Monster walks are a great way to get your body ready for a lower body workout. With resistance bands you will be able to even get a bigger activation in your glutes and hamstrings. Try it out and you will add it to your warm up routine straight away.
In this article we will show you how to perform monster walks with resistance bands, how you can modify them and what the little tweaks are you have to focus on.
Monster Walks With Resistance Band
Now let’s jump right into how you do monster walks with resistance bands.
Band VS Weights & Machines
Monster walks are a great warm up exercise and the resistance bands are simply a tool to get your muscles ready for some heavy work. A misconception is that the heavy work has to be done with weights or machines. This couldn’t be further from the truth if you use resistance bands the right way and know how to perform the exercises. Here are some advantages resistance bands have over weights and machines.
- Follow the natural strength curve of your muscle! The resistance of a band will always increase the more you stretch it and that’s also the natural strength curve of your muscle, having the most power in the full contraction. With weights, you often fatigue in the expanded part of your muscle without fully fatiguing the whole muscle.
- Stability, control & core! When you do work with a band, your body needs to hold the band in more than one direction so you will also work a lot on your stabilizing muscles and your core as well.
- Variations & Home Workout! You can not only do a warm up with bands, but there are exercises for your whole body which you can overload as good or better than with weights.
- Joint Friendly & Less Disbalances! When using a bar or machines you’re more fixed in your hand position and put more stress on your joints while bands let you get in a more natural hand position and prevent injuries.
There are also more reasons to favor resistance bands over traditional free weights or machines, like reducing the stress on your joints, getting more peak contraction, and many more. But we’re talking here about doing some monster walks, so if you’re interested in background info about what benefits resistance bands give you in strength training and bodybuilding, check it out here.
How To Monster Walk The Right Way
The best activation of your lower body you will get by placing the band around your ankles. Mini loop bands are the most suitable bands for this exercise. Further below we will also show you how to perform monster walks with a regular length loop bands.
So you stepped with both legs through the loop and placed the band around your ankles. Now you will lower yourself into a quarter squat position and you will keep that position throughout the movement. From here you will take small steps forward. Keep your core activated at all times and raise your hands in front of you for balance.
My personal most favorite routine goes like this:
- Take 4 steps forward and then 4 steps backwards – repeat that for 5 times
- Straight after take 4 lateral steps to the right and the 4 to the left – repeat that for 5 times
- Do those 2 cycles twice and your lower body will be ready for anything
Important Do’s & Don’ts!!!
There are some important tweaks you have to keep in mind while performing monster walks to get the most of them.
⓵ Keep Your Squat Position – this is the most important point in this exercise. I often see that people are way too upright when doing monster walks. You will only get the muscle activation you’re looking for by crouching down.
⓶ Point Your Knees Outwards – Push your knees actively outwards. This is crucial for your knee health and will also help you with the right form for any squat movements.
⓷ Step Width – Take slightly wider steps than usual while walking. Also don’t go straight but rather aim for a point at a 45 degree angle in front or behind you.
Breath – I shouldn’t be telling you this but it actually quite easy to forget. This mostly a warm up exercise so you don’t have to brace. Keep your breath steady and take big breaths in and out.
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Alternative Ways To Monster Walk With Resistance Bands
With every version of an exercise, you will find people that really like it and others that don’t like it that much. We will show you some easier and more challenging variations you can try, incorporate in your warm up routine or even do a light workout with.
Band Around Your Knees – Simply lift the bands and place them slightly over or under your knees. This Variation will take some tension from this exercise, since your knees will be closer to each other than your ankles. The best thing about this version is that you will have to push your knees actively outwards. This will teach you the right position your knees should be in, while squatting or crouching down.
Double Bands – You don’t feel enough glute or hamstring activation while performing the variation above? Then it is time for double action. Combine the both versions by placing one band around your knees and one around your ankles. Let’s see if you still have problems to get your lower body fired up!
Stairway To Burn Sensation – This is the first version you can actually have a pretty good workout with. It will be more on the cardio or HIIT spectrum but it will definitely be more than a warm up. Step 1: Find some stairs. Either you have some in your house or you surely know a good spot there you have a longer set of stairs. A stadium for example. Now place the band around your ankles or knees and take steps.
You can either take more than one step on your way up or take wider steps to increase the resistance. I wouldn’t recommend going backwards in this variation, since the risk of injury is simply unnecessary.
Monster Squat – Now we are talking! Let’s simply combine monster walks with body weight squats. So far we stayed in a quarter squat position. Now we take to the next level. Perform the steps as described above but now you will go down into a full squat after each step you take. And remember not to go completely up. The quarter squat position will be the highest position you will reach before going back down. This will definitely burn a little.
Regular Loop Version – In case you don’t have any mini bands at hand (we highly recommend getting a set in addition to regular loop bands) you can also perform monster walks with regular loop resistance bands. Step on the band with both feet. Cross the loop in front of you and lock it with your hands around hip level. All other steps stay the same.
Add More Resistance To Monster Walks
There are 3 possibilities to add more band tension to your monster walks, and they are pretty straight forward.
- Grab a band with a higher tension.
- Double time – Combine two bands together.
- And if you’re only missing a tiny bit of resistance, take the band and wrap it around one of your legs or feet before stepping in with the other.
Time Under Tension – compared to weights where you have the same force applied to any position of the movement, bands will add more resistance the further you stretch them – this will lower the time under tension your muscle has during a set in the starting position. Focus on doing the exercise controlled and try to hold it for a second or two in the fully contracted position and don’t let the band snap back but slowly go back to the starting position.