This 10-Minute Resistance Band Ab Workout Will Work Your Entire Core

Resistance band workouts make it easy to strengthen and tone without added impact on your joints. The bands are easy to take with you while traveling, and you can squeeze in a quick workout just about anywhere—even when you’re short on time.

Below and in the video above, find three of my favorite resistance band exercises for your abs. The whole routine will work your core in just 10 minutes, with three minutes working each section of your core and time to reset your bands between movements. Remember to breathe out when the tension in your bands is greatest and breathe in when it is lightest.

Never stretch resistance bands beyond a safe position where it could pull you unexpectedly. Rather, add a second band to increase resistance or change bands to one with greater tension.

Ready to work?

For obliques

Image zoom Meredith

I recommend using a door anchor strap that slides in a doorframe (you can get the full set I like on Amazon). Set your resistance bands at hip-height to target your midsection. Hold both handles together and pull your hands to the right, holding for two seconds. Repeat 12 times, then switch to the left. Do a second set on each side, and work up to a third set.

To make it harder: Try a heavier band, take a step farther away, or work up to 20 reps instead of 12. You can also switch things up by angling the handles lower and then higher for the second and third sets. Extend only as far as to maintain focus on the core rather than engaging the arms and back.

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For lower abs

Image zoom Meredith

With your anchor under the door, slip your shoes through the handles of your resistance band.

Lie on your back with your feet at the door. Bring one knee at a time up to your chest, then quickly straighten it. Repeat on the other side—just like you’re doing a bicycle crunch, but without lifting your shoulders off the floor. Repeat for three sets of 20 while pressing the small of your back down into the floor; this will stabilize your spine and prevent back pain during or after this routine.

To make it harder: Add reps or switch to a band with more resistance.

RELATED: The 8 Best Resistance Bands

For upper abs

Image zoom Meredith

With your anchor low or under the door, lie on your back with your head nearest the door, your knees bent, and your feet on the floor. Hold the resistance band handles above your chest and as you crunch up push the bands forward past your knees to increase tension. Your shoulders will come up off the ground; push your lower back against the floor. Feel your upper core muscles contract and hold for a count of two. Return your hands to your chest as you lie back down. Repeat for three sets of 15. Try to keep your neck as relaxed as possible; crunch up at the shoulders, don’t pull with your neck.

To make it harder: Switch to a band with more resistance, or increase the hold time at the top of the exercise.

Nicole Borgenicht is a fitness writer and a nationally and internationally certified personal trainer with National Council for Certified Personal Trainers and Interactive Fitness Trainers of America.

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When you’re crushing a ride, you aren’t about to back down from a challenge. When facing that grueling, uphill climb, you lean in, power up, and leave just enough gas in the tank to get to the top. It’s pretty much beast mode.

So, it comes as no surprise that you take this intensity to the gym. From squatting and deadlifting to increasing upper body strength, keeping your body strong builds better performance on the bike. And while your legs do play a major role in propelling you up a giant hill, it’s actually your core muscles that really kick in the extra power.

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“The key to becoming a stronger, more resilient cyclist, is to strengthen your core,” explains avid mountain biker and NYC fitness instructor, Hollis Tuttle, director of instructors and lead instructor at CITYROW. Since your core transfers forces between your extremities, Tuttle says it must be solid and stable before any powerful movement, like a pedal stroke, can occur. “Having a stronger core will allow you to transfer more power through the legs, improve posture, and reduce the risk of injury.”

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To help with that power transfer, Tuttle created a workout with six core-smoking moves you can do with just a resistance band. What makes these core exercises so effective is they also challenge other parts of your body, too. You’ll build strength in your chest, shoulders, back, and glutes, too.

For the exercises below, select a band that feels challenging but allows you to maintain proper form. If your form starts to fall apart, swap your band out for a band with less resistance.

How to do it: Complete 2 rounds of 10 reps of the following 6 exercises. As you become stronger, increase the number of rounds to 3 and then 4.

Pallof Press
Stand perpendicular to the anchor point, keeping band at chest height and taut when pulled straight out in front of chest. Secure feet hip-width apart, soften knees and hinge hips back. Keeping torso still, push band away from the middle of your chest with both hands. When arms are fully extended, hands should be at the center of the chest. Keep core tight to resist rotating towards the anchor point. Return starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change direction and do another 10.

