Make Gains With This Band Leg Workout


Make Gains With This Band Leg Workout

Today we focus on amplifying your workout intensity without the need for additional weights.

There are several ways to increase exercise difficulty without going heavier.

These include:

  • partial reps
  • increasing time under tension, i.e. pause reps
  • increasing range of motion
  • changing resistance vectors, using bands

I love loop resistance bands, as they’re easy to travel with, versatile, and they can completely change your workouts.

Today’s workout is a complete leg loop band workout. We’re creating a novel, or new, stimulus. This is because we’re changing where the resistance comes from…

…and this causes your muscles to fire and work in ways that you may not have achieved with just free weights or machines alone.

This can help with making gains faster, breaking through plateaus, and also add some excitement and fun to the work out.

Resistance bands that I like (affiliate links):

You can also check on Amazon, as there are hundreds of options to choose from.

I like the options above, as they’re inexpensive and higher quality. One option comes with a door anchor, which really comes in handy when traveling or when training at home. 

Exercises for today:

  1. Goblet squat
  2. RDLs
  3. Deadlift
  4. Glute bridge
  5. Split squat
  6. Hamstring curls

Home Leg Workout Substitutions:

  1. Goblet squat (can easily be done at home)
  2. Column, door frame, or staircase anchored RDLs or B-stance RDLs (no band)
  3. Column, door frame, or staircase anchored deadlift or mini-band db deadlift
  4. Glute bridge
  5. Split squat
  6. Dumbbell leg curl (hold between feet) or sliding floor curl

Thank you for reading and watching. I appreciate you!

What would you like to see next?

Until next time, train smart and train hard, y’all!


Video Transcript:

Hey, it’s Erin!

There are several ways to increase exercise difficulty without necessarily needing to go heavier.

These include partial reps, increasing that time under tension using things like pause reps, and increasing your range of motion.

So, this would be something like standing on a plate to extend that range of motion.

Lastly, one of my personal favorites is the use of bands.

For today’s workout, we’re going to be using a loop band.

If you don’t have one currently or a set of them, I’ll leave a few of my favorites here if you want to check those out.

Loop bands basically never leave my gym bag when I’m training unless I’m traveling, and if that’s the case, they go in my carry-on bag because I never know if I’m going to have access to a gym, and they’re just so versatile.

So, what we’re doing today is a leg loop band workout, and this is going to help create what’s called a novel stimulus.

We are bringing resistance in from another direction. We are increasing tension on the muscle. This is going to lead to greater muscle activation and hopefully better gains.

So, you’ve got that increase in difficulty, and you have something that is fun and different.

Now, if you’re training at home and you have a sturdy object that you can attach these loop bands to, then feel free to follow along. I’ll leave some substitutes also in the description below if you’re training at home and you need some ideas. So, pack those loop bands in your gym bag, and let’s go get a great workout in.

Now, for these exercises, I’m using a medium tension band that’s between 30 to 80 pounds.

So, go ahead and choose the band that best suits your goals and your current level of strength.

The first exercise is a goblet squat.

Now, for this setup, you want to grab the loop band, step on it of course with both feet, and the band should sit kind of where the arch of your foot is.

Feet are going to be shoulder-width apart to one and a half times shoulder width apart. You’re going to grab the top part of the band, place it behind your neck across your traps, and across your shoulders.

You do not want the band at any time, for any exercise, to simply rest along your neck.

So, once you have that band set up, you’re going to squat down, pick up the dumbbell, and you’ll place the butts of your hand underneath the top part of the dumbbell.

…you’re holding the top end, and elbows are going to be underneath the dumbbell, and the dumbbell should be resting lightly against your clavicle.

Now, for this exercise, you’re going to squat down slowly. As you squat down, you’re going to start to lose tension on the band, which is totally fine.

You’re getting that full range of motion, getting a good stretch in the glutes and in the hamstrings. As you come up out of that squat, I want you to think about really pushing against the resistance of the band, especially at that top part of the wrap.

This is where you’re going to get a lot of tension, and you should feel it on those quads. So, really excellent exercise for hitting all muscles of the leg.

Nice and slow on the way down, keep your chest up, keep those elbows underneath the dumbbell, make sure that your spine is neutral, and you’re gazing straight ahead.

Moving on to Romanian deadlifts…

You’re going to need a sturdy object, so if you’re at a gym, not a problem.

You’re going to loop the band around at about hip height, maybe a little bit lower. Step through the loop, make sure you’re placing the band across your hip bones. So, you’re going to step out, get the tension that feels good for you.

Feet should be about shoulder width apart, back should be flat.

Slowly descend. As you slowly descend, I want you to think about that band pulling your hips back. So, this is a great cue for that RDL, really great way to get your posterior chain, your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back to really fire…

…think about your hips as the hinge, back stays flat, you can go ahead and push your weight through the heels and go nice and slow on the way down. Get a good stretch and as you come up, think about pushing your hips against that band.

Another really good cue to push your hips forward and against the band, it’s going to create a nice amount of resistance. You can go ahead and tuck your chin if you would like, round your upper shoulders just a little bit if you really want to hit those glutes. So, you can turn it into more of a glute-centric exercise by doing that.

