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5 Lower Body Exercises You Can Do with Resistance Bands

A woman doing squats with a resistance band around her thighs.

Resistance bands are one of the easiest (and lightest) exercise accessories you can add to your lower body workout and still challenge yourself. Although they don’t add any extra weight or require any crazy moves, you’ll still feel the burn.

There are a variety of resistance bands on the market to help you tackle different areas. However, even if you only have one, you can still create a pretty decent workout. They create constant tension and keep your muscles engaged the entire time. We love these resistance bands for leg days and recommend them in our roundup of best exercise resistance bands. They’re inexpensive and offer three levels of resistance.

Whether you snap up our favorites or you have a set on hand already, grab your bands and add these five amazing exercises to your next leg day!

Side Step

Place the resistance band around your thighs, a few inches above your knees. Start in a hip-width stance and activate your core.

Keep your back straight, and then bend your knees as close to parallel as possible. The lower you go, the more challenging it gets.

Take a big inhale, and then take two steps to your right, followed by two steps to your left. Repeat for a total of 20 steps and keep the resistance band on the entire time, so it remains stretched out. The goal is to keep your hips low throughout all 20 steps, so you feel your hamstrings, glutes, and hip muscles working hard.


Wrap the resistance band around your thighs, a few inches above your knees. It might roll up and down your legs as you perform this move, so you might need to readjust it.

Separate your legs a bit wider than hip-width and turn your feet slightly outward. Inhale and activate your core muscles. Keeping your spine straight, lower into a squat. Push your knees outward and try to make a line right over your toes.

Exhale and explosively come up, pushing from your heels and keeping the resistance on the band, as you squeeze your glutes at the top. Repeat this move 12-15 times. If you want to challenge yourself a bit more, add a second resistance band around your ankles.

Lunge Kick

Place the band around the middle of your thighs and find a good starting position. Keep your legs straight, separated hip-width apart. Engage your quadriceps and keep your core tight. Step backward with your right leg into a lunge.

Then, take an inhale and kick backward with the same leg on your exhale, squeezing your glutes and keeping your hips aligned. Repeat 12-15 times before switching to your left leg.

This move will challenge your balance, so make sure your core remains engaged and strong throughout. Don’t ever kick backward unless you’re safely balanced. Each time your leg returns to the lunge position, take a second to readjust your stability before kicking again.

Lateral Raises

Wrap the resistance band around your thighs, a few inches above your knees. Separate your legs a bit wider than hip-width apart. You should really feel the resistance from the band.

With your core engaged and your back straight, inhale and drop into a squat. Exhale, and then rise and kick your right leg to one side before returning to a squat position. Then repeat, kicking with your left leg. You’ll feel the burn in your outer thighs.

The goal is to keep your upper body as straight as possible, so when you kick, you’ll feel your obliques burning at the same time. It’s a tricky move that requires focus, balance, and a bit of explosiveness when coming out of the squat. Continue alternating your legs and repeat a total of 20 times.

Front/Back Step

Place the resistance band around your thighs, a few inches above your knees. Separate your feet hip-distance and keep the band stretched at all times. Inhale and bend your knees until you’re as close to parallel as possible.

Slowly, walk forward four steps, and then backward four steps, keeping your hips as low as possible. Undoubtedly, you’ll start extending your legs as you keep walking. The challenge is to notice that and burn your muscles to the maximum by continuously trying to get lower. Repeat for a total of 24 steps.

Using resistance bands might look easy, but that’s an illusion. They can really challenge your leg muscles and spice up any other exercise routine you incorporate them into. Add these five moves to your next lower-body day, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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