Single-Arm Row
Face the anchor point and line up shoulder of working arm with the band. Secure feet hip-width apart, soften knees, and hinge hips back. Keeping torso still and shoulders square, pull band forwards rib cage, driving elbow straight back. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and do another 10.

Single-Arm Press
Face away from the anchor point and line up shoulder of working arm with the band. Secure feet hip-width apart and soften knees. Keeping torso upright and still, push band away from rib cage without rotating chest. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and do another 10 reps.

Banded High-Plank Row
Establish a high plank with head pointing towards the anchor point. Line up shoulder of working arm with band. Secure feet hip-width apart and tighten lower body. Keeping torso still and parallel to the floor, hold band in one hand, and pull band to rib cage without opening hips up. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and do another 10 reps.

Glute Bridge
Lay on your back with head pointing towards the anchor point. Holding on to the band with both hands, pull it straight out over chest. Arms should be straight and shoulder width apart so that you feel tension on the band. Tuck pelvis and draw ribs in to flatten back to floor. Keeping spine straight, push hips up, and lower back down. Do 10 reps.

Dead Bug
Lay on your back with head pointing towards the anchor point. Holding on to the band with both hands, pull it straight out over chest. Arms should be straight and shoulder width apart so that you feel tension on the band. Tuck pelvis and draw ribs in to flatten back to floor. Bring knees over hips and flex feet. Keeping back on the floor, tap alternating heels on the floor. Do 10 reps per leg.

Sara Lindberg Sara Lindberg, B.S., M.Ed., is a freelance writer focusing on health and fitness.

When your client (a) has an Instagram feed exclusively devoted to her workouts and (b) is a Victoria’s Secret model who has to exercise as part of her job, it’s important to keep things interesting. For a recent training session with Josephine Skriver, Dogpound trainer Rhys Athayde grabbed a resistance band and chose a partner move. The exercise is fitting, since Skriver is half of the fitness duo JoJa with fellow model Jasmine Tookes. They post plenty of partner ab workouts and glutes exercises on their Instagram.

You can check out Skriver and Athayde doing the partner move, via @rjathayde, here:

The move looks intense (in a good way), so of course we wanted a little more detail. We decided to go straight to Athayde to ask him to break down what muscles it works and how to do it right.

This move specifically works the bottom half of your abs, Athayde. Most exercises that involve moving your legs while keeping your core engaged (like this one) put the majority of the work on your lower abs and your hip flexors. That’s why it’s so important to concentrate on initiating the movement from your abs and squeezing the core muscles tight the entire time.

To do it, start lying down on the ground in a tabletop position with your arms by your sides, while your workout partner loops a resistance band around your feet. (Loop it twice to make sure it’s secure.) Engage your core and use your abs to pull your legs toward your face. As you pull and stretch the band, you’ll feel the resistance. Then, extend your legs out straight slowly. Your partner should hold the band firmly—a low stance like Athayde’s can help them stay stable to be an effective anchor.

“It is crucial to always engage your core throughout the movement,” Athayde tells SELF. ” alleviate pressure on the lower back.” He also notes that this is an “advanced exercise that requires a great deal of control over the abs.”

If you feel your lower back start to lift off the floor, try using a lighter band. You can also put your hands right under your hip bones to help add a little support. Be sure to communicate to your partner how your body is feeling, and stop and adjust if you need to re-engage your core.

The resistance bands are an update to the classic “partner holding your ankles” sit-ups we’ve all done in gym class. “, you are in full control of how much resistance your muscles can handle, whereas a partner holding your ankles may not understand your strength level or any current injuries you may have,” says Athayde. They also let you have total control over your speed.

Athayde suggests adding this move toward the end of a core workout. (That final burner a trainer always makes you do to push out the last of your energy? That’s this exercise.) He prefers to work through ab moves like planks and leg lifts, then finish up a session with 15 reps of this move with a 10 second hold on the last tuck. “If you can shoot for 20 to 25 reps, that’s even better!” All you need is a band and a friend who’s down to spot you.

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Portable Pilates Bar Kit With Resistance Band Exercise Stick

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The Pilates Resistance Band and Toning Bar is like having your very own portable Pilates studio. The innovative design includes a steel bar with two resistance-band power cords and nylon foot loops. From bicep and tricep curls to lunges, squats, and more, the Long and Lean Toning Bar lets you get a full-body workout. Sculpt and tone your abs and develop long and lean muscles. Great for yoga stretching and low-impact muscle toning.

  • CONVENIENT HOME GYM: Get a full-body workout similar to a Pilates mat or reformer workout; great for resistance-band exercises, yoga, stretching, and low-impact toning
  • MIND-BODY BENEFITS: Develop a strong core, flat abs, and long and lean muscles with mind-body focus through every movement
  • MAXIMUM RESISTANCE: 100% elastic bands with stretchy fabric cover; stronger and safer than standard rubber tubing; contains latex
  • COMPACT DESIGN: 2-piece bar comes apart for easy travel and storage; measures 36 x 1.5 x 1.5 inches (L x W x H) when assembled

Build a Strong Core & Back

The Pilates Bar Kit includes everything needed to perform a variety of reformer-style movements to get leaner looking thighs, firmer, tighter buns and a sleek, well-defined core.



Welcome to Trainer of the Month Club, our brand-new fitness series, where we tap the coolest most in-the-know fitness leaders to create a month-long fitness challenge. On Mondays, we have our “sweat drops” where you’ll get access to the week’s workout that you can follow along at home. In July, Bec Donlan is bringing your her strength-building series, starting with building a strong core.

Whenever I’m in a fitness class and the instructor says to “grab the resistance bands,” I know I’m in for a serious burn. Booty sculpting movements, jumping jacks, and arm workouts are hard enough on their own, but once you add a band to the equation, the intensity factor gets revved up (and fast!), and that goes double for an abs workout.

This is exactly why superstar trainer Bec Donlan, Well+Good’s July Trainer of the Month, incorporates a trusty resistance band into all of her workouts. In fact, the Aussie born fitness instructor’s nickname is the “cakemaker,” for good reason. Her booty band classes make you feel those cake—aka peach—muscles. And the same goes for your abs when you’re knocking out the exclusive resistance band core workout she gave to us for the first week of her month-long workouts. Ready to make your ab muscles quake-so-good? Grab a resistance band and a mat, turn up the tunes, and slay the following moves—which, BTW, only take a total of roughly seven minutes to make you sweat.

Try Donlan’s banded core workout for yourself

Do each movement for 15 reps, then cycle through the series twice.

1. Plank with foot taps: Start with the band around your ankles and get into a plank position, with hands directly under your shoulders, stomach pulled into the spine, and back flat. Alternate tapping one foot out to the side at a time, pull it back to center, then switch.

2. Plank jacks: Keeping the resistance band where it is, in plank position, take things up a notch by kicking both feet out at once and then back in. Keep your legs as wide as you can and your back super flat. This will really burn out those shoulders.

3. Booty band bicycles: Lie on your back and move the band around the middle of your feet and start with legs in tabletop position. Begin doing bicycles by kicking and twisting. Twist elbow to knee and alternate sides, and use the momentum to make it easier.

4. Leg raises with split: Put the band around your ankles, and put your hands behind your lower back, sitting on your hands. Bring your legs all the way up, pointing your toes to the ceiling, and split your feet open wide at the top before you bring them together and lower them to the floor. Breathe out as you bring your legs up.

5. Teapots—right: Standing up nice and straight with the band in your right hand, loop it around your right foot and crunch right and left. Nothing moves except the top part of your body. You’ll feel this in your obliques.

6. Teapots—left: Move the band to the other side with your hand by your head, crunching all the way to the side. Roll your shoulders back to reset your body, then begin again for round two. If you want to make it a little harder, you can always add a third round or up your reps.

For workouts from previous Trainer of the Month Meg Takacs, try this at-home upper body workout and dumbbell workout routine.

We have already covered the best full body workout when you have access to weights and fitness equipment. We also discussed how to have a full body workout with no equipment. Now it’s time to get the resistance bands out, because we are going to explore – you guessed it! – how to do a full body resistance band workout.

Resistance training is probably the fastest way to burn fat and build muscles. When we say resistance training, we mean a training where your muscles have to pull or push against some resistance, which can be classic gym equipment like dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells, your own bodyweight, or in this case, resistance bands.

Resistance bands are probably the best fitness equipment you don’t use, apart from ab rollers. With just one band, you can create ample amount of resistance for your muscles to be stimulated. Not only that, but they also take up no space whatsoever, making them a versatile and super convenient piece of home gym equipment.

We collected five exercises that can be performed at home with nothing but a resistance band. All you need is some music played through your wireless speakers to get you in pump-mode and off you go!

