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?
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.
For lower abs
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
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.
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter