Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

I started accumulating pieces to my own home gym when I moved into my first apartment in college. My home gym was simple enough: a kettlebell, yoga/Pilates mat, and some dumbbells. At some point, I acquired a small resistance band loop, but for years then I barely used it. 

After attending the Rise.Run.Retreat and listening to Crystal Seaver extol the virtues of resistance band training for long distance runners. The resistance band doesn’t strain the body as much as heavy weight lifting, but it works on strength, stability, and mobility for the key muscles used in running. I too easily will neglect weight lift as the miles pile up, so I was excited to fish out that little band when I returned home and try it. 

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Now, that simple little resistance band is one of my favorite at-home strength training tools, along with my Pilates magic circle and my handled medicine ball. The resistance band is my favorite tool for runner-specific core, hip, and glute strength training, because I can use it easily from our apartment rather than having to go to the gym.

You can find resistance band loops in a variety of “weights,” from light resistance to heavy resistance. The band I use for this workout is heavy resistance, but you can use whichever level you have or feels challenging to you. The true genius of this resistance band is that you can do this workout virtually anywhere – at home, your office gym, while traveling, etc.

Whether you run for fun or are training for a big PR, almost all runners will benefit from strengthening their hips, glutes, and core. There’s lots of hype surrounding things that may benefit runners – go Paleo, eat plant-based, train only at low heart rate, do HIIT – so how do you know that hip, glute, and core strength workouts are actually worth your time?

Research indicates that strengthening these muscle groups improves running economy, decreases risk of injury, reduces fatigue during running, and improves running speed. According to a 2009 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 5K runners who followed a six-week hip and core strengthening routine ran significantly faster times than the control group. Even if you prefer the marathon to the 5K, your running will still benefit from hip, glute, and core strength training.

And who doesn’t want to run faster while staying injury free? I know I do! This short yet effective hip, core, and glute resistance band workout can make you a stronger and faster runner without spending hours at the gym. 

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Banded Squats: 2-3 sets of 20

The band does add extra resistance to your basic bodyweight squat, but it also helps you keep your form in check. Loop the resistance band around your thighs and then stand with your feet hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Lower down and back into a seated position, keeping your knees over your ankles. Pause, then squeeze your glutes to stand back up to complete one rep.

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Lateral Band Walks: 2-3 sets of 20 per leg

Even though running occurs in the sagittal plane of movement (front-back), lateral exercises will improve your stability and strengthen supporting movements. The lateral band walk will improve stability, along with strengthening your glutes and hips.

Proper form is important in this exercise. After looping the band around your calves, lower down into a quarter squat position. Maintain this half squat as you step right as far as you can, pause, and then slowly step your left foot in to complete one rep. Be sure to step on your heel, not just on your toes, to activate your glutes fully.

Banded Glute Bridges: 2-3 sets of 20

Bridges are one of the simplest yet most effective exercises for targeting the hips, glutes, and core. Loop the resistance band on your thighs, just above your knees, and lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor near. Engage your abs and raise your hips up so that your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. As you raise your hips, focus on keeping your hips level. Slowly lower down to complete one rep. Your feet should be just far enough apart that you have to actively resist the band during the whole exercise.

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Banded Clamshells: 2-3 sets of 20 per leg

The clamshell may just be the most awkward exercise ever, but it will effectively improve the strength and mobility in your hips and glutes. This is also one of my favorite exercises for activating the glutes, since you engage each glute individually.

Lie on your side with your knees slightly bent and your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulder stacked. Loop the resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees. You can prop up your head in your hand or rest it on your arm on the floor. While keeping your hips stacked, torso still, and your feet together, lift your top knee up. Pause, then slowly lower back down to complete one rep. Perform all of the reps on one side before switching to the other side.

