17 Mini Resistance Band Exercises for Abs and a Strong Core

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Looking to get a stronger core? Then check out these 19 resistance band exercises for abs.

A while back, I caught a glance at myself in the mirror and decided it was time to start working on my core. After giving birth to 3 kids, it’s pretty safe to say my stomach wasn’t what it used to be.

I know my days of having a six-pack are long behind me, but I still want to get my midsection feeling strong and looking as good as it can. You know what I mean?

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of resistance band exercises for abs that will help tighten and tone your entire core.

Let’s get to it!

Beginner Resistance Band Exercises for Your Abs

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Do resistance bands work for abs?

Naturally, the first question is, do resistance bands even work for abs? The answer is yes!

Resistance bands are a great way to mix up your ab workouts and even make them more challenging. They increase the effort required to perform the exercises in 2 ways:

  1. Adding resistance to the exercise so you have to use more effort to perform them.
  2. Requiring you to use more stabilization muscles throughout the exercise so you get a better workout.

You’ll probably get a better ab workout using resistance bands than you would if you just did a bodyweight workout.

What You Need for These Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

For the resistance band exercises for abs listed below, all you need is a mini loop resistance band. These are small stretchy bands that form a big circle or loop.

I think they look a bit like large rubber bands. They are typically made out of latex or some sort of rubber.

Don’t try this workout with the thick cotton resistance bands. Those are typically made for leg workouts and don’t stretch far enough.

I use these ones here and they work great.

Loop Resistance Bands

17 Mini Resistance Band Exercises for Abs and a Strong Core

For a demonstration of how to do each move, watch the video below!

Standing Knee Raises

Standing Knee Raises with Resistance Band - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your feet. You should be standing on the bottom loop of the band.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head with your elbows opened wide.
  3. Crunch your left oblique in as you lift your left knee and try to touch it to your left elbow. Imagine doing a side crunch in the air.
  4. Lower your left leg as you straighten up. Repeat on the other side.

Plank Leg Jumps

Plank Leg Jumps with Resistance Band - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Place the resistance band around your ankles and get into a basic plank position. Hands directly below your shoulders, tummy pulled in, flat back, and a straight line from your head to your heels.
  2. Start with your feet close together but not touching. Next, jump your feet out wide while holding your plank.
  3. Jump your feet back in and that’s one repetition.

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Plank Walks

Plank Walks with Resistance band Plank walks with Resistance Band - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Place the resistance band around your wrists and get into a basic plank position. (See explanation above if you need more details.)
  2. Step your right hand and your right foot out to the side while maintaining a flat back.
  3. Then step your left arm and leg so that your hands are back underneath your shoulders. That’s one repetition.

Alternating Toe Touches

Alternating Toe Touches - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it a little above your knees. Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head.
  2. While keeping your right toe touching the ground, lift your left knee up toward your chest. Keep your left knee bent at a 90-degree angle.
  3. Switch your legs and touch your left toe to the ground while your right knee comes up toward your chest.
  4. For an added workout, lift your head and shoulders off the mat.

Bicycles

Bicycles with Resistance Band - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your feet.
  2. Next lay on your back and place your hands behind your head, knees bent.
  3. Crunch your head and shoulders off the mat and cross your right arm across your body. At the same time, pull your left knee in and try to touch your right elbow. Your right leg should lift off the mat, but stay out straight.
  4. Hold the position for 1 count and then switch. Try to touch your left elbow to your right knee while your left leg straightens out.

Plank Side Knee Raises

Plank Side Knee Raises with resistance band - Resistance Band Exercises for Abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your feet. Get into a basic plank position with hands below your shoulders and a flat back.
  2. Lift your right leg and try to touch your knee to your elbow. Try to keep your hips down during this move. It can be a little tricky.
  3. Step your foot back to a basic plank position and repeat on the other side.

resistance bands

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Mountain Climbers

Mountain Climbers with resistance band - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your feet. Get into a basic plank position.
  2. Quickly alternate bringing your knees to your chest one at a time.
  3. You can start out slow to get the hang of it, but then you want to go as quickly as you can.
  4. For an added workout, try to keep your hips down and a straight line from your shoulders to your feet throughout the move.

Dead Bug

Dead Bug with resistance band - Resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your feet.
  2. Lay on your back with your feet in the air and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Stretch both arms straight up in the air.
  3. Keeping your left arm and right leg in place, straighten your left leg and raise your right arm over your head.
  4. Bring your leg and arm back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

resistance bands

Split leg lifts

Split Leg Lifts with resistance band - Resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your ankles. Lie flat on your back with your hands under your hips.
  2. Lift both legs into the air. One leg will be 3-6 inches about the ground and the other leg will be lifted as high as you comfortably can.
  3. Then, quickly switch your legs back and forth.
  4. Be sure to keep your lower back in contact with the floor the entire time.

V leg lifts

V Leg Lifts with resistance band - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your ankles. Lie flat on your back with your hands under your hips.
  2. Lift both legs 3-6 inches off the floor and stretch them apart until the band becomes taut.
  3. Raise both legs together in a leg lift while maintaining the tension in your band.
  4. Lift until your legs are perpendicular to the ground and then slowly lower them back down.
  5. Be sure to keep your lower back in contact with the floor the entire time.

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Banded Side Bend

Banded Side Bend - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into the band with your right foot and hold it with your right hand. Stand with your feet shoulder with apart and engage your core.
  2. Lean your head and shoulders toward your right. Then contract your left obliques as you lean your head and shoulders back toward the left.
  3. Keep your head, shoulders, and hips facing forward throughout the entire move.
  4. The movement should all come from your core and not your head or neck.

