10 Great Resistance Band Exercises to Tone Your Legs

By | November 22, 2023

When it comes to leg exercises, there are plenty of possibilities that require no equipment. However, if you want to add intensity and reach the next level on your leg day, resistance bands are one of the best ways to get there.

Weight training tends to target the major parts of the leg, such as the quads, hamstrings, and butt. When it comes to strengthening the smaller muscles that give you balance and joint stability, resistance bands excel.

The comfort and versatility of resistance bands make them ideal for a wide variety of leg exercises. Also, resistance bands naturally encourage good form, making it easy to derive power from the muscles you’re targeting.

Using the Right Bands

Before diving in, it’s important to note that many leg exercises require a specific type of resistance band.

Loop resistance bands are the go-to type for many leg exercises. Either flat resistance bands or tube resistance bands are needed for some leg exercises as well. Thus, if you want the most options, be sure to have a variety of different types of resistance bands on hand.

It’s best to choose a band with a light level of resistance when getting accustomed to doing a new exercise. As you gain experience you can increase the resistance as you see fit.

Now, let’s get into it!

Tube or Flat Resistance Band Exercises

Either get your tube or flat resistance bands ready for the following leg exercises.


Muscles they work: gluteus maximus, minimus, and medius (buttocks), quads (front of the thigh), hamstrings (back of the thigh), adductor (groin), hip flexors, calves

  1. Grasp the handles or ends of the resistance band with your hands positioned at your shoulders. Stand on the band with your feet shoulder distance apart. Start with your knees slightly bent.
  2. Slowly lower your body into the squat position.
  3. Slide your buttocks backward just as you do when you’re going to sit down. Hold your body there for three to five seconds. Then come back up to the starting position.
  4. Do 10 to 14 reps.


Muscles they work: hamstrings (back of the thigh), quads (front of the thigh), gluteus maximus (buttocks), and calves

  1. Grasp the resistance band by its handles. Step on the middle of the band with your leg forward in a lunge position.
  2. Move your arms up so each hand is at each shoulder.
  3. Lunge up and down with one foot 10 or 12 times.
  4. Go back to the starting position with your other foot forward and repeat the process with the other leg.

Ankle Pumps

Muscles they work: calves

  1. Get into a seated position on the floor with your legs straight and in front of you. Grasp your resistance band at the handles and place the center of the band beneath your feet. Extend your feet forward as far as possible while keeping the handles still above your thighs.
  2. Allow the band to pull your toes towards you and then push your toes away from you.
  3. Complete 10 to 14 reps.

Loop Resistance Band Exercises

Get your loop resistance bands ready for the following leg exercises.

Lateral Band Steps

Muscles they work: glutes (buttocks), hip-abductors (lateral thigh), and quads (front of the thigh)

  1. Slide on a loop resistance band slightly above your knees. Start in a quarter squat position with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing forward.
  2. With your left foot, step about 10 inches to the left. Then, step inward with your right foot at the same distance. Your feet should now be the same distance apart as when you began.
  3. Repeat the process, starting with your right foot so that you move in the opposite direction.
  4. Do 14 to 20 reps.

Standing Glute Kickbacks

Muscles they work: glutes (buttocks) and hamstrings (back of the thigh)

  1. Put a loop resistance band around your ankles. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. With your core muscles engaged, put your weight on your right leg and slowly kick your left leg backward six to eight inches.
  3. Reverse the motion so your left leg moves close to the starting position so your left foot touches the floor just behind your stationary foot.
  4. Do 10 or 12 reps with each leg.


Muscles they work: glutes (buttocks), hamstrings (back of the thigh), core, and back

  1. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and wrap a looped resistance band around the arches of your feet.
  2. Bend down and grasp the top of the band with your arms straight down. Push your hips back into a hinge position.
  3. Push down through your heels to stand up straight while lifting the band upwards.
  4. Do 10 to 14 reps.

Bulgarian Split Squat

Muscles they work: quads (front of the thigh), glutes (buttocks), and hip adductors

  1. Place a loop resistance band around the middle of your left foot. Move your right leg back into the hinge position and support your right foot and ankle on a chair or workout bench. Next, put the top portion of the resistance band over your head and position it at your shoulders. Ensure you’re standing up straight.
  2. Move down by bending your left knee while your right knee nearly touches the floor.
  3. Move back up by driving down with your left foot. Repeat 10 to 12 times and follow the process on the opposite side of your body.


Muscles they work: glutes (buttocks), and hips

  1. Lie on your right side with your knees bent. Put a loop resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. Rest the right side of your head on your right hand or forearm and place your left hand on your left hip.
  2. Widen your thighs as far as you can. Pause for a few seconds and then lower your left thigh to the starting position.
  3. Complete 10 or 12 reps and then repeat the process when lying on the other side of your body.

Fire Hydrant

Muscles they work: gluteus maximus (buttocks), abductor (lateral thigh), and core

  1. Slide on a loop resistance band slightly above your knees. Move down into the tabletop position. Ensure that your hips are above your knees and your shoulders are above your wrists. Tighten your core so your body is stable during movements.
  2. Lift your knee and swing your leg up to the side without moving your hips.
  3. Complete 10 or 14 reps and repeat the exercise with the other leg.

Resistance Band Leg Curls

Muscles they work: hamstrings (back of the thigh)

  1. Lie on the floor, face down, with your legs straight. Put a loop resistance band around your ankles.
  2. Slowly move your left leg up by bending your knee so that your heel moves towards your butt.
  3. Point your lower leg toward the ceiling and hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds. Then, drop down your leg so it touches the floor again.
  4. Do 10 or 14 reps and repeat the process with your right leg.


Resistance bands are incredibly useful for toning the muscles in your legs. These 10 exercises are staples you’ll come back to again and again no matter how advanced your workout routine becomes.

Many people start off with flat or tube resistance bands. However, loop bands are the stars of the show when it comes to leg exercises.