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Pilates Resistance Band Workout

  • October 25, 2015
  • By Brittany
  • 2 Comments
Pilates Resistance Band Workout

This pilates resistance band workout is a total body routine targeting the legs, glutes, arms and core. All you need is a resistance band and a mat. 

I remember way back when I first moved to Brazil I had zero workout equipment.  For a home workout junkie that now has an entire room dedicated to workout/office space, this was obviously very challenging for me.  I did my best withe dancing, Zumba, barre with no equipment, pilates and yoga but I yearned for the day when my weights, balls, mats and other fancy supplies would arrive.

One piece of equipment I did have was a resistance band and it was a lifesaver.  Resistance bands are the perfect tool that take up no space but can really amp up the intensity of your workout.  One of my favorite ways to use a resistance band is to incorporate it into traditional pilates moves.  A resistance band is great for simulating pilates apparatus equipment, providing extra resistance and also for helping think about form and alignment.  So grab your band and a mat and let’s get going!

Straight Leg Lunge with Bicep Curl

pilates resistance band workout bicep curl collage

Stand with one foot in the band holding the band on either side with elbows bent and in at your waist.  Take the other foot back into a straight leg lunge.  Lower into a low lunge keeping the back leg straight while pulling the band up to shoulder height keeping elbows in.  Lift up out of the lunge without straightening the front leg all the way and lower the band back down to hip height.  Repeat 8-16x per leg.

  • Remember to keep abs in and shoulders pulled down.
  • Keep the back heel lifted.
  • Make sure the front knee does not go past the toes.

Parallel Squat with Overhead Raise

pilates resistance band workout squat collage

Stand with feet hip width apart toes pointing forwards.  Fold the band in half and hold out in front at shoulder height.  Sink down into a squat bringing the band overhead.  Squeeze the glutes and lift back up to a standing position pulling the band back down to shoulder height.  Repeat 20x.

  • Remember to keep the band taught as you lift and lower your arms.
  • Keep your chest lifted and abs pulled in as you sink into the squat.
  • Keep your shoulders down as you lift the band.
  • Stick your glutes out like you are sitting into a chair when you squat.

Standing Side Raise with Attitude Leg Lift

pilates with resistance band attitude side raise collage

Stand with one foot in the band holding onto the band on either end and pulling the band away from your body keeping your arms straight.  Point the other toe in front of your body and slightly bend the knee.  Keep the front leg turned out so the inner thigh faces up to the ceiling.  Lift the front leg up to hip height while lifting the band out to shoulder height.  Lower and repeat 8-16x.  Keep the leg lifted and pulse for 16 counts.  Then repeat on the other leg.

  • Keep the toe pointed and the leg turned out.
  • Keep the supporting leg soft for extra work in that leg.
  • Keep the hips even.
  • Don’t lift the band above shoulder height.

Kneeling Bent Knee Leg Lift

pilates with resistance band knee lift collage

On hands and knees on the mat, tuck the toes and place the band around one foot holding onto the band in one hand.  Lift the foot that is in the band up so that the knee is at hip height and the leg is bent with the foot facing the ceiling.  Lower the knee back down to the mat hovering the knee just above the mat and then repeat.  Lift and lower 8-16x then hold the leg up at hip height and pulse 16x.  Repeat on other leg.

  • Keep the band taut and choke up on the band if you need more resistance.
  • Keep the foot flexed.
  • Squeeze the glutes as you lift the leg up.

Kneeling Straight Leg Lift

pilates resistance band workout straight leg lift

On all fours, place the band around one foot and point through the toe.  Extend that leg behind you keeping the toe on the mat and the band in one hand.  Lift the leg up to hip height keeping the leg straight.  Lower the leg back down to the mat tapping the toe on the mat.  Repeat lifting and lowering the straight leg 8-16x then hold the leg up at hip height and pulse 16x.  Repeat on the other leg.

  • Keep the leg straight and toe pointed.
  • Choke up on the band for more resistance if needed.
  • Keep abs in and back flat and spine neutral.
  • Keep head in line with the spine.

