24 Mini Band Exercises – Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Core, Glutes, Legs, Hips, Ankles, Balance, Workout

Chest | Back | Shoulders | Arms | Core | Glutes | Legs | Hips | Ankles | Balance

Resistance Band History

Before we get into the 24 mini band exercises that will strengthen your chest, back, shoulders, arms, core, glutes, legs, hips, ankles, and improve balance, let’s take a look at what resistance bands are. Resistance bands have a long history dating back to the early 20th century. Made of surgical tubing, they were mostly used for rehabilitation purposes. Nowadays, resistance bands and tubes are still used for this purpose; however; their use have expanded beyond their origin.

For distinction purposes, resistance tubes contain handles and resistance bands (i.e. mini bands) are a small continuous loop.  The terms resistance tubes and resistance bands have been used interchangeable to mean the same thing.

The fitness industry has benefited greatly from the use of resistance bands and tubes and their popularity continue to grow especially as a portable workout tool.  This post will show mini band exercises for beginners as well as mini band exercises for advance fitness persons.

One of the best things that a resistance band (tube) workout will provide is the ability to strengthen all of the major and minor muscles for a fraction of the cost of dumbbells, kettle bells, machines and other heavy bulky equipment. Although these pieces of equipment are certainly valuable to use, when traveling, it may be difficult to bring them with you.

There are various types of resistance bands (tubes). They include:

  1. Therapy resistance bands that are usually used in physical therapy for rehabilitation purposes. These resistance bands do not have handles.
  2. There are resistance tubes (often referred to as resistance bands). This type of resistance band has a pair of handles attached to both ends of the tubing and are the most popular of bands.  You can read more about the 11 Resistance Tube and Band Exercises for home, office, and travel.
  3. There are mini resistance bands (referred to as mini bands). These bands are small (ours are 12×2) and consist of a continuous loop
  4. There are figure 8 resistance bands that are shaped like a figure 8 and have cushioned handles
  5. There are ring resistance bands that contain a soft pair of handles
  6. There are lateral resistance bands that have a Velcro ankle cuff attached to the band and
  7. There are resistance strength bands that are large (approximately 41 inches) and consist of a continuous loop
  8. There are resistance tube clips that you can attach to handles so that you can increase the tension level of the resistance bands

Each of these resistance bands has a specific purpose for use from rehabilitation to general fitness to sports conditioning (some can be used for more than one exercise purpose). Based on your sport of choice and because we know that mini bands perform better, I will post 24 of my favorite mini band exercises .  These exercises will include mini band exercises for chest, mini band exercises for back, mini band exercises for shoulders, mini band exercises for arms, mini band exercises for abs (core), mini band exercises for runners, mini band exercises for glutes, mini band exercises for shoulders, mini band exercises for legs and more.  An effective mini band workout routine can get you great results. 

I like these when traveling because you can pack a set of resistance tubes and mini bands that contain various tension levels for use to strengthen all of the major and minor muscles in the upper and lower body. Below I have identified the recommended types of exercises for your mini band workout. I have also listed them in the order from large muscle to small muscle for an effective mini band workout full body routine. If you follow this order, you will benefit greatly.  A mini band workout routine is suggested.

Please consult with your health care provider before trying these exercises and we recommend working with a fitness professional to ensure that you are performing the exercises correctly.

CHEST

Mini Band Pushup with Hip Extension

Mini Band Pushup with Hip Extension (muscle areas strengthened – chest, front shoulders, back of arms, butt)

Place a light to medium tension mini band around your ankles. Position your body in a plank position so that your entire body is in a straight line from head to ankles. Stiffen your belly and squeeze glutes while lowering your upper body and raising the right leg at the same time. Push back up the start position. Next lower the upper body while raising the left leg at the same time. Continue to alternate raising right and left leg for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Push-up Exercise

Mini Bands Workout for Legs (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  If unable to perform push-ups, alternate lifting the leg while in the “up” push-up position also know as a plank.

