Strengthen Your Abs with Resistance Bands - Step To Health

Strengthen Your Abs with Resistance Bands

Abdominal crunches with resistance bands are ideal for toning and increasing muscle endurance. Are you ready to incorporate them into your routine? Continue reading then, this article contains some good exercises that include this type of equipment.
Strengthen Your Abs with Resistance Bands

Last update: 06 October, 2021

Exercises with resistance bands are increasingly popular among those who’re trying to strengthen their abs. This equipment adds a level of difficulty to certain workouts and you can use them instead of weights. In addition, it’s ideal for working all muscle groups, including the core.

The main reason for their widespread use might just be the possibility of training at home without using expensive bulky equipment. These bands take up little space and are available in various degrees of resistance to be able to vary the intensity of the workout. OkK, but do they really work?

Research published in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that training with resistance bands helps improve balance, gait function, and flexibility. It also induces greater neuromuscular fatigue than exercises with isometric contractions. Let’s see how to use them for abdominal work.

Seven exercises with resistance bands to strengthen the abs

The abdominal muscles play a fundamental role in the support of the body: the containment of the viscera, and the processes of evacuation, among other functions. Strengthening them through exercise enhances muscular endurance, improves aesthetics, and promotes wellness.

There are many exercise routines to do this but workouts with resistance bands have become popular due to their practicality. You can do them anywhere, and they don’t require overly special equipment. Check out these exercises with elastic bands and use them to strengthen your abdomen.


This exercise is usually done with a dumbbell but you can do it with resistance bands. An article in the journal Plos One states that this variety of resistance exercises is ideal for increasing muscle strength, reversing muscle loss, and losing weight.

While it largely works the lower body muscles, it also benefits the abdominal and low back. There are many variations, but you can do it as follows:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and the resistance band wrapped around your feet.
  • Grasp one end with your hand (if you have an open band), so that the fingers are facing outward.
  • Tighten the band as much as you want.
  • Bend forward at the waist and knees with your lower back arched. Then, lift your chest and straighten your upper back with your head facing forward.
  • Next, raise your trunk while keeping the resistance band taut. Make sure it’s tight enough and correct it before repeating the exercise. 
  • Do 10 to 12 repetitions.
A woman exercising.
Deadlifts with a resistance band are good for the lower body and abdominal muscles.

Check out these Four Exercises to Attain the Perfect Abs

One-legged T-Row

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then, wrap the elastic band around your right foot, while you hold the other end with your left hand.
  • Bring your weight onto your right leg. Then, rotate your hips and lean forward so that the left leg is extended behind you.
  • Pull the elastic band, bringing your left elbow back and keeping it close to your side when your chest is parallel to the floor.
  • Extend your arm and then return to the starting position. Do about 10 to 12 repetitions per side.

Leg raise from the floor

This exercise is simple when done without equipment, but gets more challenging with a resistance band. You can do it with a closed or open one, just tie a knot in it.

  • Lie on the floor on your back, with the rubber band around your ankles.
  • Keep your hands on the floor and your legs straight. Then, lift one leg straight up to a 90-degree angle while pressing the other leg into the floor.
  • Switch legs. You can lower one leg first and raise the other leg later, or merge the two movements as if you were doing the Scissors.


This is another of the exercises you can do with elastic bands to strengthen the abdominals. A study reported in the Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy agrees it’s an ideal complement to strengthen the muscles that give stability to the trunk.

  • Start by lying on your back, with your legs bent and the soles of your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the resistance band just above your knees and lift your hips as high as you can, but with your upper body relaxed.
  • Squeeze the buttocks and hold for a few seconds before slowly lowering. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Place the elastic band across your pelvis and hold it against the floor with your hands for a more intense and challenging variation of this exercise.

Mountain climber

This is a popular ab exercise as it has a good aerobic endurance component. Don’t do it too fast and concentrate on the technique to do it with resistance bands. You’ll need a closed or knotted band at a distance that suits you.

