Men’s Health/Eric Rosati
If you follow fitness accounts on Instagram, you’ve probably seen tons of videos with minibands. The small loops are a popular tool to develop the glutes, which means that anyone looking to build up a stronger, shapelier butt is likely showing off their band work—so these routines aren’t typically aimed at the iron-pounding, heavy lifter types. Dudes might be dismissive of that type of workout, but hold your judgment before you totally turn your back on the bands. There are plenty of gains to be gotten from them, especially if you’re training towards a stronger lower body. Trainer Charlee Atkins, C.S.C.S., advises that anyone who doesn’t skip leg day should have some band work in their repertoire, no matter their goals.
“If you want a bigger butt slash stronger glutes, use bands, but use them the right way—before or after the strength set,” Atkins says. “The bands will aid the in the workout, but a majority of change will happen based on doing the right exercises (squats, hip thrusters, lunges, deadlifts) with a heavy load. These banded glute warm-ups are designed to target all the all aspects of the glutes, but especially giving a focus on the glute medius.”Use the following routine to fire up your hips and glutes for your heavy leg days, or take it on after your lift to burn out your butt. If you don’t have your own set of bands, check out this option from Sports Research.
Complete each exercise for 30 seconds with no rest pre- or post-workoutLateral Steps (or Walks)Seated AbductionHip Thrust and AbductionEven though the work looks light, Atkins advises to work with as much resistance as you can to maximize the effect. Run through the circuit for 3 rounds total, and you’ll definitely feel the burn. Want to learn more moves from Atkins? Check out our series full of her workout tips, Try Her Move.
Brett Williams, an associate fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.