BACK

Mini Band Lat Pulldown

Mini Band Lat Pull down (muscle areas strengthened – upper back, shoulders and front of arms)

Place a medium to heavy tension mini band around your wrists. Lift arms above head and engage core muscles. Pull hands down and out while stretching the mini band. Keep continued tension on the band while raising it back up to the start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Lat Pulldown
Mini Band Lat Pulldown

Mini Bands Workout for Shoulders and Back (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  If unable to perform movement continuously, while the hands are lowered a shoulder level, push the hands away from the body and hold the isometric contraction for up to 30 seconds

Mini Band Back Row

Mini Band Back Row (muscle areas strengthened – upper back and front of arms)

Take a kneeling position with right knee on the ground and left foot on the ground. Place a medium to heavy tension mini band under left foot. Lean slightly forward so that your shoulders and hip are in alignment. Engage core muscles and pull mini band towards you while keeping your elbow close to your side. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Row Biceps Exercise
Mini Band Row Biceps Exercise

Mini Bands Workout for Back (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  Because this exercise strengthens the large muscles of the upper body, it should be performed very early in the strength portion of the workout for upper body.

SHOULDERS

Bonus exercise using the PEAMS® with mini hand around the wrists.

STRENGTHEN CORE AND SHOULDERS

Press play for AUDIO - Total time is 3:00.

ARMS

Mini Band Triceps Extension

Mini Band Triceps Pushdown (muscle area strengthened – back of arms)

Loop a light to medium mini band between right thumb and index finger then place right hand on the top of the left chest. Grab the bottom of the mini band with left hand and pull down on mini band while straightening arm. Pause when left arm is fully extended then return left are to start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions. then switch hand position for other side.

Mini Band Arm Workout Triceps Extension
Mini Band Arm Workout Triceps Extension

Mini Band Workout for Arms (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  Because this exercise strengthens the small muscles of the upper body, it should be performed after shoulder exercises.

Mini Band Biceps Curl

Mini Band Biceps Curl (muscle area strengthened – front of arms)

Grab the light to medium mini band with right hand inside the loop, faced palm up and left hand palm faced down. Both arms should be extended at waist level. Position feet shoulder-width apart and bend right arm until mini band reaches shoulder level. Lower arm and repeat. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Biceps Curl
Mini Band Biceps Curl

Mini Band Workout for Arms (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  Because this exercise strengthens the small muscles of the upper body, it should be performed after shoulder exercises.

CORE, LEGS, HIPS, AND GLUTES

Mini Band Glute Bridge

Mini Band Glute Bridge with Abduction (muscle area strengthened – glutes, legs, hips and core)

Place a medium to heavy tension mini band over the top of knee and lay on back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Hands should be positioned to the side with palms faced down. Raise hips while pressing legs outward. Pause, return legs inward then lower hips to the ground and repeat. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Glute Bridge
Mini Band Glute Bridge

Mini Bands Workout for Glutes, Core and Hamstring  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band workout for abs (core).  To perform the isometric version of this exercise to further strengthen core and hips, while in the up position, press the legs outward and hold for up to 30 seconds.

GLUTES

Mini Band Hip Extension

Mini Band Hip Extension (muscle area strengthened – glutes)

Place a medium to heavy tension mini band around your ankles and hold on to a supporting object (chair). Brace your abdominal muscles and bend your knees slightly.  Lift the right foot off the ground and move your right leg behind your body.  Pause at the top of the movement then lower your right leg back to the starting position while keeping right foot off the ground.  Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 12-15 repetitions then switch sides

Mini Band Hip Extension Exercise
Mini Band Hip Extension Exercise

Mini Band Workout for Buttocks (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for strengthening the glutes (butt).  This movement can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

Bonus exercise using the PEAMS® and the mini band to work on balance and strengthen legs.  This exercise can be used as a mini band workout warm up when a extra light tension is used.

BALANCE, GLUTES, LEGS

IMPROVE BALANCE | STRENGTHEN LOWER BODY

LEGS AND GLUTES

Mini Band Squat

Mini Band Squat (muscle areas strengthened – front and back of upper legs and buttocks)

Place a heavy to extra heavy tension mini band above the top of the knee. Position feet shoulder-width apart. Engage core and bend at hips and knees with both legs to a comfortable crouching position. Stand up then repeat for a total of 8-12 or 12-15 repetitions

Mini Band Squat
Mini Band Squat

Mini Band Workout for Legs  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band workout for runners.  To perform the isometric version of this exercise to further strengthen and hips, while leg is in the up position, hold for up to 30 seconds.

