Summer is officially in full swing, which means many of my clients and I have been on the road traveling. The first thing I suggest packing is a collection of resistance bands because wherever we go, we can get a great workout in just using the bands.

Last month I discussed 5 upper body resistance band exercises that I’d introduced to busy clients to keep them from falling off the active wagon this summer. This month I would like to share 5 lower body resistance band exercises that they’ve been adding to their on-the-go routines.

Lower body resistance band exercises

Clockwise from top left: Front squat, Back squat, Deadlift, Good morning

*These 5 exercises are planned with looped resistance bands but can be done with traditional bands with handles.

1. Back squats

-Stand with feet hip width distance on one end of the resistance band and place the other end of the loop around the shoulders. 

-Squat with good depth. That’s it! 

*If you get sweaty, the band may slip towards the neck, which can be uncomfortable. In this case, add a towel around the upper back. 

2. Front Squats

-Stand on one end of the resistance band with feet hip width distance and hold the other end on the front rack position.

-Hands in front of the shoulders, elbows high, with upper arms parallel to the ground.

-Squat with good depth.

*Remind clients they may feel more quad activation in the front squat compared to the back squat.

3. Deadlifts

-Stand with feet on the resistance band hip width or wider, knees soft, criss-cross the band in your hands. 

-Keep tension on the band. 

-Hinge the hips forward with partial flexion in the knees, allowing upper body to come parallel to the ground.

-Return to standing by driving through the heels and squeezing the glutes. 

*Lower hand placement will create more tension on the band, and thus, more muscle recruitment in the core, upper, and lower body.

4. Good Mornings

-Stand with feet on the resistance band hip width distance and place the other end of the band around shoulders. 

-Bend the knees slightly during the descent and hinge from the hips until the torso is parallel to the standing surface. Return to standing position.

*For more hamstring recruitment, keep the knees straight.

5. Lateral walks

-Stand with feet on the resistance band hip width distance, knees soft, and hands securing the band about waist height. 

-Take 5-10 steps to the right. Then, 5-10 steps to the left. 

*To add variety step diagonally forward and back, too.

(I added this one because I think it is important to move in more than one plane of motion). 

Programming these movements into some kind of metcon, circuit, or interval training can really create a great workout. My favorite new protocol lately has been a reverse ladder set of 10 decreasing rep rounds: 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

What twists can you think of to incorporate resistance bands into a lower body workout?