Financing Now Available Through Affirm | Free Shipping with Qualified Orders Over $99 See Details

5 Resistance Band-based Lunges to Build Great Glutes

If you’re envisioning how to do a lunge, the standard forward lunge might be the only one that comes to mind, and many athletes are more than familiar with the practice of lunging their way across a court, field, or gym. There are actually numerous ways to vary the way you do your lunges in order to target different parts of your quads, hamstrings, and, of course, glutes.

Stroops trainer Caysem performing an alternating side lunge

How do resistance bands factor into your lunging exercises? Resistance bands help in a number of ways. If you’re a rehabbing patient or the therapist of one, lunging can be tough to do while keeping your balance. Lunging with a resistance band can help you to stabilize your muscles and work on your balance.

Beyond that, the main purpose of resistance bands in almost any exercise is to intensify your workout with added resistance that isn’t affected by gravity. Resistance bands function with the principle of variable resistance. This means that, unlike weights, these bands vary in how much resistance you are experiencing based on how much you are stretching them.

To make the best of how you work your lower body, we looked at five types of lunge exercises that get great results, with instructions on how to do them and how to incorporate your resistance bands into the movements. Some of these lunges have variations that we’ve included video content for.

NOTE: Unless otherwise instructed, each of these exercises will require you to attach yourself to your resistance band by way of a pull belt or some other kind of waist attachment built for resistance training. The Universal Swivel Belt by Stroops is a great solution for this, featuring a steel clip with free motion that will allow you to perform different lunges without disengaging from the band.

1. Forward Lunge


The forward lunge is your standard lunge movement that works your hamstrings, quads, hips, and glutes. This is a great exercise for mobility and flexibility as well as building lower-body strength, helping you to avoid injury in the future.

  1. Anchor your resistance band(s) at mid-level, slightly below your waist. Attach the band to a lifting or pulling belt meant for resistance training.
  2. Stand facing away from your anchor point.
  3. Step forward into a lunge position with your front knee at a right angle. Make sure during this movement that your knee stays straight and upright and doesn’t collapse off to the side or bend past your toe. You also want to keep your back knee from touching the ground, and maintain a straight back and shoulders throughout the movement.
  4. Step back to your original position, keeping your back and hips aligned upright, and repeat.

If you need to regress this exercise, step further away from your resistance band so that it helps to pull you back up. Another method is to plant your feet in a staggered position, then complete the movement from there. Progression to this exercise can’t happen through the resistance band, but you can progress with more plyometric movements, such as jumping out of Step 4, or by raising your leg for balancing after each lunge.

2. Reverse Lunge

Reverse lunges go against your resistance band to include your core in the exercise, along with your hamstrings, glutes, and legs. These lunges do a little more for the stability in your front leg and will help you enhance your hip mobility and balance.

  1. Anchor your resistance band at mid-level, just below your waist, and attach it to a pulling belt or other waist attachment built for resistance training.
  2. Stand facing the anchor.
  3. Bring your leg back into a kneeling position without your knee touching the ground. Keep your back and hips straight, and keep your front knee from going over your toe.
  4. Return to your original position, and repeat.

To regress this exercise, step closer to the anchor to decrease tension on your resistance band. This won’t make the lunge easier, but it will ease the resistance on your core when doing the movement. To progress, move further from your anchor to more actively engage your muscles.


1. Thrust

This variation of the reverse lunge engages your arms and back along with all the original muscle groups to make it a true full-body exercise. It’s best if you can include a bar attachment to this exercise like the Fit Stik Pro.

2. High Knee

The reverse lunge high knee accentuates balance with the original exercise. Simply finish the lunge by driving your knee upward, then continue your repetitions that way.

3. Curtsy Lunge

Here’s an exercise that’s gotten more popular recently among those looking to really work their glutes. While most lunges primarily target the gluteus maximus, this exercise will put emphasis on your gluteus minimus and gluteus medius, along with your inner thigh, to improve your posture and stability in your lower body.

  1. Anchor your resistance band at mid-level, just below your waist. Attach yourself to the band from the side so the band is essentially at your hip.
  2. Stand sideways in relation to your anchor. In this instance, the leg closest to the anchor point is your inside leg, and the other is your outside leg.
  3. To perform the exercise, step behind with your inside leg so that your knee goes slightly further out than your outside leg. Keep your knee from touching the ground and avoid turning your hips or shoulders.
  4. Return your leg to its original position, and repeat.

To regress this exercise, take a step closer to the anchor to reduce tension on your resistance band. To progress, step further away from your anchor to increase the band’s tension.

4. Jumping Lunges

Jumping lunges are a dynamic and just plain fun exercise that works out every part of your lower body, including your hips, glutes, quads, and calves, and will also get your heart rate going.

  1. Anchor your resistance band at a low level, preferably as low to the ground as possible, and attach the band to a bar or other kind of attachment that can keep the band secured on your back or upper body.
  2. Stand facing the anchor and place the band attachment on your back or another secure area on your upper body.
  3. Get into a lunge position, keeping your back straight and the bar off of your neck, then lift yourself out of the lunge into a jump while switching legs to land back in a lunge position.
  4. Repeat this motion smoothly alternating legs to lunge into. Keep you back straight and move quickly while avoiding your knees hitting the ground.

To regress this exercise, remove the jumping aspect of the movement and just alternate your legs with each lunge. To progress, keep jumping, but move further away from your anchor to increase tension on your resistance band. This will also require you to engage your core to keep you back straight against the band.

5. Side Lunge

The side lunge is one of the best glute exercises out there, specifically targeting those glute muscles while also working your hamstrings and core muscles. These movements are also going to be easier on your joints than forward or reverse lunges.

  1. Anchor your resistance band at mid-level, then attach it to your belt or other waist attachment.
  2. Stand sideways in relation to your anchor. The leg furthest from your anchor point is your outside leg, and the other is your inside leg.
  3. Step out sideways with your outside leg into the lunge position, keeping your inside leg straight, and maintaining posture in your back and hips.
  4. Return to your original stance, and repeat. Make sure that the knee of your outside leg stays upright and doesn’t collapse in or out.

To regress this exercise, move further away from the anchor to provide greater assistance through the motion. To progress, move closer to the anchor to get less help from the resistance band.


1. With Abduction

This version of the side lunge does a few things differently. Instead of anchoring the resistance band to your waist, anchor it to your ankle. Then after the lunge, perform a side abduction with your outside leg. This exercise is best supplemented by a smaller foot attachment such as the Foot Strap or the Ankle Cuff from Stroops.

2. Decelerating


This variation focuses on building the muscles that return you to a standing position rather than the other way. With your original sideways stance and your resistance band attached at the waist, perform the side lunge towards the anchor with your inside leg.

3. Alternating

This variation will exercise both sides of your lower body at once. It’s also a natural regression as your muscles will have more resting time between movements as you alternate. Regress this exercise by limiting the range of motion in your lunge. Progress this variation by staying low and moving laterally back and forth over each knee (see video).

This list isn’t definitive by any means, and there are plenty more ways to work your lower body through resistance band training. This list will get you a great start as you get more accustomed to that excellent variable resistance factor and tone every muscle in your legs.

If you’ve seen some other great exercises that should be added to this list, leave a comment below. Happy training!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *