Many of us aren’t lucky enough to have the space (or funds!) for a home gym, but that doesn’t mean we get to sit out on our next workout. These resistance band ab exercises will help you build a strong and stable core from home.
Along with equipment-free and bodyweight exercises, resistance bands are low maintenance and cost-effective. With many different types of bands with many different densities, training with resistance bands adds diversity to your workout, while also assisting in mobility.
Why use Resistance Bands for Ab Exercises?
When it comes to your abdominal muscles, sometimes all you need are simple body weight exercises to make fast progress. Resistance bands, however, induce muscle contraction at different difficulties depending on which thickness of band you choose, making the movement harder. Resistance band ab exercises are a level up from your usual routine.
Further benefits of resistance bands include:
- Improving mobility
- Improve flexibility
- For rehabilitation
- For learning how to do pull-ups
You can train, build and tone various muscle groups using resistance bands. In CrossFit, athletes use resistance bands to warm up, do accessory work, aid in training or make training harder. You can also use resistance bands for your next WOD!
Resistance Bands Ab Exercises to Upgrade your Training
Try these six resistance band ab exercises to challenge your core workout and sculpt your trunk.
1. Oblique Twist
Using a resistance band attached at waist height to a stable object (eg. a metal bar or door), stand a foot away, holding the ends of the bands with both hands.
Face forward with your arms stretched out in front of you. Pull the bands across your body, twisting as you pull. Hold for two seconds on the turn, and then return to your starting position. Repeat the movement for 12 reps for 3 rounds to target your obliques and abdominals. You can make the exercise harder by using a heavier band or decreasing the give.
You can also complete the movement from low to high, pulling the band from your feet to above your head. A great exercise for full-body mobility and flexibility.
You can complete this movement standing, with one knee on the ground, or with both knees on the ground; which will make the movement harder.
2. Single arm shoulder press
Another exercise for the abs and obliques, this compound exercise helps with core stabilization while primarily targeting the deltoids.
In a standing position, trap the band underneath one of your feet, holding one end in one hand. Brace your core and in a stable movement, raise your arm above your head, allowing the band enough give to reach until your arm is stretched.
Make sure you do not bend your torso to the side during this movement. Focus on keeping your whole trunk stable.
3. Bicycle Crunch
Using a small band/mini-band, loop each end around your feet. Lying flat on the floor enter the traditional bicycle crunch position.
Lean back at a 45 degree angle, and place your hands at your head with your elbows out. Push one leg out while bringing the other leg in towards your chest. Bring your elbow to the opposite knee at the same time.
Repeat this movement for several reps, and you should find it a little more challenging than a regular bicycle crunch, which makes it a great ab exercise which uses resistance bands.
4. Resistance Band Russian Twist
If you don’t have a ball or a weight handy, these Russian twists with a band are great for adding more resistance to the movement.
Start by sitting on the floor upright with your legs outstretched in front of you. You can raise your legs slightly or keep them on the floor. Loop the band around both feet and hold the ends at your chest. Lean back at a 45 degree angle.
From this position, engage your core and extend your arms in front of you, keeping them straight and the band taut. Rotate your torso as you pull on the band, bringing your hands and elbows as close to the floor as possible. This movement targets your obliques, back, and abs.
5. Plank Band with Row
The plank is a classic ab exercise, and one that can be made even more challenging and beneficial by using resistance bands. This helps turn this isometric hold into a dynamic movement for a more muscle building exercise.
From a plank position with both hands on the floor, attach the resistance band to a stable anchor. Then from the plank position, pick up the end of the band and pull it towards you to create a rowing movement. Along with core strength, the movement also works the scapular.
The same movement can also be made even more difficult by doing the row from a side plank position for serious oblique burn.
6. Resistance Band Deadlift
You don’t need access to a huge barbell to practice your deadlifts; in fact, a simple resistance band is ideal for perfecting your form and building muscle.
Using a looped band or whatever you have available, place the whole band under your feet. This will create the anchor. Next, take each hand and pull the exposed ends. You’ll want to keep your back straight and hinged at a 45 degree angle, with your knees slightly bent as you would if you were going for a regular deadlift.
With your chest up, brace your abs to stabilise your body. Engage your glutes and pull the ends of the band until you’re in a standing position, keeping your arms by your sides.