Our next exercise is a dumbbell deadlift…

For this exercise, you want to make sure that the resistance band is at about shin to ankle height, you want it just a little bit lower.

 You’ll place the band across your hip bones, wherever it feels comfortable. You just want it right above that hip crease.

Step out away so you get some resistance from that band, grasp the dumbbells, and I’m using a Sumo stance here, so toes out, knees out.

I want you to also think about trying to keep your upper body as tall as possible.

Now, if you’ve got a longer torso, longer femurs, if you’ve got long femurs, then you’re going to tend to lean forward just a bit more like I do, and that’s totally fine…

…But, I want you to think about using that band as a cue to help push the hips back, and then also to give you nice tension at that mid-rep point.

This is something that we typically don’t get with just free weights alone, so you’re going to feel that tension, which you give your glutes, hamstrings a nice squeeze at the top, and then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position.

Now, for this exercise, I like to push my weight through the heels and like to just hold on to the dumbbells. You can counterbalance a little bit if you want by holding them out in front of you just slightly.

Next, we’re moving on to a glute bridge…

Now, the setup of this one can be a little bit tricky but try it. You’re going to see that it gives you an amazing amount of resistance at the mid-rep or that top part of the exercise.

So, you’re going to lie down on the floor, get a yoga mat or towel if you would like, and take the resistance band.

Once you think about placing the loops over your feet so that the band is right about where your arch is, and then pulling that band across your knees.

*Really important here, you want to make sure that you’ve got even tension from left to right sides. Once you get that in place, pull your heels up close to your glutes, and grasp the dumbbell, place it across your hips.

And here, I like to think about placing that dumbbell just below the hip bone. So, if you’re able to do that, it’s going to be much more comfortable.

You can also get a squat pad or something like that if you have bonier hips or you find this exercise uncomfortable.

Feel free to put a little bit of a buffer there between your hips and the dumbbell.

Otherwise, right below the hip bones, really secure that dumbbell, and brace your elbows against that dumbbell to keep it in a fixed position.

Tuck your chin as you lay back, so you want to keep that chin kind of tucked, and this is going to help with that glute activation and making sure you keep your back flat.

And you’re going to lift your hips off the ground, and as you lift your hips off the ground, you’ll feel that increasing tension to that mid-rep point.

Really get a good squeeze, and you’re going to come back down and repeat. Now, of course, the range of motion for this exercise is a lot shorter, so really focus on keeping that time under tension and going nice and slow.

Next, we’re moving on to a split squat…

Now, for this exercise, this is excellent because you get that tension at that top range of motion, something that you don’t normally get.

Of course, you’re working against gravity, but if you really want to light up your quads, this is a really fun exercise. So, you’re going to take your working leg, or your front leg, and place your foot over the band, and then you’re going to take the band, place it over your head across your shoulders, in a similar way to how we set it up for the goblet squat.

And you’re going to press the dumbbells and get your legs in such a position. You can start in the down position, and once your front leg, your knee to be at a 90-degree angle, same thing with your back leg…

…you want to start with both legs at kind of that 90-degree angle, upper body nice and tall.

And you’re going to think about using your front leg as the working leg. So, the back leg is simply there to support, and you’re going to come up out of that split squat and really focus on that tension at the top.

And of course, when you switch sides, make sure that your setup is exactly even from left to right, and I typically like to start with that non-dominant side and let that dictate the number of reps I’m doing on the dominant side.

Alright, the last exercise, you’re either gonna, well, you’re probably not gonna love me for this one…

This is a finisher.

We’re doing banded lying leg curls…

…for this exercise, you’re just gonna loop that resistance band around a sturdy object, and you want that band to be nice and low…

…and then you’re going to just loop the bands around your heels and lay down on your yoga mat, or towel, or floor, and make sure that you’ve got even resistance from left to right and dorsiflex the foot here.

You want to make sure that you’re not pointing the toe, that you’ve got your toe pulled up, and you’re just going to work against the resistance of that band, keeping your upper leg flat on the floor and focusing mostly on the tension at that mid-rep point.

So, of course, as you’re curling, you’re going to feel the exercise much more at that mid-rep point.

Go ahead and spend a little bit more time on that tension side of things, and you’re just gonna do two sets of as many reps as possible just to go ahead and burn it out.


Want More Leg Workouts or Mini-Cut Programs?


If you want to take the guesswork out of your training, I’ve got some 90-day programs on my website, and if you’re a new customer, you can get 20% off using this link.

And I’ve also got some mini cuts and some other programs, too, pretty much anything for any goal.

Now, if you try this workout and you love it, please tag me on social media.

One of my favorite things is seeing you take the workouts and making them your own.

That’s it for this time, until next time…

Tain smart, have fun, and train hard, y’all!




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Erin Stern

Erin Stern

Erin Stern is a 2x Ms. Figure Olympia fitness model and bodybuilder who competes in the IFBB and has won over 14 titles. She is regarded as one of the greatest Figure icons in the history of bodybuilding. Join her newsletter to get her best fitness tips or join a program.