Woman in purple doing a complex exercise with a loot bandPhoto: Nikolas_jkd (Shutterstock)

We have sang the praises of the resistance bands before, and they definitely have their uses. Bands are affordable and wearable, so it’s no wonder they’re popular – but why are they the focus of so many butt-focused workouts? Do you actually need one if you actually want to build a butt?

By the way, there is a company called “Booty Bands”, but the term “Booty Bands” has also been used for the general category of resistance bands that can wrap around your knees or thighs. Some are made of tough, elastic fabric, while others are made of more traditional rubber. There’s no shortage of workouts that involve using these bands in squats, kickbacks, and gluteal bridges while promising you big booty gains. As with many popular workouts, however, the promises are exaggerated.

Resistance bands have general advantages and disadvantages

Before we dive into bands that focus on prey in particular, let’s look at the pros and cons of all resistance bands. We compared them here to dumbbellsand as you may recall, the takeaways included:

  • Resistance bands can provide more total weight than small dumbbells
  • Resistance bands wear out over time
  • Resistance bands change in challenge depending on how much you stretch them

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Finding upper body exercises to do with dumbbells is easy, but lifting heavy enough at home to do challenging lower body workouts isn’t always easy. One-legged jobs like lunges and split squats can help, and yes, resistance bands can be part of the picture – if they’re heavy enough.

Simple exercises are doing you no favors

Whenever you are trying to build a bum, you are trying to build muscle. And the most efficient way to build muscle is to do heavy lifting – not a million reps of light work (although that can work if you are very patient).

So how do you know if you are working hard or “hard” enough? As we have already mentionedYou want to do a smaller number of reps (12 or less, most of the time) that are hard enough that the final reps feel really challenging. If you’ve been using the same band or weight for a while, try a more challenging one from time to time to see if you are stronger than you think you are. When you are, it’s time to level up.

I mention this here because the banded part of “prey” training is usually pretty straightforward and easy. If you’re doing banded exercises and they fit our definition of difficult and feel really challenging to you, then you may be doing what they say they are. Stay with the bands for now.

But for most of us, heavy weights are actually required to give your butt (or any part of the body) an adequate workout. Champion deadlifts take a lot of strength in their butts, but you won’t see powerlifters avoiding the barbell to focus on banded YouTube workouts, you know?

Bands are best for warm up exercises and accessories

All together, and it’s clear that bands make the most sense as a side dish to your workout – or as a starter or dessert. To build muscle, the main course still has to be heavy lifting.

So you can do banded setbacks as part of your warm-up or as a high-rep finisher after a leg day in the gym. You can use them for activation exercises, which is more or less a new word for warm up. But bands don’t replace yours Squats, Deadliftweighted lunges or Hip bumps. And when you do squats with a band around the knees, the squats do the real work, with the band – to continue our food metaphor – maybe offering a little side dish.