P.S.: You might want to consider getting a decent fitness smartwatch too. They can help you better understand your heart rate zones and therefore the intensity of your training. Keeping your heart rate in the correct zone can mean better fat burning results. Fat burning heart rate is 70% of your maximum heart rate, which can be calculated by subtracting your age from 220.

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Resistance training requires protein

If you are planning on doing more resistance training, you will need to consume more protein than what your diet most likely provide. Depending on the intensity of your training, you might need as much as 2 grams of protein per body kilograms per day, which for a 70 kilo person means 140 grams of protein a day.

Probably the most convenient way to consume this essential macronutrient is to drink protein shakes, which are the combination of either milk (milk substitute) or water and protein powder.

As well as that, you can also consider taking some creatine too. Creatine helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Cheap creatine deals are everywhere and you’ll only need 3-5 grams a day to sustain your creatine levels (after the initial loading phase, should you want to do that).

If you are really going for it, you can also take pre workout before exercising, that’ll give an energy boost to get the maximum out of your sessions.

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Resistance band workout – 5 exercises to move your body and get you toned fast

Before you start doing any exercises, make sure you’re all warmed up. Do 5-10 minutes of cardio which can be stationary run or a light jog around the block, just to get your heart rate up a bit. If you have an indoor exercise bike or an elliptic trainer, all the better.

You might also need to consider looking at the best ways to lose weight if you have not exercised for years.

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1. resistance band thrusters

Muscles worked: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, shoulders, upper back, triceps

Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 12 reps with 90 seconds break in between sets

Thursters combine two excellent exercises: squats, which work your legs and glutes, and shoulder press, which work your upper back and shoulders. Thrusters are basically a one-move full body workout.

To perform a thruster, stand on the resistance band, legs shoulder width apart. Hold the two ends of the band in your hands and lift your hands up to shoulder height. To start off, do a squat with your hands kept next to your shoulders.

Once you are stood up again, push your arms up over your head, then lower them back down to shoulder height. That’s one rep.

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2. resistance band push ups

Muscles worked: Pecs, triceps, delts, core

Sets/reps: Do 2 sets of 8 reps with 120 seconds break in between sets

In this variation, you perform a regular push up with the resistance band going around your upper back, and the ends being held down by your palms. For added intensity, try and tighten the band so it would provide more resistance.

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3. Resistance band seated rows

Muscles worked: Lats, upper back, biceps, forearms

Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds break in between sets

Sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you, back straight. If you find sitting in a 90 degree angle difficult, you can stretch them using – surprisingly – the resistance band.

To stretch your hamstrings, lay on your back and pull one of your foot closer to your body. Loop the band around the sole of your foot and kick the leg up. Once your leg is fully extended, gently pull the band towards your upper body while your leg is pushing against the band. Do three pulls as you exhale, slightly increasing the pull each time. Once done, do the other leg.

Once your hamstrings are stretched, sit upright, back straight, legs extended in front of you, the resistance band is looped around the sole of your feet. Pull the band towards your abs with the shoulders open, then let your arms go forward once again.

Concentrate on activating the lats most and don’t lean forward too much as you return to the starting position.

4. resistance band good mornings

Muscle areas activated: Lower back, glutes, hamstrings, core

Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 8 reps with 60 seconds break in between sets

Stand on the band and hold the ends of the band in your hands. Starting position is you bent forward, legs shoulder width apart, back straight, shoulders open. You would like to have band slightly stretched even in the starting position; it will give you the resistance you need as you extend your back.

To do a good morning, all you need to do is to extend your body back to a fully upright standing position, then lower it back down to the starting position. As you perform it, make sure your centre of mass stays directly over your feet.

Good morning is a wonderful exercise to strengthen your lower back and stretch your hamstrings too, both areas which are a great cause of discomfort for many people.

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5. resistance band kneeling crunches

Muscle areas activated: Abs, core

Sets/Reps: Do 2 sets of 15 reps with 30 seconds break in between sets

Loop the band to a high point securely. Holding the end of the band, go down on your knees and with your hands on your forehead close together. Perform an ab crunch by moving your shoulders closer to the floor as you lean forward.

Keep your core engaged so you don’t lose balance as your perform the exercise. Return to the starting position with your back straight.

With abs exercises, always aim for higher reps than the usual hypertrophy range (8-12 reps) since your abs can take on more pressure than other muscles (much like your calves).

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15 Mini Resistance Band Ab Exercises for a Rock-Solid Core

by Chris Pearse

Using a mini resistance band for ab exercises is one of the best ways to train your core muscles and get ripped fast.

