Strength Bands are one of the most portable and versatile tools in the gym – however, the simplicity of their design can sometimes stump people on what exactly to do with them. We teamed up with Nick Tumminello, seasoned author and the “trainer of trainers”, to share a few of his favorite, innovative exercises with strength bands. Nick will breakdown a new exercise each week and show you how to implement it into your own workouts or your clients’ training programs. Check out what you missed week one here and week two here.
Strength Band Monster Walk
Many people are familiar with using Versa Loops to perform lateral shuffles, or forward and backward shuffles. Both are great glute exercises, which mainly train your upper glutes (i.e., glute medius). However, there’s another, less familiar, but great glute exercise you can do using Power Systems Strength Bands: Monster Walks!
Put simply, monster walks are one of the best (unconventional) exercises you’re probably not doing. Like Versa Loop shuffles, monster walks are performed in standing position and involve walking back and forth, and they’ll also have your biscuits burning. But, unlike Versa Loop shuffles, monster walks mainly train you glute max.
How to Perform Monster Walks
There are two versions of the Strength Band monster walk: a partner version and a solo version. Both versions are demonstrated in the video.
Here are some key points to remember when performing Monster Walks:
As you could see in the above video, the monster walk glute exercise is performed by putting the band around the backs of your ankles.
- As you walk backwards, taking big steps, while keeping a slight bend in your knees, allowing your glutes to do most of the work.
- When you’re walking forward, which is the eccentric part of the exercise, keep the same form as you did while walking forward by avoiding excessive pelvic rotation.
- Keep tension on the bands at all times. Do not allow slack in at any point.
- If you’re doing the solo version, perform this exercise in increments of 6 to 8 total steps in each direction.
- If performing the partner version, the person walking backward counts 8-10 steps backward as they other person follows while keeping the same amount of tension throughout. Then reverse direction with the other person walking backwards for 8-10 steps. Repeat this sequence until all reps are complete.
- Performing monster walks for 2 to 3 sets of 30-50 total steps in each direction. That’s 30 to 50 steps forward and 30 to 50 steps backward to complete one set.
- Use a resistance that’s challenging enough to leave you unable to perform any more reps than indicated above while maintaining proper control and technique.
How and When to Use Monster Walks in Your Workouts
Since monster walks don’t involve heavy loads, they work best as a higher rep, burner-type exercise, my favorite way to use monster walks toward the end of a comprehensive resistance training workout, after performing heavier, and more traditional lifts.
If you’re doing an upper-body/ lower-body training split; I also like to use monster walks between upper-body exercises in order to get some extra glute work. Since monster walks hit the glutes when they’re in a shortened position, they don’t require nearly as much recovery as an exercise like Romanian deadlifts, which mainly hit the glute in a lengthen (stretched) position.
In other words, exercises like strength band monster walks and versa-loop shuffles can be performed more frequently throughout the week than exercise like Romanian deadlifts and squats because they don’t demand as much recovery to benefit from.
Of course, you can also use monster walks as a “glute activation” exercise in a comprehensive warm-up. If so, you wouldn’t take the sets to full fatigue as you would when using them at the end of a workout.