Best Resistance Band Ab Workout Routines
Many of us fall victim to the same old workout routines; instead, you should keep your routines fresh and your muscles strong by adding resistance bands to your ab workouts. Whether you want a six pack or want to feel healthy and strong, engaging your core muscles more efficiently by adding resistance bands to your workout routine may help you reach whatever fitness goal you have.
Ready to get on the resistance-band wagon? Try these five exercises that utilize resistance bands for your next core session.
- Secure a resistance band to a sturdy object (preferably at navel height).
- Stand next to your anchor point with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees to alleviate tension from your joints. In this position, hold the band in both hands at chest height.
- Hold the resistance band’s handle against your chest with both hands. Allow no slack in the band – step one-to-two steps away from the anchor point to add tension.
- Brace your core (draw your navel in toward your spine). Press the handle straight out in front of your torso. Keep your hips facing forward rather than turned to the side.
- Extend your arms fully. Take a breath and retract your arms. Begin again from your starting point.
Band-Resisted Bird Dog
- Lower to your hands and knees. Place your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
- Put a resistance band handle around your right foot and hold the other handle with the left hand so that the band is taut.
- Simultaneously extend your left, banded arm in front of you and your right, banded leg behind you. Keep your core braced and back flat to engage your abs and protect your spine.
- Draw your extended limbs back to the starting position. Repeat these movements on your opposite side.
Standing Band Rotation
- Secure a resistance band to a sturdy object at navel height.
- Stand next to the anchor point with your feet hip-width apart. Slightly bend your knees.
- Hold the handle with both hands in front of your chest. Extend your arms out in front of your chest.
- Rotate your torso away from your anchor point.
- Draw in your belly with an exhale breath as you rotate to engage your abdominal muscles. Keep your arms straight as you turn.
- Pause, then slowly reverse the movement to return to start. Repeat these rotations for reps and repeat on the opposite side.
Side Leg Lift with Band
- Loop a circular resistance band (one without handles) around both legs just above the knees and lie on your left side with your legs extended. Stack your feet one on top of the other.
- Prop yourself up on your left forearm, keeping your elbow directly below your shoulder. Place your right hand on the floor in front of you as a brace. Bend your left leg to ninety degrees.
- Engage your core and raise your right leg into the air.
- Lift your leg to its maximum height, then slowly return to the starting position. Maintain tension on the band to work your leg muscles. Repeat the movement for your desired reps.
- Switch sides and perform equal reps on each side.
Seated Heel Lift
- Sit with both feet flat on the floor, and secure a resistance band around each foot. Hold the handles at your chest. Lock down your abs to engage your rectus abdominis and lean back slightly. Create a “C” curve in your spine.
- Lift your feet to approximately chest height. Separate your feet as wide as you can and then tap your heels back down on the floor.
- Continue the sequence for reps, maintaining tension on the band throughout each movement.
Resistance Band Tips
Give yourself recovery time in between your resistance band workouts, to allow your muscles to rebuild. Resistance bands work your core muscles a lot so recovery time is a must. When you use resistance bands, your rectus abdominis muscle will surely fire, while your transverse abs will help stabilize your spine in each exercise.
“Bands are fantastic, lightweight tools that can be used for multiple exercises,” says Leslee Bender, a NASM certified personal trainer . “They’re much easier on the joints and keep tension on the muscle tissue, rather than relying on gravity like weights. And [you can use them] at any age, and any ability, from athletes to people rehabbing an injury. They complement any workout.”
We recommend that you add the above exercises into your workouts two-to-three times per week for the next month to see greater core strength and increased stability for your other workout moves.
- Purchase high-quality resistance bands. You can buy resistance bands at many fitness retailers and online. Some resistance bands are quite affordable. High-quality bands will last much longer than the cheaper bands. “Not only are resistance bands convenient and affordable, but they provide a different stimulus for your muscles,” says Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S., trainer, and author of Lift to Get Lean.
- When you’re at the gym, check the resistance bands for nicks or splits before using them for your safety. Band breakage is a prevalent issue in high traffic gyms. Many fitness professionals and students bring their bands to the gym, so you may want to consider doing the same.
- Check the tension first, not the color. There is no standard when it comes to color equaling tension. One brand might have blue as the highest tension, and another brand could use blue as the lowest.
- Progress gradually. Progress similarly to how you would when using free weights or machines, start with lower resistance and build up over time.
Once you’ve mastered our suggested resistance band exercises, keep exploring different uses for the bands. Resistance bands might just become your favorite piece of equipment at the gym or at home for your workouts.