Top 9 Exercises to Tighten Your Abs with a Resistance Band
A lot has been written and said about sports equipment, but one of the best tools you should have in your fitness gear is definitely a special workout resistance band – Crossband. It is an amazing tool which will bring your strength trainings to a brand new level. Resistance bands come in various levels of resistance – from easily stretchable (4–25 kg) up to extremely tight (26–65 kg) – which offers unlimited number of variations to your workouts.
And that is one of many reasons why Massy Arias won’t hear a word against resistance bands. „Resistance workout can be very efficient and quite easy, since resistance bands don’t take up much space at your home, they can be easily packed and you can do a quick exercise with them anywhere you want,“ says Massy Arias. She is especially keen on using resistance bands for building strength within her core, that is, body parts she has been mainly focused on since she gave birth to her first child. „Keeping a certain body shape before and during the pregnancy is important so that your body (for instance belly) can easily cope with the changes,” she says.
In this article, Arias has put together 9 endurance exercises which are aimed at your core muscles. „All of these movements put to work your oblique abdominal muscles and whole abdominal wall,” she explains. So while you are mainly focusing on your abdominal muscles, you are also engaging the upper and lower part of your body into the exercise which turns these exercises into complex movements you can add to your regular body-weight training.
How to start?
When choosing a resistance band, you should opt for such level of resistance which suits you best. You should be able to work out comfortably with it – so you need a band you can stretch, but neither too easily nor with difficulties. However, if you choose an inappropriate band, you can always exchange it for other – lighter or heavier – band during the exercise.
For beginners (and also for women who have given birth in the last two months) is enough to choose 5 exercises and do two sets of 5 to 8 reps each. For intermediate and advanced fitness enthusiasts is recommended to do 7 exercises for 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps each.
1. Standing knee raises
Stand tall with your feet apart a bit wider than the width of your hips, with the resistant band looped around the middle of your feet. Lift your left knee towards your chest and twist yourself as if you wanted to touch your left knee with your right elbow. Try to do this without bending your shoulders – you should keep them straight. Then, go back to the starting position and repeat the same on the other side.
2. Banana roll
Lie on your back with your hands stretched above your head and place your resistance band between the wrists of your stretched hands. Lift your arms and legs above the floor and use your abs to roll yourself onto the right side while keeping your shoulders straight and biceps in line with your ears. When you get to the starting position, roll yourself back and repeat.
3. Bicycle crunches
Start in the sitting position, with the resistance band looped around the middle of your feet. Then bend your knees and lift your heels from the floor. Lean backwards in about 45 degrees and slightly touch the back of your ears with your fingertips. Use your abs to twist your hips into the position when you are able to lean with your right elbow to your left knee while stretching your right leg. Then try to pull your right knee to your left elbow, while stretching your left leg. Continue like this while alternating the sides.
4. Side plank
Start in an upper plank position (on the extended arm) with Crossband on your ankles. Transfer weight on the right arm, straighten legs and lift the left hand on the hip. Raise the left hand upwards. Keep your legs on the width of your hips and stay still for at least 30 seconds (or as long as you can). Go back to the initial position and change side.
5. „T-squad“ on one leg
Stand on the width of the hips and gird the Crossband around right legs and hold the opposite side of it in your left hand. Transfer your weight on the right leg, raise the left leg back to the hips level (as you would make a „T“ shape with your body). If your chest is parallel to the floor, pull the rubber band to the chest, while you bend an elbow in the right angle closely to your body. Extend your arm and go back to the initial position. After some repetitions, change side.
6. Spiderman Push up
Start in the plank position with extended arms, while the Crossband is girded around the middle part of your feet. Keep your wrist right below your shoulders and strengthen the core. Bend your elbows and push the chest to the floor as in regular push-ups, then try to touch your right elbow with right knee outward. Go back to the initial position and do the same with the left side. Repeat as needed.
7. Raising hands to „T“ shape
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, hold the rubber band in both hands positioned in front of thighs. Raise your hands to the shoulders level and spread arms to the sides., so you are making a „T“ shape. Do not bend your back and keep your chest straight. Go back to the initial position and repeat.
8. Lunge with t-spine rotation
Start with your hands raised in front of your body at the shoulders level. Hold the rubber band at the width of the shoulders. Do the lunge backward with your right foot, so thigh is upright to the floor. By using your abs, rotate on the right and extend the Crossband to the side as much as possible. Then give your right foot back to the initial position. Repeat as needed and then change side.
9. Side to side squat
Stand with your feet a little wider than the width of your hips, point your feet fingers forward and put the Crossband around the middle part of the left foot and around the left wrist. Straighten arms and hold them in front of you and squat. Remember to keep your back straight. Go back to the initial position, repeat as needed on one side and then on the opposite side.
For a stronger core, you can try this workout with 4 exercises. Complete 3 series of subsequent exercises in a row. Do 8-10 repetitions for each exercise. Take a rest for 30 seconds between two series.
Taken from Greatis.com
Do you like these exercises? Have you ever practiced with our rubber Crossband? Do not hesitate and share your experience below in the comment section or support our article by sharing it.