Maybe you’re just starting to get into a workout routine, or perhaps you’re an avid athlete strengthening your hips. Wherever you are in your fitness journey, booty bands and resistance bands for glutes can kick your bodyweight workouts up a notch. But which booty bands are the best booty bands?
We spoke with an American Council of Exercise (ACE)-certified personal trainer and put our own glutes on the line, testing five different booty band brands from brands like Arena, Recredo, and Peach Bands for resistance, fit, slippage, and comfort of the material. The consistent sizing and progressive resistance of the Arena booty bands makes it our top pick by a peach water tower-sized mile. But it’s not the only brand worth a look.
Do Booty Bands Work?
We’ll get this out of the way first: Despite what their name might imply, booty bands aren’t designed to make your butt larger, more firm, or like some of the uncanny valley-esque globes you’ve seen on Instagram. But this fact shouldn’t end your booty band quest. These stretchy bands are a great way to get in some resistance training—that is, any kind of movement that causes the muscles to contract against external resistance and, over time, increase in strength—which is a key part of improving balance, endurance, and overall health. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends American College of Sports Medicine “ACSM Guidelines for Strength Training” View Source .
Booty bands are typically made of fabric and elastic and are designed to be the right size to wrap around the ankles or just above the knees. They primarily target the gluteus medius, a stabilizing muscle in the hips, according to Chris Gagliardi, a certified personal trainer and scientific education content manager at ACE. Gluteus medius muscles are very “important for runners and [people who perform] other repetitive activities,” Gagliardi says. They’re also key to keeping your knees in alignment during physical activity and can help activate muscles before getting into intense exercise. Plus, anyone who sits a lot (and, uh, who doesn’t?) is likely in need of the gluteus medius love the bands deliver— Cleveland Clinic “No Joke: Your Desk Job Promotes ‘Dead Butt’ Syndrome” View Source , according to Cleveland Clinic.
Workout newbies should look into resistance bands, too. On a basic level, they add extra resistance to classic bodyweight moves—a little more burn for every movement. But they’re also good at providing what Gagliardi calls a “kinesthetic reminder.” In other words, while doing something like a squat or bridge pose, the added resistance serves as a physical nudge to keep your knees straight and engage your outer hips, thus helping you get more out of each move. You may even find yourself having more fun with these additions, Gagliardi says, by adding an extra challenge or sensation to moves you’re already familiar with.
Need a visual tell? Try a ACE Fitness “Bodyweight Squat” View Source in front of a full-length mirror. If you notice your knees pulling toward each other, that’s a good indicator you’d benefit from medius-targeted movements.
Before you add the workout accessories to your cart, Gagliardi suggests “having clear expectations about what you are wanting to achieve.” This is to say that bands won’t help you make gains—for that, you’ll likely have to awaken your inner gym bro and get lifting with some heavy weights. And, again, if you’ve been feverishly Googling something like “How to look like J.Lo in Hustlers,” booty bands are not the answer for that particular query. But they can help you develop strength, endurance, and build confidence in your workouts.
Booty Bands and Glute Resistance Bands We Love
Arena Strength Fabric Booty Bands
- Durable but comfortable material
- Easy to select the right resistance
- Good fit
- Comfortable material
- Progressive resistance based on elasticity, not size
- Slightly scratchy seam
- Sour smell when first opened
Arena Strength Fabric Booty Bands are the most expensive version of glute resistance bands we tested. But when it comes to this set, you get what you pay for. The booty bands come in a set of three, each labeled light, medium, or strong, with a different color to represent each resistance level.
Because they’re all the same length, it was easy for me to select an adequate resistance and transition from one move to another without having to swap. The progression of resistance made a lot of sense, too: the light was rated at a 23-33 pound tensile strength, the medium at 34-44 pounds, and the hard at 45-55. This level of increase felt accurate while testing. Little details, like each band being labeled with its resistance level and the fabric seam being covered for comfort, helped make it the clear winner.
The bands feel durable and have a textured feel to them without being scratchy. I found them satisfying to use, too—the light band was sturdy but not overly hard, the medium more challenging, and the strong was difficult enough that there were some moves, like donkey kicks, I couldn’t fully complete.
The bands didn’t slip on bare legs or over leggings, even in those previously mentioned donkey kicks. And although they managed to kick my butt, they didn’t stretch out or lose any elasticity the day that I tested them. Better yet, the company provides a one-year warranty, which is both comforting and speaks to their confidence in the product’s durability. We’re not the only ones who think they’re great—the bands have more than 6,000 reviews on Amazon with an average 4.8-star rating.