Mini Band Hamstring Curl

Mini Band Hamstring Curl (muscle areas strengthened – back of legs)

Use a extra light to light tension mini band.  Place the left foot between the loop of the left side of the mini band and right ankle inside the loop. Position your hands at your waist. Lift your left heel up to your but, pause, then lower your foot to the ground. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Hamstring Curl & Hip Flexion
Mini Band Hamstring Curl & Hip Flexion

Mini Band Workout for Legs  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band workout for athletes to strengthen the hamstrings that would be commonly work by doing deadlift.  Since you are working large muscles, this exercise should be performed early during the leg exercise portion of your workout.

HIPS

Mini Band Clam Shell

Mini Band Clam Shell (muscle area strengthened – glutes and hips)

Place a light to medium mini band over the top of knee and lie on your side with one leg lying above the other. Rest your head on your hand and bend your hips and knees. Lift the top knee upwards while the feet remain in contact with each other. Pause. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Clam Shell Exercise
Mini Band Clam Shell Exercise

Mini Bands Workout for Hips  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  To perform the isometric version of this exercise to further strengthen and hips, while leg is in the up position, hold for up to 30 seconds.

If performing this exercise for rehabilitation (e.g. physical therapy).  you may use an extra light to light tension.  Please confirm with your health care provider first because s/he will have first hand knowledge of your medical needs.

Mini Band Hip Flexion

Mini Band Hip Flexion (muscle areas strengthened – front of upper legs)

Use a extra light to light tension mini band.  Place both feet between the loops of the mini band. Position your hands at your waist. Lift your right leg with knee bent, pause, then lower your foot to the ground. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Hip Flexion Exercise
Mini Band Hip Flexion Exercise

Mini Band Workout for Legs  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band workout for athletes.  Since you are working large muscles, this exercise should be performed early during the leg exercise portion of your workout.

Mini Band Monster Walk

Mini Band Monster Walk (muscle areas strengthened – front of upper legs and gutes)

Place a heavy to extra heavy tension mini band above the top of the knee with both feet parallel to each other. Step forward with right foot about shoulder-width apart while taking a long step so that there is tension on the band. Pause, then take another step forward with the left foot while keeping tension on the band. Continue walking in this fashion for a predetermine distance then walk backward the same way by stepping back with left foot then right foot and so on.

Mini Band Monster Walk
Mini Band Monster Walk

Mini Band Workout for Legs  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is also a great mini band workout for athletes.  Also a great exercise for person interested in strengthening the hips when used with lateral walks.

Bonus exercise using the PEAMS® and the mini band with mini band around the ankles.

IMPROVE BALANCE | STRENGTHEN LOWER BODY

Mini Band Hip Abduction

Mini Band Hip Abduction (muscle area strengthened – outer upper leg)

Place a light to medium mini band around your ankles and hold on to a supporting object (chair). Brace your abdominal muscles and bend your knees slightly. Lift the right foot off the ground and move your right leg away from your body. Pause at the top of the movement then lower your right leg back to the starting position while keeping right foot off the ground. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 12-15 repetitions then switch sides.

Mini Band Workout for Legs  (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is also a great mini band workout for athletes.  Also a great exercise for person interested in strengthening the hips when used with lateral walks.  Another variation is the mini band walk below.

Mini Band Lateral Walk

Mini Band Lateral Walk

Place a medium to heavy tension mini band around your ankles and slightly bend knees. With hands at the hips move to one side by pushing with the leading foot slowly allowing the trailing foot to replace the position of the leading foot. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 12-15 repetitions then repeat movement in the opposite direction.

Mini Band Lateral Walk Exercise
Mini Band Lateral Walk Exercise

Mini Band Workout for Legs (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  When performing this exercise, it is important that you are pushing leg out sideways while keeping the toes pointed forward and not tilting the body (hiking the hip) to achieve the movement.

Bonus exercise using the PEAMS® and the mini band with mini hand around the ankles.