But not so many people know how to do resistance band ab exercises. It’s not that obvious how to use an elastic band to work your core.

So let me show you a workout with 15 of the most effective resistance band ab exercises you can do.

What do I mean by ‘effective’?

I don’t just mean effective for getting a six pack (although that will happen). Doing resistance band core exercises effectively means training your entire core musculature, not just the superficial Rectus Abdominus (AKA the six pack muscle).

Your core includes all the muscles that wrap around the front, back and side of your abdominal area, as well as your glute, hip and pelvis muscles. The deepest muscles, such as the Transverse Abdominus and Iliopsoas muscles, perform the most vital function – but, they are the hardest to train.

Done properly, exercises should force your entire core to work together as a unified whole. They should recruit a much wider group of muscles, extending into your hips, thighs and glutes, as well as the erector muscles which reach to your upper back. This kind of integral approach to training will produce much greater core strength and stability compared to, for example, just doing normal sit-ups.

This resistance band ab workout is designed to train all of your abdominal muscles as a group, while also bringing your wider core muscles into play, The result is maximum core strength, stability and power.

To do this workout you just need a mini resistance band, which you can buy singly or as a set, including an instruction guide.

Here are my top 15 resistance band ab exercises:

#1 Lying Leg Raise

Lie on your back with the band around your ankles. Keeping your hands on the floor and legs straight, lift one leg up high while pressing your other leg to the floor.

#2 Bicycle Crunch

Place the band around your feet and lie on your back. Keep your hands by your ears, elbows pointing forward and raise your feet, legs bent. Pull your right leg towards your stomach and touch your right knee with your left elbow. Repeat on the opposite side.

#3 Bridge Thrust 1

With the band just above your knees, lie facing up, knees bent and arms by your side. Lift your hips as high as possible, keeping your upper body relaxed. Squeeze your glutes and hold for a few seconds.

#4 Bridge Thrust 2

Place the band around your waist and hands. Lie facing up with your hands under your body, palms pushing against the floor. Lift your hips as high as possible, pulling the band taut.

#5 Horizontal Scissors

Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and the band around your ankles. Raise your legs off the ground, using your arms to stabilize your body. Open and close your legs in a horizontal scissor-like cutting motion.

#6 Mountain Climber

Start in a plank position with the band looped around your toes. Keep your body straight, firmly supported by your shoulders and hips. Bring one knee up towards your chest, tighten your abs and then return to start. Switch legs and repeat as a continuous movement.

#7 Deadlift

Start with feet roughly hip-width apart, band looped around your feet, toes slightly out. Keeping your lower back arched, bend from the waist and knees to grasp the band. Lift your chest and straighten your upper back, head looking forward. Stand up, pulling the band taut.

#8 Oblique Crunch

Start in a sideways reclining position with the band around your ankles. Support your body with your elbow and raise your legs straight in the air. Bring your knees into your chest, contracting your oblique muscles.

#9 Plank Kickback

Start in plank position, band above your knees, feet shoulder-width apart. Keep body and head in a straight line, tensing your abs. Keeping both legs straight, lift one leg as high as possible.

#10 Plank Shuffle

Start in a plank position with the band around either your wrists or ankles (or both). Step out to the right simultaneously with your right foot and right hand. Follow with your left foot and hand, keeping your body straight and core tight. Continue the movement several times in one direction and then switch.

#11 Oblique Leg Lift

Start in a sideways reclining position, one leg straight and one bent beneath you. Place the band around your ankle and knee, supporting yourself with one hand. Simultaneously lift your upper leg and bring your free hand to your knee.

#12 Side Plank Crunch

Start in a side plank with the band around your feet. Keep your body straight and extend your top arm over your head. Bring your top elbow and knee together, bending at the waist.

#13 Plank Walk

Start in a push up position with the band looped around your wrists. Step forward and slightly out with one hand and then follow with the other hand. Step back to the starting position, keeping the band taut throughout. Switch arms and repeat the exercise as a continuous movement.

#14 Side Plank Leg Raise

Get into a side plank with the band placed just below your knees. Legs are together, hips raised high and body in a straight line. Lift your top leg as high as possible, tightening your abs and glutes.

#15 Vertical Scissors

Lie flat on your back with legs straight and the band around your ankles. Raise your legs off the ground, using your arms to stabilize your body. Open and close your legs in a vertical scissor-like cutting motion.

Ab exercises resistance bands

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