The only issue I had with the Arena option is that, despite a cloth cover, the seam areas could be uncomfortable when they were positioned behind my knee. And the material also smelled a little sour when first opened, like laundry left in the washer too long, but the smell was minimal and faded quickly.
Best Booty Bands on a Budget: Recredo
Recredo Booty Bands
- Sturdy with a good amount of resistance
- Have to swap the bands out for different amounts of resistance
- Progressive resistance
- Cool colors
- Mixed fit
- No labels for difficulty
All in all, Recredo’s booty bands fared well enough to place second in our tests. They’re sturdy, have ample resistance, and a bold color scheme. And, perhaps most importantly, they’re also significantly cheaper than the Arena option, making them a great option if you don’t want your resistance experiment to break the bank.
Other than removing some minimal plastic packaging, the fabric-based bands are ready to go right out of the box. The trio I tested are a vibrant purple-pink ombre, which makes them the prettiest and boldest colors of the options on this list. The package also includes a short booklet of recommended exercises. Each band is 17 inches, 15 inches, or 13 inches wide respectively, adding additional resistance the smaller they get.
Recredo’s material felt the most slick of all the ones we tested—I liken it to the feeling of a car seatbelt—but they didn’t have any issues with slipping, even in poses like donkey kicks where other styles might require you to brace the non-moving side against your knee.
Recredo’s glute resistance bands also felt plenty sturdy with no loosening of the bands over the duration of our tests. However, unlike Arena, Recredo does not have a warranty. It also includes recommended care, in which it says the bands should be washed by hand in cold water “before storage.” (That means if you never put them away, you never have to worry about it, right?)
I didn’t sweat enough to justify a wash, however, so I didn’t attempt one. In addition to the exercise booklet, Amazon suggests the set comes with an ebook and video guide, too. I did not receive information about it, though, and other customers suggest the guide is either inaccessible or not written in English.
Recredo lost a few points because its bands are all different sizes, which meant it was necessary to swap them based on the exercise being performed. I used the large band for lateral steps and lying hip abductors, the medium for squats and donkey kicks, and the small for bridges.
That was further complicated by the fact that the bands aren’t labeled with their resistance level and have similar color schemes, which meant I had to lay them out flat before doing an exercise to determine which length was which. Other versions of this brand use different colors for each band, which may be a better choice. Finally, these weren’t quite as comfortable on bare skin as others on this list—it never ended up happening, but I was always a little concerned that the elastic might pinch my skin or leg hair.
Other Booty Bands Worth Considering
Kootek 11 Pcs Booty Bands
- Comes with more equipment than just booty bands
- Functional, but the resistance doesn’t vary enough
- Lots of versatility
- Mixed fit
- Limited increase in band difficulty
- Smallest band felt ridiculously small
Kootek fell short of our best booty bands picks because testing didn’t reveal that nebulous, just-right Goldilocks factor. The resistance levels didn’t seem to align with what was written on each one, with the medium providing about the same amount of resistance as the hard—the only difference between the two was that the hard was significantly shorter in length).
Still, they fulfill the bare minimum booty band purpose of leveling up your workout. Plus, if you’re looking for other gear to fill out your kit, this package includes two slider discs that can be used for core work and a resistance rope with door and ankle attachments for even more variety.
Booty Bands You Can Skip
Peach Bands Hip Band Set
- Good reviews on Amazon
- Not as strong as other booty bands tested
- Likely to lose elasticity
- Pretty colors
- Less strength than other bands
- Tendency to lose elasticity
The cheekily-named Peach Bands initially interested me because they have a thinner width than other options, a soothing range of pink-tinged colors, and a whopping 4.8-star rating on Amazon. (Also, yeah, the name. Marketing works!) But when stacked against other options on the list, these just don’t measure up.
The Peach Bands felt significantly weaker than other brands, with the heaviest resistance barely reaching the weight of other brands’ medium. They also felt the most likely to lose elasticity of the bands tested because they seemed to not snap back into place quite as well, even after a single use. While you could theoretically use these for arm workouts—the thinner width makes them easier to grip in your hands—it’s not enough of a draw to get them. As far as booty-building goes, there are similarly-priced bands that will work much better.
Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands
- Latex loops
- Less substantial than cloth-based options
- Five different loops per set
- Tendency to roll
I tested FitSimplify’s offering because I wanted to be sure that fabric variations provided a marked improvement from pure latex ones. Now, I can rest assured that fabric bands are superior.
This package comes with five different loops marked from X-Light to X-Heavy, but the X-Light through medium options don’t seem like they’d do much to get your glutes working unless you use them for a massive number of reps. Even the Heavy and X-Heavy weight struggled to hold a candle to a medium in the fabric booty bands.
They also tended to roll, and in some positions—like donkey kicks—it made them mildly painful to use because the latex would roll in on itself, pushing all the pressure into a single spot on my leg. However, if you’re looking for a versatile set of loops for all kinds of resistance workouts, these are an inexpensive option. The company says they’re rated to stretch up to 9,000 times before you need to replace them—we’re not totally sold, but there are worse things to spend your money on.
How We Got Here
Meet Your Guinea Pig
I’m Colleen Stinchcombe, a health writer whose work has been published in SELF, Woman’s Day, and Health.com. I’ve backpacked 1,000 miles in a single summer, completed a 100-mile overnight bike trip, a 5k, and a half-marathon run, and enjoy workouts that include a little bit of suffering.
Our Testing Process
We tested five booty band brands for a week, putting each brand through two workouts: one with shorts and bare skin, another with leggings. Each workout consisted of eight repetitions of ACE Fitness “Bodyweight Squat” View Source , ACE Fitness “6 Exercises to Target the Gluteus Medius” View Source , and ACE Fitness “Glute Bridge” View Source , as well as five ACE Fitness “Quadruped Bent-Knee Hip Extensions” View Source and ACE Fitness “Side Lying Hip Abduction” View Source . The bands were evaluated for resistance, slippage, fit (for reference, I’m 5 feet 3 inches tall with an 11-inch distance between my heels in a squat), and material qualities.
Want to see exactly how we tested and found the best booty bands? You can access our testing spreadsheet here.
The Booty Band Buying Guide
Who should buy booty bands?
Bands help to target and strengthen the glute medius by adding resistance, which helps develop strength and endurance. This makes them a great all-purpose fitness accessory for anyone looking to add a little something extra to their workouts. They’re also less expensive and easier to store than most pieces of strength equipment, so they’re a low-risk investment.
People of any fitness level can use booty bands to add difficulty to bodyweight workouts. So, too, can someone who is already active but suspects or has been diagnosed with weakness in their hips or gluteus medius muscles. For athletes who regularly lift weights, the bands may also help bring awareness to the hips and help with engaging stabilizing muscles more effectively.
Which features matter most when buying booty bands?
Resistance level and slippage matter most. The bands need to create some level of resistance in order to help strengthen the muscle or bring awareness to them—if the bands are too light, you won’t get that feedback. On the other hand, if the bands are too heavy, they can actually encourage poor form. Slippage matters, too, because the bands need to stay in place in order for them to provide the necessary resistance in a movement.
How to keep booty bands from rolling
Fabric bands tend to do a great job of not rolling in general—so, if you want to avoid rolling, go for those. The only bands that rolled in our tests were the pure latex bands. This could be helped by slightly adjusting the positioning of the bands so that they were laid flat to begin with, but some positions, like donkey kicks, were essentially impossible to perform without the latex bands rolling. The fabric bands, however, didn’t roll at all.
- Healthy, able-bodied adults should do resistance training: ACSM Guidelines for Strength Training (American College of Sports Medicine, July 2019)
- Constant sitting weakens the glutes: No Joke, Your Desk Job Promotes Dead Butt Syndrome (Cleveland Clinic, August 2020)
- Bands may help lifters keep awareness of muscle engagement: Effects of a Band Loop on Lower Extremity Muscle Activity and Kinematics During the Barbell Squat (International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy, August 2017)
- Resistance bands may assist in keeping knee alignment: Impact Of Hip Abduction Elastic-Resisted Neuromuscular Feedback On Frontal Plane Knee Kinematics In Female Volleyball Athletes (Performance Health Academy, May 2018)
- Christopher Gagliardi, ACE-certified personal trainer (Phone interview, September 2021)
- Multiple-joint exercises using elastic resistance bands vs. conventional resistance-training equipment: A cross-over study (European Journal of Sport Science, June 2017)
- Resistance bands can activate small muscles: Evaluation of elastic bands for lower extremity resistance training in adults with and without musculo-skeletal pain (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, February 2014)