STRENGTHEN CORE, SHOULDERS AND HIPS

Press play for AUDIO - Total time is 2:48.
Mini Band Hip Adduction

Mini Band Hip Adduction (muscle area strengthened – inner upper leg)

Place a light to medium mini band around your ankles and hold on to a supporting object (chair). Brace your abdominal muscles and bend your knees slightly. Lift the right foot off the ground and move your right leg across your body. Pause at the top of the movement then lower your right leg back to the starting position while keeping right foot off the ground. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 12-15 repetitions then switch sides.

Mini Band Hip Adduction
Mini Band Hip Adduction

Mini Band Workout for Hip (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for strengthening the inner part of the upper leg.  This exercise can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

Bonus exercise using the PEAMS® and the mini band with mini band around the ankles.

IMPROVE BALANCE | STRENGTHEN LOWER BODY

ANKLES

Mini Band Ankle Plantar Flexion

Mini Band Ankle Plantar Flexion (muscle area strengthened – ankle)

Sit on the floor or chair and rest the back of your lower leg on a rolled towel or foam roller. Place an extra light to light tension mini band over the forefoot. Engage the core and press your foot forward. Pause at the top of the range of motion and slowly return forefoot to the start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Workout for Ankles (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for runners for strengthening the ankles.  This movement can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

Mini Band Ankle Dorsiflexion

Mini Band Ankle Dorsiflexion (muscle area strengthened – ankle)

Attach an extra light to light tension mini band around a stable object or attach it to our resistance tube door anchor (towards the bottom of the hinge side of the door). Sit on the floor or chair with the mini band in front of you. Rest the back of your lower leg on a rolled towel or foam roller then place mini band around the your forefoot. Maintain constant tension on the mini band, engage the core then pull your foot towards your shin. Pause at the top of the range of motion, then return your forefoot slowly back to the start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Workout for Ankles (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for runners for strengthening the ankles (also great for rehabilitation of the ankles).  This movement can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

Mini Band Ankle Inversion

Mini Band Ankle Inversion (muscle area strengthened – ankle)

Attach an extra light to light tension mini band around a stable object or attach it to our resistance band door anchor (towards the level of the foot on the hinge side of the door). Sit on the floor or chair with the mini band on the forefoot closest to the anchor point as shown. Rest the back of your lower leg on a rolled towel or foam roller. Maintain constant tension on the mini band, engage your core then pull your foot towards the center of the body. Pause at the top of the range of motion, then return your foot slowly back to the start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

 Inversion

Mini Band Workout for Ankles (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for runners for strengthening the ankles (also great for rehabilitation of the ankles).  This movement can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

Mini Band Ankle Eversion

Mini Band Ankle Eversion (muscle area strengthened – ankle)

Attach an extra light to light tension mini band around a stable object or attach it to our resistance band door anchor (towards the level of the foot on the hinge side of the door).  Sit on the floor or chair with the mini band on the forefoot farthest away from the anchor point as shown. Rest the back of your lower leg on a rolled towel or foam roller. Maintain constant tension on the mini band, engage your core then pull your foot away from the center of the body. Pause at the top of the range of motion, then return your foot slowly back to the start position. Repeat for a total of 8-12 or 10-15 repetitions.

Mini Band Workout for Ankles (Recommendation)

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions per set.  This is a great mini band exercise for runners for strengthening the ankles (also great for rehabilitation of the ankles).  This movement can be performed during the leg portion of your workout.

CONCLUSION

So there you have it, you can perform all of these exercises for the fraction of the cost of machines or dumb bells. Best of all, these resistance bands (tubes) and mini band will fit well in your carry-on or suitcase and their weight will be less than 5 pounds. How awesome is that?

We carry the premium quality resistance bands and mini bands that are mentioned. Once you invest in them, you’ll be extremely satisfied with their ease of use, cost and portability.

Finally, here is a mini band exercise pdf of some of the exercises in this post.

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Patrick is an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, the inventor of the PEAMS® Push-up Mat, organizing member of YOUTRAINFITNESS®, and a former K-12 physical and special educator of 10 years who loves to help people improve their PRODUCTIVITY and WELLNESS!  

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