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February 01, 2022
There are a several ways where resistance band lunges can make sense:
With that, you can see that nearly everybody will find resistance band lunges beneficial, one way or another OR at some point in time.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what type of band works best for banded lunges, how to do the movement correctly, the muscles that you’ll work, the benefits, and some good alternatives that you can add into your routine.
Let’s get started!
We are recommending that you have 41" heavy-duty loop resistance bands, rather than resistance tube with handles attached. The 41" loop bands are the best as they are more versatile in terms of how they can be used and resistance. Essentially, you have more variety with your exercises and a greater range of resistance.
The reason the 41" loop bands are so useful for lunges is because they can be stretched adequately and positioned on your body in many different ways. You won't be able to do the same number of lunge variations with other bands, plain and simple.
In terms of resistance, most 41" loop bands range from 10lbs to 170lbs. With bands, the more they stretch, the more tension is created, and thus resistance. So a single band will have a range of resistance (and you can control it by how much tension you create on the band).
Resistance tubes usually have a much lower range of resistance and they are not as stretchable. Moreover, you can't anchor resistance tubes in the same way as you can with loop bands.
All in all, 41" loop bands can be used in all of the same ways as resistance tubes with handles, plus a whole lot more. You'll see with a couple of the exercises below that they wouldn't be possible with resistance tube bands.
If you want to learn more about why resistance loop bands are better than resistance tubes with handles, we go in-depth on that here.
Anyway, 41" loop bands, like the ones from SET FOR SET that you will see below, are WAY more common. These types of bands can be found in every gym. And if you train from home and you don't have a set of bands, you should get one as they are very useful and we aren't just saying that because we sell them. From mobility training and stretching to resistance and strength training, bands are highly advantageous.
There are several different variations of a resistance band lunge. We will now cover 4 of the most effective versions, so you’ll know how to do each one correctly and what the differences are.
The standard resistance band lunge emphasizes the glutes, quads and hip adductors.
Here's how to do it:
This resistance band reverse lunge has resistance pulling from behind you, which places more emphasis on the hamstrings, hip adductors, and glutes, but your quads will also play a big role.
Here's how to do it:
Tension can be varied here, depending on how close or how far away you are from your anchor point. Alternate legs as you drive yourself forward and up between reps.
The resistance band split squat will work the same muscles as the standard lunge, but it takes away some of the coordination demand needed to step forward or backward with one leg since you will be positioned in the split stance for the entire set. That doesn't mean your core won't be working, because it will! All lunges, including the split squat, are essentially a unilateral exercise, which means you'll be working core stability and strength in addition to the primary movers.
Here's how to do it:
For a split squat like this, you should perform all your reps on one leg before moving to the other side. No knee drive on this one, both feet stay planted on the floor during the course of the movement!
This exercise – and correspondingly, the set up for it – is the same as the resistance band reverse lunge listed above, except now you’ll be adding a powerful knee drive! The knee drive not only will increase your calorie burn, but it will work your hip flexors and core considerably.
When performing these exercises, there are some common mistakes that can be noted across the board:
Lunges are wonderful for strengthening the lower body, as well as the core. But what muscles are specifically targeted? Let’s take a look!
The primary movers in a resistance band lunge include the glutes, hamstrings, quads, and adductors. These muscles aid in hip and knee extension and flexion, as well as stabilizing throughout the movement. Your adductors aid in keeping your thighs close, ensuring that your legs don’t flare out during the lunge.
The secondary muscles utilized within a resistance band lunge include the abdominals and the calves, along with any corresponding upper body muscles that might be holding onto your resistance band, such as the lats, biceps, and forearms.
Read this article if you want a more in-depth look at what muscles lunges work.
The benefits of resistance band lunges are numerous – after all, this movement is a powerhouse exercise for the lower body, as well as one that can improve overall performance! Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits of resistance band lunges.
If you’re unsure about adding resistance band lunges into your current routine, there are some alternatives that you can do that will still help strengthen the lower body!
These can be done with or without resistance (i.e. dumbbells or kettlebells)...
1. Walking lunges:
This alternative removes the added resistance of the band, but kicks up the stability portion of the movement a bit. You’ll basically be performing a forward lunge, and making your way across a designated space as you perform each rep. Weight can be added to this movement, or you can just leave it with bodyweight – either way, you’re sure to get a good burn, as well as an elevated heart rate!
2. Side lunges:
Putting a large focus on the adductors, the side lunge is a perfect exercise to ensure that you are moving correctly. Side lunges put a different focus on the glutes than a regular lunge, and can help with mechanics that bring you into lateral movements.
3. Pistol squats:
Pistols are quite the challenge – and are perfect for developing balance, coordination, and strength throughout the entire body. Form is key with pistol squats (as with any exercise), and they can take a while to master; however, the overall strength that is developed through the lower body and core are unmatched!
Here are some more great resistance band leg exercises that you can add into the mix for complete development of your lower body:
If you wanted to do a resistance band only leg workout, it could look something like this:
Rest 20-30 seconds between exercises and repeat for 2-4 rounds.
Resistance band lunges are the perfect compound movement to add to your workout toolbox! With all of the variations that are available - in terms of depth of the exercise, range of motion, and even implements used to add resistance - these lunges can have you building leg strength, improving core stability, and increasing general performance factors in a short amount of time. Remember, consistency, correct form, and proper programming are key.
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