Resistance bands are rubber stretchy bands that are relatively easy to get a hold of. They are cheap, convenient, and you can easily take them anywhere you go which is also great for different levels of training or workout activities.
Before learning how to use resistance bands for abs, however, you might be confused with how to choose the right fit for you. The good thing is, they come in different colors and you just need to pick one that suits your workout routine or intensity best.
What are the different colors of Resistance Bands?
This rubber band is the thinnest and lightest and is actually the most versatile which is not good for stretching, mobility exercises or pull-ups for it might be too thin for these workouts. What you can do with this band are the following:
- Joint strength movements
- All kinds of warm-up exercises
- Band apart
- Shoulder presses
- Triceps pushdown
- Bicep curls
This one is a small upgrade in thickness and strength level, and good for bigger muscles. However, this is not favorable for joint work exercises. Even if you adapt and go a little wider on your grip it would still be quite hard to achieve it. The only thing you can really do well with this rubber band is pull-ups.
This is the third in the category and offers medium resistance. For bigger muscles, purple is the best band for this exercise specifically. This is also good for legwork like X walks and progressive pull-ups, although this is not good for joint pumps, triceps or bicep pull-ups.
This is the best for mobility exercises especially static stretching. With this band, you have enough resistance to almost feel as if it is ripping your arm apart. As for pull-ups, let us say you are lacking 30-40 or even 50% of the strength necessary for the chin-up or pull-up. This rubber is the perfect solution. Another good exercise for the green rubber band is the compound movements for advanced people and that includes deadlifts, squats and pull-throughs. This band is not advisable for joint work, small muscles or upper body exercises.
The last in the category is also the thickest and the strongest band. This rubber is only good for heavy students and professionals who like to go hard on their training or exercises.
What is a linear variable resistance?
What this means is that the more you stretch a band, the harder it gets, which is one of the good things about rubber bands. One of the most common questions that people have when training with resistant bands is if they are only limited to five levels of resistance. The answer to this is no because of the linear variable resistance technique.
How to use resistance bands for abs
When training with rubber bands, especially for abs, try to pick something which is lighter and easier. The following are some of the steps for abdominal band exercises.
- Go into the plank position holding on to the band firmly.
- Once in position, grab each end and start pulling the resistance band up starting on your right side coming on to a side plank and then back down. Repeat this 10 – 15 times then switch to your left.
- From the plank position, change into a sitting position.
- Wrap the rubber bands around your feet, and make sure to do a full loop around the arches of your feet.
- Firmly grip both sides of the band and slowly roll yourself down partially.
- Hold it up to your knees and start doing wide reps, pulling those arms back and straighten and shrink. Repeat this 10 – 15 times.
- After that, grab both handles of the band, maintaining the loop around the feet and roll yourself all the way down the mat.
- Roll your upper body up, pull your arms overhead and then roll back down. Make sure to keep your heels glued on the floor. Repeat this 10 times.
- Band Crunches. Hook your rubber band to something sturdy and stable. Bring the band over your shoulders and start making regular crunches, making sure to get your shoulder blades off the ground. Keep your chin off your chest to provide strength. This targets your upper abdominal muscles.
- Unilateral Band Crunches. Be in the same position which is lying flat on the ground. Bring the band to the right side of your shoulder and begin by crunching and rotating with that right shoulder towards your left hip. This helps engage your oblique muscles. After finishing repetitions on your right shoulder, do the same on your left.
- Band Reverse Crunches. Loop the band on your feet, lay down flat with your legs down flat as well and start bringing your knees up towards your chest, slowly returning your feet. Keep the heels from touching the ground the entire time you do this to keep your lower abdomen engaged the entire movement.
- Band Raised Plank Spiderman. Attach two separate bands on each of your feet and start by bringing your knee to your elbow on each repetition. This requires a lot of stabilization. This is good for hitting obliques and engaging lower abs.
- Resistance Band Oblique Crunches. Hook up one band, preferably the thicker rubber band available. Put one hand on your hip and start to bring your right elbow to your right hip. On each and every single repetition, keep a neutral spine on each repetition and the more squeeze you get on your obliques, the more effective the exercise is going to be.
A resistance band is great for strengthening your muscles in general. It helps you with your balance and coordination which can help prevent osteoporosis and improve your quality of life. You can do things standing up and also sitting down, and it is highly recommended to do strength-type activities at least twice a week.
At the end of the day, it is still up to you as to what type of exercise or training you prefer to use your bands for. They are also good for your legs, biceps, triceps, shoulders but the most effective would be abdominal exercises. This is why resistance bands have become a trend. People who love to exercise generally prefer resistance bands over old-fashioned dumbbells.