Kneeling Bend and Extend

pilates with resistance band bend and extend collage

From all fours, wrap the band around one foot and hold the band in one hand.  Bend the leg and flex the foot and lift it up to hip height.  Hold it at hip height and extend the leg straight keeping the foot flexed.  Bend the leg back in.  Repeat 8-16x.

  • Keep the leg at hip height.
  • Keep the abs pulled in.
  • Don’t sink all of your weight into the supporting side.
  • Keep the foot flexed.

Bent Knee Single Leg Stretch

pilates resistance band workout single leg bent knee stretch

Lying on the mat with the band bent in half and holding onto the band at each end, lift the feet off the mat with legs bent into tabletop position.  Hold the band just over your chest and lift the head, neck and shoulders off the mat.  Extend one leg out straight hovering it just off the mat while you twist to the opposite leg with the band.  Repeat to the other side extending the opposite leg and twisting towards the bent knee.  Repeat 16x.

  • Don’t let momentum take over but use the core to twist.
  • Keep the knees in just over the hips.
  • Keep the straight leg off the floor.
  • Keep the band taut.

C Curve Progression

pilates with resistance band c curve collage

Sit on the mat with knees bent and feet flexed.  Wrap the band around both feet and hold the band near the ends with one end in each hand.  Sit up straight and then tuck the chin and lean back onto your tailbone holding onto the band.  Roll up to starting position.  Repeat 10x then roll back into your c curve and open one arm to the side turning towards that arm to target the obliques.  Repeat 10x alternating sides.

  • Roll back onto your tailbone until you feel your abs “catch”.
  • Choke up on the band for more resistance.
  • Keep the chin tucked as you roll back onto your tailbone.

Resistance Crunch

pilates with resistance band crunch collage

Fold the band in half and place it vertically on the mat.  Lie down on the length of the band leaving a small portion of the band exposed overhead.  Keep your knees bent and your feet flat.  Reach back overhead and grab the band with your hands.  Tuck the chin and lift your head neck and shoulders off the mat bringing the band with you.  Lower back down.  Repeat 16x.

  • Keep your elbows bent as you lift the band.
  • Tuck your tailbone as you lift up to activate the lower abdominals.
  • Don’t pull on your neck with the band.
  • Keep your chin off your chest as you lift up.

Side Lying Straight Leg Lift

pilates resistance band workout side leg lift

Lie on one side on the mat supporting your head with your hand.  Place the band around the top foot and hold the band in the hand that is not behind your head.  Point your toe and lift the leg up towards the sky.  Resist against the band and lower it back down.  Repeat 8-16x per leg.

  • Keep the band in one hand.
  • When you lower the leg, hover it above the bottom leg, don’t drop it all the way down onto the leg.
  • Keep the toe pointed and the knee facing up towards the sky.

Side Lying Inner Thigh Leg Lift

pilates with resistance band inner thigh leg lift

Lie on one side on the mat supporting your head with your hand.  Place the band around the bottom foot and hold the band in the hand that is not supporting the head.  Flex the bottom foot.  Place the top foot on the mat in front of the bottom leg keeping the knee bent and facing towards the ceiling.  Lift the bottom foot up off the mat targeting the bottom inner thigh.  Lower back down hovering the leg just off the mat.  Repeat 16x per leg.

  • Keep the bottom foot flexed and the top foot firmly planted on the mat.
  • Don’t worry if the leg does not lift very high.
  • Don’t roll back onto the hips but stay facing sideways.

Grand Rond de Jambe

pilates with resistance band grand rond de jambe collage

Lie on one side on the mat supporting your head with your hand.  Place the band around the top foot and hold the band in the hand that is not behind your head.  Point your toe and draw the leg in front of your body.  Lift the leg straight up to the sky then circle the leg back behind the body.  Return back to the starting position.  Repeat 4x then reverse directions and repeat another 4x.  Switch legs and repeat.

  • Stay long in the waist.
  • Keep the ribs in.
  • Don’t let the hips rock, keep them steady.
  • Imagine drawing a circle with your toes.

Readers, what is your go-to easy to use piece of equipment?  Are you a fan of workouts without equipment?

*This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read about my affiliate link policy here.  Thanks for your support!

By Brittany, October 25, 2015
  • 2
2 Comments
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