  • Start in a plank position, with the elastic band wrapped around your feet so it encircles the sole at the bridge area.
  • From there, bring one knee toward your chest, activating your abdominals well. Then, return to the starting position.
  • Switch legs, and repeat again in a continuous motion, about 10 to 12 times.

Bicycle with resistance bands

This is one of the exercises that should be a part of your routine with resistance bands for abs. It strengthens the obliques, improves stability, and promotes fat loss.

  • To begin, lie on the floor, face-up, with the elastic band around your thighs, just above your knees.
  • Place your hands behind the back of your neck, with your elbows open. Then, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle and engage your core.
  • From this position, lift the shoulders off the floor and extend the left leg as you turn the right elbow toward the bent left knee — which is coming toward the elbow. Switch sides to bring the left elbow to try to reach the right knee.
  • You can also do a standing variant of this exercise. Simply place the resistance band in the same way and raise one bent knee. Bring the opposite elbow and try to touch the knee with it.
A woman doing abdominals.
Choose a stiffer resistance band to increase the resistance of these exercises.

Russian twist with resistance bands

This is a classic exercise within the routines to strengthen the abs, no doubt. People usually do it with a ball or a dumbbell. However, a resistance band can add resistance to it.

  • Get into a seated position with your knees bent and heels flat on the floor to begin.
  • Wrap the resistance band around your thighs and hold the ends with both hands. You can also place the rubber band on your feet, passing it behind your soles (you’ll need to keep your feet in flex so it doesn’t slip off).
  • From this position, activate the obliques and rotate to the right side, pulling the rubber band.
  • Repeat to the left side and complete 12 to 15 repetitions.

Keep your capabilities in mind

It’s important to take into account your own capabilities in order to avoid injury when doing these exercises. The goal is for you to be able to effectively complete the series.

As much as possible, you should be able to do the exercises without bands easily and fluidly. The bands are merely an additional challenge. It’s best to do more sets or reps until you’re ready to add more difficulty if you struggle to do the basic exercises.

Things to keep in mind what it comes to resistance band exercises

The resistance of the band is a determining factor when doing these exercises. Thus, start with a softer band or one of a less demanding diameter, and gradually increase it.

Just because the bands are light and easy to use doesn’t mean there’s no risk of injury. In fact, you can hurt yourself if you use too much resistance. As you can imagine, you must assess the tension with caution.

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Resistance Band Exercises to Strengthen Your Back
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Resistance Band Exercises to Strengthen Your Back

Do you know about resistance band exercises? Resistance bands are simple instruments that allow you to strengthen your back, among other things.

  • Kwak, C.-J., Kim, Y. L., & Lee, S. M. (2016). Effects of elastic-band resistance exercise on balance, mobility and gait function, flexibility and fall efficacy in elderly people. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 28(11), 3189–3196.
  • Fidale, T. M., Borges, F., Roever, L., Souza, G., Gonçalves, A., Chacur, E. P., Pimenta, C., Haddad, E. G., Agostini, G. G., Gregório, F. C., Guimarães, F., Arantes, F. J., Santos, L., Pereira, A. A., Antunes, H., Puga, G. M., & Lizardo, F. B. (2018). Eletromyography of abdominal muscles in different physical exercises: An update protocol for systematic review and meta-analysis. Medicine, 97(17), e0395.
  • Martín-Fuentes I, Oliva-Lozano JM, Muyor JM. Electromyographic activity in deadlift exercise and its variants. A systematic review. PLoS One. 2020;15(2):e0229507. Published 2020 Feb 27. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0229507
  • Yoon JO, Kang MH, Kim JS, Oh JS. Effect of modified bridge exercise on trunk muscle activity in healthy adults: a cross sectional study. Braz J Phys Ther. 2018;22(2):161-167. doi:10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.09.005
  • Saul D, Steinmetz G, Lehmann W, Schilling AF. Determinants for success in climbing: A systematic review. J Exerc Sci Fit. 2019;17(3):91-100. doi:10.1016/j.jesf.2019.04.002