Band Placement During Walking Glute Activation Drills

By April 21, 2012 Glute Training

Hi folks! Here’s a video I recorded the other day on walking glute activation drills. I actually alluded to these in a random thoughts post I wrote last week (Craig Liebenson teaches these at his seminar), and coincidentally a brand new study recently emerged examining glute activation during monster walks and sumo walks with 3 different band placements. In a nutshell, the forefoot placement elicits greater glute medius and glute maximus activation compared to the ankle or knee placements, due to the additive hip external rotation torque (combined with the hip abduction torque). I’m not sure if the researchers mentioned this or not, but I believe the bands get stretched further when they’re placed more distally as well. Check it out:

In case you’re curious as to where to purchase these bands, Perform Better sells them HERE (not an affiliate link).


  • Great video Bret. I’ve found that doing sumo walks in a circular pattern works amazingly well for getting the additional external rotation of the hip and higher glute activation than simply moving in linear (forward/backward or side to side) could elicit. That being said, I haven’t had anyone do it with banding at the foot as of yet, so I’ll definitely be giving that a try. Thanks again!!

    • Bret says:

      An hour ago I was in my kitchen playing around with that. I guess great minds think alike. You post that idea on your blog and I’ll give you a shout-out. Thanks Dean great to hear from you, BC

  • Satya says:

    Good to know ! Thanks for this !

  • Paul says:

    Thanks Bret. Always giving great advice that can be applied immediately.

  • Adrian says:

    Good info to hear about the study results. I have never tried placing at the feet, save for the X-Band variation sumo (lateral) walk.

    I have two logistics issues:
    1) most of my clients already turn their toes out too much naturally (external rotation) bringing TFL into the mix too much in comparison to the glute med activity I’m looking to target.
    2) naked bands/tubing take a great deal of wear and tear when placed around bottoms of shoes and also where the band is in contact with rubber floors in gyms. I’ve had a few naked bands break on me so I’ve very leery about the band vs shoes vs rubber floor issue now (x-band walk situation).

    So, while I will test it myself, my question would really be if the toe vs ankle placement is really worth the wear/tear, replacement cost, injury/ouch risk, etc changing.


  • LouLou says:

    How timely! I just bought one of these bands yesterday from my sports massage therapist as I’m currently recovering from piriformis syndrome due to poor glute activation and weak adductors. She showed me the ankle placement so I will definitely be trying the knee as well! Thank yOu!

  • phil starr says:

    An excellent video. Your steps are pretty short. If you extend the range of your footsteps, do you risk injury?

  • nice post Bret! Thanks!

  • Thanks for the review of that Bret..good tip to push through the stance leg!

  • DebbyK says:

    Thanks Bret! All excellent info. My hip is loving you!!

  • CurtR says:

    I have found that if you walk on your heels with your toes pulled of the ground that it seems to activate the glutes more than if you were flat footed (especial backward. What are the disadvantage of walking on just your heels?

  • Marie Ande says:

    Thanks for the video. I have my clients use big steps, unlike your small steps. Any difference? Also with bands around knees or ankles, I have been in athletic position but toes in during the lateral stepping. Robb Rogers had taught that in seminars about neuromuscular activation. I would like to hear your opinion. Thanks!

    • Ari says:

      thank you for the around the forefoot idea.

      big steps might be harder to control correct positions

      like the forefoot placement the band around the knees is also external rotation of hip (assuming bend at hip/athletic position/not standing straight up)
      but band around ankles encourages internal rotation at hip (see below TFL ()’s)
      toes in/lead with heel= focus on internal rotation fibers/muscles, for example anterior glute med (be careful of TFL activation- when hip is in flexion TFL tends to take over as dominant IR therefore if using this foot position avoid hip flexion)
      toes out/lead with toes = focus on external rotation posterior glute med, etc.

      Just as a side note: if place a ball/towel/something else to squeeze between knees/ankles the affect on hip IR/ER is the opposite of bands around knees/ankles meaning
      ball squeezed between knees = Internal Rotation (IR) at hip
      ball squeezed between ankles = External Rotation (ER) at hip

      • Ari says:

        also see Bret’s video

        Question Bret, I am assuming that when you said the standing upright x-band walk that you demonstrated did not have high recruitment of the glute that you were referring to the upper glute max not that it could not have a place in a training program if the purpose of the exercise was to target the anterior glute med and not the glute max on that side to help a trainee that had excessive ER and you wanted to help IR without the trainee relying on the TFL
        Of course if the trainee only had excessive ER on one side (for example the left side) then a different exercise maybe lying on the side might be a better exercise choice in order that you do not hurt/position the other side(the right side) in a bad/not desirable position when you are fixing the excessively ER side/the left side
        There are, of course, different exercises to address specific situations.

  • D says:

    Bret, which strength band from Perform Better are you using in the video?

  • Tiff says:

    Hey LOVE your stuff!! I am getting my personal training certifications and was wondering if you could email me a list of the magazines or websites that you read where you find out about all these studies! I woul appreciate it a lot!! Looking forward to using your stuff to help my training for the olympics as a boxer as well!! Thanks for everything!! You are a bad ass!!


  • Tess says:

    Omg Bret, you are just the absolute best! Thank you for constantly sharing your knowledge with us…. for free! What an ASSet (:P) to the fitness world you are 🙂

  • CT says:

    Hey Bret, you probably won’t see this but on the off chance you do. I’m currently looking to do some research on the use of these bands in comparison to regular body weight glute activation etc, but can’t seem to find much research on these bands. The article above you’ve linked is great, just wondering do you know of any other articles linked with this particular topic 🙂

  • Conor says:

    Reference for sets and reps?

  • […] activate your glutes, try quadruped hip extensions, frog pumps, clamshells, lateral band walks and x-band monster walks. For strengthening your glutes, go with compound exercises like squats, […]

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