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A resistance band is arguably the most versatile piece of workout equipment you can own. It can enhance just about any bodyweight exercise, taking a simple squat or plank to a whole new level of wow that’s hard. Resistance bands can also help add strength and definition without bulk and can be just as challenging as your trusty free weights (minus all that pressure on your joints). They’re also ideal for targeting those small stabilizing muscles your gym’s leg press could only dream of reaching. So whether you’re just starting out or you have your own fitness YouTube channel, this is one piece of equipment that’s worth the (small) investment. And this eight-move resistance band workout routine is a great place to start.

But First, What Are Resistance Bands?

Resistance bands are essentially elastic bands that can be flat (with or without handles) or looped. When in opposing force to your body, they add external resistance at varying degrees depending on their thickness and color, ranging from light to heavy. To tell us more about the beauty of the band, we checked in with Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, the founders of the girl-gang fitness and nutrition app Tone It Up. “There are various types of bands with built-in resistance,” they explain, “but all are ideal for adding an extra boost of strength and sculpting to your at-home workouts.” The one variation they love the most is the looped resistance band—they even created their own version, called the Tone It Up booty band. “The looped design allows you to easily place the band around your thighs or ankles for some serious booty toning work—no gym or bulky equipment needed.”

What Are the Benefits of Resistance Band Exercises?

Resistance bands look like oversized rubber bands, but they’re packed with a full range of sweat-inducing benefits. “There’s no piece of equipment that’s more convenient and effective for toning at home,” the TIU girls tell us. “The added resistance makes basic bodyweight moves more challenging so you continue to see amazing results.” They’re multi-level, so you can choose which band to use based on your fitness ability and the exercise you're doing. They’re also safe, effective and can easily be incorporated into the exercises you already know and love. “We love them for lateral shuffles, booty kickbacks, bridges and plank jacks. Not only do resistance bands add a strength challenge to your booty workouts, they can level up your core work too.”

Aside from upping the ante on specific moves, resistance bands are travel-friendly and can be used just about anywhere. They’re light, compact, portable and typically inexpensive. Leave one in your favorite carry-on suitcase and you’ll never be stuck using the hotel gym Stairmaster again.

How Often Should I Incorporate Resistance Band Exercises Into My Fitness Routine?

“We love breaking out our resistance bands two to three times per week,” the ladies of Tone It Up explain. “And the beauty of the bands is that you can mix them into any of your workouts,” whether that’s in a supporting role or as the star of the show. “Use them for glute activation as part of your dynamic warm-up, or add them in for a cardio abs finisher like plank jacks.”

Ready to Get Sweaty with Your Resistance Band?

Do the following eight-move circuit two to three times through using the recommended rep amount with limited rest in between. Then grab your phone and download the Tone It Up app for even more resistance band workouts that you can easily do at home.

RELATED: Cardio at Home: 12 Exercises You Can Do in Your Living Room

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Shuffles
Tone It Up

1. Resistance Band Shuffle

*Tones your outer thighs and glutes.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips for balance. Place the resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Bend your knees until you’re halfway down in a squat. Take two steps to the right, then two steps to the left keeping your butt down and leg muscles engaged throughout the entire shuffle.

Step 3: Continue this movement for 1 to 3 minutes. Put on your favorite song and shuffle to the beat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Squat Jacks
Tone It Up

2. Resistance Band Squat Jacks

*Sculpts your thighs and glutes and boosts your heart rate.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Place the resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Jump both feet out and lower into a squat position, feeling the resistance band challenge the muscles in your outer thighs.

Step 3: Jump both feet in and return to a standing position. Keep your arms centered to maintain balance.

Step 4: Complete 12 reps. Rest and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Kickbacks
Tone It Up

3. Resistance Band Kickbacks

*Tones your legs and glutes.

Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips for balance. Place the resistance band above your ankles.

Step 2: Extend your right leg behind you with your toe pointed down toward the ground. Engaging your core and keeping your hips square, lift your leg up about six inches off the ground.

Step 3: Lower your leg, tap your toe against the ground and lift up again, squeezing your glutes at the top. Make sure you maintain a neutral spine and avoid arching your back.

Step 4: Complete 12 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Arm Tap Outs
Tone It Up

4. Resistance Band Arm Tap Outs

*Tones your arms, shoulders and core.

Step 1: Begin on all fours in a plank position with the resistance band placed just above your wrists, feet hip-width apart.

Step 2: Lift your right hand and tap it a few inches to your right and back, keeping your spine aligned and your hips square.

Step 3: Lift your left hand and tap it a few inches to your left and back, maintaining that same alignment. This is one rep.

Step 4: Complete 12 reps. Rest and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Bridge Knee Openers
Tone It Up

5. Resistance Band Bridge Burners

*Tones your thighs and glutes.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Place the resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.

Step 2: Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips off the ground until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Engage your arms to push away from the ground to help lift your lower half as high as possible.

Step 3: Engaging your core, press your knees out as wide as possible. Hold for a beat and return back to center, maintaining tension on the band the entire time. This is one rep.

Step 4: Complete 12 reps. Rest and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Single Leg Bridge Dips
Tone It Up

6. Resistance Band Single Leg Bridge Dips

*Sculpts your thighs, glutes and core.

Step 1: Lie on your back with your arms out to your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees until your feet are flat on the floor, about hip-width apart. Place the resistance band around your thighs just above your knees.

Step 2: Keeping your thighs aligned, straighten your left leg so that your toes are pointed up. Squeeze your glutes and hamstrings to lift your hips up evenly off the floor. Engage your arms to push away from the ground to help lift your lower half as high as possible.

Step 3: Lower back down to the ground to return to the starting position, keeping your left leg lifted. This is one rep.

Step 4: Complete 12 reps on each side. Rest and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Plank Booty Lifts
Tone It Up

7. Resistance Band Plank Lifts

*Strengthens your core, legs and glutes.

Step 1: Begin on all fours in a push-up position. Place the resistance band around your ankles.

Step 2: Engaging your core, lift your right leg up until it’s even with or slightly above your hips. Lower back down and repeat on the other side. Keep your gaze forward and your hips steady. This is one rep.

Step 3: Complete 12 reps. Rest and repeat.

resistance band workout routine Booty Band Plank Jacks
Tone It Up

8. Resistance Band Plank Jacks

*Sculpts your core, shoulders, outer thighs and glutes.

Step 1: Begin on all fours in a push-up position. Place the resistance band around your ankles.

Step 2: Engaging your core, jump your legs out wide and then back together as if you were doing a jumping jack. Keep your gaze forward and your hips steady.

Step 3: Complete 12 reps. Rest and repeat.

RELATED: 8 Hamstring Exercises You Can Do at Home to Tone Your Thighs (and Prevent Injury)

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