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Side Plank with Hip Flexion: 2-3 sets of 30 seconds per side

This exercise doesn’t use the resistance loop, although you could loop it around your ankles if you had a stretchy, light resistance band. This plank variation will strengthen your core and hips while improving your stability. Lie on your right side and then come into a side plank (forearm or straight arm, whichever you prefer). Be sure to keep your hips stacked and navel pulled in to engage your abs. Bring your left knee in towards your hips, extend back out to start, and repeat for the duration of the plank.

Hip, Core, and Glute Resistance Band Workout

Linking up with Coaches’ Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday

What’s your favorite piece of at-home workout equipment?
Do you notice a difference in your running when you strength train?

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33 Responses

  1. OK 🙂 I had to share here before I share your post with others a confession. I loved bands about 20 years ago. Inexplicably I grew prideful 🙂 and thought I had outgrown the bands. Good Lord I have not. I did Boot Camp class the other day and the bands kicked my BOOTY!!

  2. truth: i’ve never done a resistance band workout before. i feel MUCH better when i do strength training.. i’m trying to find a routine again – i’m so out of it!

  3. I used to think an advanced and complicated weight routine was what makes a stronger runner. It can but the basics and using a resistance band are really all you need to stay injury free. I do all of these routinely. After my many, many visits in physical therapy, it finally sunk in that these exercises are the ones to do!

  4. I do a LOT of these exercises in the ITBS rehab routine I do. I don’t have ITBS anymore, but I found the exercises so effective that I kept doing them. I also do some non-resistance band things like donkey kicks and single leg squats. Now that I’m back to lifting in the gym, I’m only doing the routine maybe once a week, but I think it’s great for those little muscles that large lifts don’t always hit.

    Before I got injured with ITBS, I never realized just how HARD a resistance band workout could be!

    1. Donkey kicks are a good one as well! Large lifts don’t always get those muscles that are so key for us runners – plus, prehab is always better than rehab!

  5. I have a lot of resistance exercises. My next “toy” for my gym will probably be a balance disk to work on stability. My balance could use a lot of work.

  6. I love your photos! I don’t notice a direct difference in my running when I strength train, but strength training helps my overall back health, especially at my SI joint. Where it used to slip out all the time, now it stays in and I’m able to keep running without any sort of injuries. For example, my arms were so incredibly weak that when I bent over to pick up Callum, my back had to compensate for my arm weakness and then I’d put my back out. OUCH. I used to think it was a problem with my core, but then after years of doing core work and still having the same issues, I finally started strengthening my arms and my back has never been better.

    1. If your gym doesn’t have them, they cost about $3 on the Perform Better website (which is where I got mine). So much cheaper than any other piece of strength training equipment!

  7. I’ve been really angry with my bands lately. They keep rolling up and hurting my legs so I quit using them. I can still feel the resistance and the activation so I’m not losing much by not using them.

    1. That’s so frustrating! I used to have that problem. Since I got the sturdy loop one (mine’s the heavy band from Perform Better), it hasn’t happened.

  8. I really need to buy some of those small loop bands…because I have been tying straight ones into a loop for YEARS. The resulting giant knot tends to get in the way.

  9. Love these. I just bought some resistance bands to start adding more of these moves to my workouts. I had to do them before through physical therapy when I hurt my knee and found out I had weak glutes all at once. Thanks for sharing, I found you on the Wild Workout Wednesday Link Up!

    1. I got the bands from Perform Better (www.performbetter.com) – they are super cheap and available in a variety of “weights.” I’ve had mine for years and it’s held up well!

  10. Great photos! I have been using the same blue band from my PT with lots of exercises including the squats, walks, and clamshells during my injury recovery. It’s important to keep up with from now on as a runner!

  11. Hey Laura! Thanks for this workout – it targets exactly what I need. I’m printing it out and trying it this week. Suggestion : I’d love if you offered a summary of each workout you post so that we can print it easily – just the name of the exercise and the number of reps, or the intensity and the duration for running workout. It’d make it even easier to use them. Hope you have a great day; thanks again for the content you put out!

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