements—think clam shells, squats, and lateral steps. But fair warning that the material can pinch and definitely tug on body hair if you’re wearing shorts.
Tester thoughts: I slip on one of these bands (over leggings!) for some lateral resistance on specific leg and glute exercises, and it’s always a next-level burn.
Choosing the right bands for your workouts.
Choosing the right resistance band for a glute workout comes down to the exercise.
For lateral movements, a heavier glute band is a good pick. "These smaller, wider bands are used mainly for lower-body and glute exercises, mostly focusing on the smaller muscle groups of the hips and lateral movements," says Curry.
Resistance bands are an inexpensive training tool, and many are sold in sets. That makes it easy to have a mix of traditional resistance bands and glute bands handy. Manufacturers tend to have their own color-coded system, and having bands in light, medium, and heavy resistances will give you a ton of options to really hammer those glutes.
How to make the most of your resistance bands for glutes:
Don't use them in every single workout.
McEwen cautions against overtraining, no matter which muscle group you're working, so you don't want to focus on your glutes in every single workout. Aim to include glute-specific exercises with resistance bands no more than twice a week. For any muscle group, strength or hypertrophy is about volume , also2.
Use them to target different glute muscles.
Keep in mind that there are three main muscle groups making up the glutes: the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus. Exercises like banded curtsy lunges will target the gluteus medius and minimus, while banded clams will hit the gluteus medius and maximus.
Aim for 8 to 12 reps per exercise.
Experts agree that doing three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per exercise is a solid place to start with your glute bands. Shoot for three to five exercises that target all three muscle groups in the glutes for a really well-rounded workout.
Place them carefully.
Proper band placement depends on the band type and the exercise. Glute bands are designed to go around the thighs (not the knees!) or above the ankle around mid-shin, while handled resistance bands will have an anchor point somewhere (typically your feet). Placement all depends on what muscles you are trying to call into action and what allows the athlete to connect to the movement.
Pay attention to technique.
Proper form is important regardless of the muscle group you're training, so maintain good posture and remember to breathe.
"You know you're using the bands correctly because you'll get a burn that feels deeper than a loaded burn from weights," says Curry. McEwen advises putting your hands on your glutes to feel the muscles activating. "Work to then maintain that activation and tension on the band throughout the entire exercise," she says.
Add some variety.
Moves to start with:
Frequently Asked Questions
What's the best way to use resistance band for glutes?
"Moves such as hinging, stepping patterns, bridges, and leg lifts are all effective in targeting the glutes in different ways," says McEwen. All those options highlight the fact that there is no single best way to use a resistance band for glutes. That's the beauty of this particular training tool!
Try using a glute band around the quads above the knee while you squat or perform a reverse lunge, and for donkey kicks and clam shells. Handled resistance bands work well for standard squats and kickbacks. As Curry points out, resistance bands in general complement just about every workout you can imagine.
Are glute bands and resistance bands the same thing?
"Glute bands are not the same as traditional resistance bands as they are much smaller and thicker, designed to fit around your upper thighs," says Curry. These are the bands you can use for a glute bridge thrust or to kick up exercises like deadlifts and sumo squats.
Are thicker resistance bands better?
Thicker resistance bands aren't necessarily better. They'll offer more resistance, which makes a movement more challenging, but that's not what you want for every exercise. "Proper form and the goal of the exercise should be considered when selecting the amount of resistance for a band," advises McEwen.
Resistance bands are an affordable, reliable tool for firing up the glutes, and having a selection of them around means you can hit every muscle group in that peach—and beyond. Whether you're new to strength training, setting up a home gym, or an old pro, resistance bands definitely deserve a spot in your workout.