Bridge

Bridge with resistance band - Resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your knees. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and close to your hips. Place your hands by your side.
  2. Engage your core and squeeze your booty as you lift your hips toward the sky.
  3. Hold for 1 count and then slowly release back toward the ground.
  4. Make sure to maintain a steady tension with your resistance band throughout the exercise.

Oblique Crunch

Oblique Crunch with resistance band - Resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your ankles. Sit down and then lean back until your elbows are on the ground.
  2. Then shift onto your right hip and right elbow. Sometimes it’s helpful to keep your left arm behind you to keep your balance.
  3. Spread your ankles apart until there is a light tension in your resistance band. This is your starting position.
  4. Using the left side of your abs, crunch your knees up toward your chest. Be sure to keep your balance shifted onto your right hip.
  5. Hold for 1 count and then slowly release back to the starting position.
  6. Make sure to keep your ankles hip-width distance apart and light tension in the band throughout the exercise.

Scissors

Scissors with resistance band - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your ankles. Lie flat on your back with your hands under your hips.
  2. Lift both legs 3-6 inches off the floor and stretch them apart until the band becomes taut.
  3. Next, bring both legs together. Continue bringing your legs in and out for the desired number of reps.
  4. Be sure to keep your lower back in contact with the floor the entire time.

resistance bands

Dead Lift

Dead Lift with resistance band - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into the resistance band and place it around your feet. You should be standing on the bottom loop of the band. Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grip the resistance band on the other side of the loop with both hands.
  3. With a slight bend in your knees, straighten your back and look forward.
  4. Engaging the muscles in your back, booty, and legs, slowly straighten up.
  5. Slowly release back down to the starting position.

Band Russian Twist

Band Russian Twist - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Sit on the floor and place the resistance band around your feet.
  2. Grab the other side of the resistance band with both hands and lean back slightly.
  3. Keeping your knees bent and your feet together, lift both feet in the air.
  4. Pull the resistance band back toward your chest until it’s pulled tight. This is your starting position.
  5. Keeping your feet in the air, turn your head, shoulders, and hands to your left and pull your hands toward the ground. This should stretch the resistance band.
  6. Then turn your head, shoulders, and hands to your right.
  7. Switch back and forth between each side.

Bear Crawl Kick Backs

Bear Crawl Kick Backs with resistance band - resistance band exercises for abs

  1. Step into your resistance band and place it around your feet. Get onto your hands and knees with your toes curled under.
  2. Lift your knees 1-2 inches off the floor. This is your starting position.
  3. Extend your left leg behind you while still keeping your right knee off the ground.
  4. Then bring your left leg back to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Resistance Band Exercises for Abs Full Workout

To use these resistance band exercises for abs in a full core workout, try one of these routines listed below. Repeat each exercise for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds.

Resistance Band Exercises for Abs Workout 1:

  1. Standing Knee Raises
  2. Plank Leg Jumps
  3. Alternating Toe Touches
  4. Plank Side Knee Raises
  5. Bicycles
  6. V Leg Lifts
  7. Banded Side Bend
  8. Bear Crawl Kick Backs
  9. Dead Lifts

Resistance Band Exercises for Abs Workout 2:

  1. Oblique Crunch
  2. Plank Walk
  3. Split Leg Lifts
  4. Mountain Climbers
  5. Dead Bug
  6. Scissors
  7. Russian Twist
  8. Bridges
  9. Dead Lifts

I created these routines to be used with a medium resistance band. To increase the intensity, use a heavier resistance band or complete another circuit of the routine. To decrease the intensity, use a lighter resistance band, or take longer rest periods.

If you don’t have one yet, don’t forget to get a resistance band!

resistance bands

What does this resistance band abs workout target?

Both of these resistance band exercises for abs workouts target the entire core. There are exercises for the top and lower abdominals, the obliques, and the core muscles in the back.

What to do if you feel strain in your neck or hips?

If you feel strain in the neck while doing these resistance band exercises for abs it means you’re using the wrong muscles. You’re pulling with your head instead of engaging your core.

You can either lay your head on the ground, support your head with your hands, or move on to another exercise until your core gets stronger.

If you’re feeling a strain in your hips, it means you’re engaging your hip flexors instead of your lower abdominals. If you’re performing a floor exercise, try raising your legs a little higher off the ground.

For both of these issues, you can also try really imagining squeezing your abdominals throughout each exercise. Focusing on the muscle you’re trying to work can help reengage it throughout the movement.

Resistance Band Exercises for Abs pdf

If you’d like a copy of the Resistance Band Exercise for Abs workouts, you can sign up to download a FREE pdf. It will include a list of what exercises to do as well as picture demonstrations.

Grab the Resistance Band Exercises for Abs PDF!

Resistance band abs exercises pdf

Conclusion to 17 Mini Resistance Band Exercises for Abs and a Strong Core

Now you know my favorite mini resistance band exercises for abs. I hope these moves help you develop the tight and strong core you want.

Don’t forget to grab a resistance band and a free copy of the full workouts so you can take your exercise routine on the go.

Ready to give these resistance band exercises for abs a try? Let me know in the comments below or email me at Candice@littlestepsbighappy.com. Follow me on Pinterest for more beginner home workouts.

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Beginner Resistance Band Exercises for Your Abs

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