If you want to learn how to do ab exercises with a resistance band – I’ve got you covered!
The exercises I’m about to show you are all you need to build the abs – and core strength of a Greek god!
Let’s get to work!
1. Banded Leg Raises
Leg raises are great. They train your abs, reinforce core stability, and are fun to do (1). But if you’ve been doing the exercise for a while, it’s probably gotten too easy.
One option is to hold onto a dumbbell for extra resistance, but there is always the risk of dropping the weight on your body. Resistance bands offer an excellent alternative because they allow you to overload the movement, don’t pose a threat, and make each repetition progressively more challenging.
To pull this off effectively, wrap a resistance band over something near the floor, loop it over your feet, and lie down. The goal is to have your legs go against the band’s resistance and lengthen it.
2. Banded Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are another fun and challenging movement. But if you’re ready to step your game up, adding a resistance band to the mix is a great option.
There are a couple of ways to do banded mountain climbers. Your first option is to secure a resistance band somewhere near the floor, loop it over your feet, and have it lengthen with each stride. Doing so will make each knee tuck progressively more challenging.
Your second option is to use a smaller loop band and place it over both feet. In doing so, one foot will serve as an anchor for the resistance band, while your opposite foot will pull the band and provide extra resistance.
3. Banded Pallof Press
The Pallof press is a lesser-known core exercise, but it works wonderfully. The premise is simple:
- Attach a resistance band at stomach or chest level, grab it, and stand with one shoulder facing it.
- Grab the band with both hands and position them in front of your upper stomach.
- Brace your core, take a breath, and press the band forward, fully extending your elbows.
- Bring the band back and press it again. Keep pushing until you’re finished.
Though simple, the Pallof press is a fantastic movement for your core because it forces your stomach muscles to keep you in position when the band tries to pull you to the side or rotate your torso.
4. Loop Band Scissor Kicks
Scissor kicks are fantastic for ab development because the movement forces you to keep your legs in the air. Plus, thanks to the up and down motions of your feet, your abdominal muscles have to work extra hard. Besides that, scissor kicks are fun to do and burn a lot of calories.
Adding a loop band to the mix is a fantastic way to make the movement challenging and burn your abs out. The reason is, by looping a band over your ankles, you have to produce more force to spread your feet apart, which puts more tension on your abs.
5. Band Russian Twists
Russian twists are another fantastic core exercise that builds your abs, obliques, and transverse abdominis. The unique movement pattern is great because it forces your abs to keep you in position while the twisting motion activates your obliques.
Including a resistance band in the equation makes the movement pattern more challenging, which increases activation in your abs and obliques. Specifically, you have to wrap the band over your feet and grab it with your hands. Then, do the movement as designed.
6. Kneeling Band Woodchop
The band woodchop is named that way because it resembles the act of swinging an ax and chopping logs. The unique movement pattern makes the exercise fantastic for strengthening your abs, obliques, and transverse abdominis.
Typically, you would do woodchops on a cable station in the gym. But since we don’t always have access to one, we can use a resistance band instead. The goal here is to attach the resistance band at roughly hip level.
- Grab the band, take a couple of steps to the side, face the attachment point with one side, and kneel.
- From there, begin to twist your torso in the opposite direction while keeping your hips facing forward and arms straight.
- Once finished on one side, turn 180 degrees and do the same number of repetitions in the opposite direction.
7. Elbow Plank Row With Band
Elbow planks are a fantastic exercise (2). But if you do them long enough, they will stop challenging you as much. This is why modifying the movement is great for improving core engagement.
This plank variation is fantastic precisely because it’s simple to do but quite challenging. All you need to do is attach a resistance band somewhere near the floor, get into a plank position, and row. Specifically:
- Get into an elbow plank position with your body straight and directly facing the resistance band attachment point
- Grab the resistance band with one hand, supporting your upper body on your other forearm
- Take a breath and row the band as you keep your elbow close to your body
- Release the band, fully extending your arm, and repeat
- Once finished, grab the band with your other hand and perform the same number of repetitions
The movement is fantastic because it builds your abs, trains your obliques, and develops your lats and biceps.
If you want to take it to the next level, do a full plank – resting on your hands instead:
Who says you have to do endless crunches or use fancy gym machines to train your abs effectively?
As you see, there are plenty of great exercises you can do in the comfort of your home. Resistance bands offer a layer of challenge, and using them is a great way to shake up your training, have more fun, and build a set of incredible abs.
Want to learn more about resistance band training? Visit my strength-building resource LOADED with workout routines, actionable hacks, and fitness tips that works!
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Other Helpful Resources
- Resistance Band vs Cable Machine: Comparing the Two
- Best Resistance Band for Pull Ups: Reviews and Top Picks
- The Beginners ABC to Getting Ripped With Resistance Bands
- 6 Super-Effective Resistance Bands Quad Exercises for Killer Results
- 11 Resistance Band Exercises for Back and Shoulders (That Actually Work)
- The Best Fabric Resistance Bands For Glutes: Reviews and Top Picks
- Do Resistance Bands Wear Out? 5 Tips to Help Your Resistance Bands Live Longer
- Can You Use Resistance Bands Everyday? 4 Critical Questions to Consider
- Kim K, Lee T. Comparison of muscular activities in the abdomen and lower limbs while performing sit-up and leg-raise. J Phys Ther Sci. 2016;28(2):491-494. doi:10.1589/jpts.28.491
- Snarr, Ronald & Esco, Michael. (2014). Electromyographical Comparison of Plank Variations Performed With and Without Instability Devices. Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 28. 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000521.