How To Do Lateral Band Walks + Tips, Modifications & Benefits
If you're looking for a lower-body move that's as simple as it is effective, look no further than lateral band walks. This valuable exercise packs a punch fast, and all you need is a resistance band. Here's how to do this move correctly, as demonstrated by fitness instructor Janeil Mason, M.S., plus tips, modifications, and benefits.
How to do lateral band walks:
- Begin on the right side of your mat, and place the mini band just above your ankles. Start with your feet hip-width apart; come into a half-squat position.
- Take one big step to the left with your left foot, then take a small step to the left with your right foot. Be sure to keep your knees from caving in.
- Continue until you reach the other side of your mat, then reverse the movement and return to start.
- Repeat for 60 seconds.
Tips & modifications:
- Keep your core engaged to support the upper body and work your abdominal muscles.
- Keep your hips neutral (not tilting up or tucking under) in your half-squat.
- Use a band with less resistance to make this move easier, or ditch the band entirely if need be.
- Use a band with more resistance to make this move more challenging. You can also add a second band above the knees to increase the difficulty.
- To incorporate the arms, you can hold a dumbbell or weight.
What are the benefits?
There are so many benefits to lateral band walks, from strengthening the entire lower body to improving stability and posture. For one thing, this move works the glutes, thighs, and hips, which helps keep the body stable and supported. Having strong hips keeps your entire body in line and helps to support lower-back strength, too.
On top of that, lateral band walks are also a great functional movement exercise and help improve stability in your knees and hips. As Mason tells mbg, this move promotes hip health and strength. "We're always moving forward in our daily lives, but for optimal hip health, we should be incorporating all of the hips' planes of motion—which are forward, lateral, and backward movements," she explains.
It's simple, as well, making it a perfect move for fitness novices and veterans alike.
The bottom line is, there's a reason lateral band walks are a favorite of so many trainers: They're beneficial in so many ways and will absolutely get your lower body working fast.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.