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Mini Band Exercises That Work Your Entire Body


You don’t need fancy gym equipment to build total-body strength. In fact, you can target all your running muscles with one simple, portable tool: the mini resistance band.

This list of mini band exercises shows you exactly how to incorporate this small yet mighty tool into your next strength routine or prerun warmup.

The Benefits of Mini Band Exercises for Runners

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In addition to being affordable, lightweight, and easy to pack, mini bands can be very beneficial in terms of aiding runners in improving their strength, from head to toe. “Resistance bands provide a great stimulus with improving recruitment of stabilizer muscles that support larger muscle groups and movement at joints,” Yusuf Jeffers, NASM-certified personal trainer, and USATF-certified running coach, tells Runner’s World. For example in the standing single-leg tap out, he says, the muscles surrounding the hips, knees, and ankles joints on the stabilizing leg have to work in overdrive so you maintain balance, while your other leg moves in different planes of motion.

The benefits of this stability challenge? It works those muscles you need strong for the single-leg sport of running, helping to injury-proof your body and make you efficient in your stride.

“Increased strength in stabilizers means better transfer of power through the body and increased resilience in dealing with external forces, therefore helping to create a stronger, more efficient mover, and ultimately faster athlete,” Jeffers says.

How to use this list: Preform the exercises in the order listed below for 8 to 10 reps. If your goal is strength building, rest 90 seconds between each exercise. To get the heart rate up a little more, don’t rest between exercises, but take 2 minutes rest between sets.

For this workout you will need a mini band, and an exercise mat is optional. Jeffers demonstrates each exercise in the video above so you can learn proper form.


1. Standing Single-Leg Tap Out

mini band exercises, standing single leg tap out

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: This exercise will help you build strong glute muscles while improving stability, one leg at a time.

How to do it: Start standing with hands on hips, knees slightly bent, feet shoulder-width apart and a mini band placed around both ankles. Picture left foot as the center of a clock on the ground. Tap left foot to 12 o’clock, then return to center. Tap left foot to 9 o’clock, then return to center. Tap left foot at 6 o’clock, then return to center. That’s one rep. Keep right foot planted, with knee slightly bent the entire time. Repeat until you complete 8 to 10 reps. Then repeat on right side, stepping to 12, 3, and 6 o’clock.


2. Quadruped Leg Extension

mini band exercises quadruped leg extension

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: This exercise will strengthen the muscles of your core, lower back, and legs—all crucial for strong posture and a steady stride.

How to do it: Start on all fours, shoulders over wrists and knees under hips, with a mini band placed around both feet, at the arches of the feet. Engage core and extend left leg straight back behind you, keeping foot flexed and driving through heel. Then bring it back in to an all-fours position. Do 8 to 10 reps. Then repeat on the right side.


3. Single-Arm Plank Tap Out

mini band exercises single arm plank tap out

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: Planks are a great way to build total-body strength as they target almost every muscle. This particular variation will challenge you to maintain shoulder and core stability as your hand moves in different directions.

How to do it: Start in high plank position with shoulders over wrists, feet wider than shoulder-width apart and core engaged. Body should form a straight line from head to heels. As if left hand were the center of a clock on the ground, tap left hand to 12 o’clock then return to center. Tap left hand to 9 o’clock, then return to center. Tap left hand to 6 o’clock, then return to center. That’s one rep. Keep hips steady and feet wide the entire time. Repeat until you complete 8 to 10 reps. Then repeat on right side.


4. Three-Position Pull-Apart

mini band exercises 3 position pull apart

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: This compound exercise requires you to engage your core, which will help you build strength. Plus, it targets the muscles in your arms and shoulders, helping to improve posture.

How to do it: Start kneeling with arms extended in front of body, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle and held tight to sides, palms facing toward each other and the mini band around both wrists. Engage core and pull hands away from each other and to sides, keeping elbows tight to torso. Slowly return to center. Then, while keeping arms bent, raise arms to eye level so that triceps are parallel to the ground. Engage core and pull arms away from each other and out to the sides. Then slowly bring arms back to center. Next, extend arms straight up so that biceps are near ears. Engage core and pull hands away from each each. Then return arms to center. Keep shoulders packed down. Return elbows to sides to start from the top. Those 3 positions make 1 rep. Repeat for 8 to 10 reps.


5. Sprinter Sit-Up

mini band exercises, sprinter sit ups

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: Practicing this sit-up variation will strengthen your abs and help you polish your running form, so you can run confident and strong.

How to do it: Lie faceup on the mat with legs straight out, mini band placed around both feet, at the arches, and arms by sides. Engage core to sit up onto tailbone, while driving right arm forward and left knee to chest. Return to floor. Then, engage core to sit up while driving left arm forward and right knee to chest. Return to floor. Continue alternating for 8 to 10 reps per side.


6. Mountain Climber

mini band exercises, mountain climber

Yusuf Jeffers

Why it works: Adding mini bands to this exercise will not only test your stability but it will also help you build your core and hip flexor strength.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position with shoulders stacked directly over wrists, hands place shoulder-width apart, and mini band placed around both feet, at the arches. Engage core so that body forms a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels. Engage glutes, quads, and thighs to keep legs straight. With a tight core, initiate the movement by driving left knee in toward chest, then quickly stepping it back to plank position. Immediately drive the right knee in toward chest, then quickly step it back into plank position. Continue alternating for 8 to 10 reps per side.

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