Resistance bands can be one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment for at home, as well as vacation workouts. Here’s a database of fundamental lower body band exercises to help you mix up and progress your bodyweight workouts.
Plank rows train rotary stability and anti-extension. Regular planks can be pretty boring, and really only train core endurance after a certain point. Doing plank rows with a cable or resistance band is an effective way to progress your planks and keep your core exercises challenging over time. If you’re at home try looping a band around a bed post or table leg.
Bird-dogs train rotary stability, in a way that has a high transfer to things like running and sprinting. A resistance band is one of the best ways to progress and load them, regardless if you have access to other equipment or not. You’ll be challenging the collapse of your extended arm and contralateral leg. This will help fire up everything from your hamstring to your opposing-side shoulder, and your core in between.
If you want six-pack abs then you shouldn’t neglect spinal flexion exercises. Most coaches now agree that there’s nothing inherently dangerous about spinal flexion exercises – the belief that crunches are “bad” is wrong and outdated! We won’t go in to the weeds right now, but suffice to say loaded spinal flexion exercises should form a key part of your abdominal routine if abs are your goal. Be sure to watch the video for key tips on how to perform spinal flexion exercises correctly, though.
Standing crunches using a band are a good alternative to the same using a cable. If you can setup a band like shown in the video, these can be a useful addition to your ab and core training routines.
Russian twists of all sizes and shapes are a good way to work your obliques. Wether you have access to masses of equipment or not, using a band is a good way to do them. Watch the video for some key tips.
Chaos planks are another effective band exercise to work your entire mid-section. Much the plank rows exercise they train rotary stability, while the instability of the band is a form of proprioception training. Adopting a superman position with arms reached out further in front, increases the plank lever arm and forces you to resist spinal extension. Try hooking a band between a few chair legs, or whatever you can find.
Leg lowers can also be done with bent-knees as a regression. They train your core in an anti-rotational capacity, as well as resisting some extension. Using a band is a way to further encourage lats engagement and that of your entire core. Doing these with straight-knees can be a challenge to those with tight hamstrings, too. These work great as a warm-up for a heavy legs workout, or as part of a limited equipment core workout routine.
These are a good alternative to cable variations of the same. You can also do these standing. They’re an effective way to train rotation and hit your obliques with some intent.
You may or may not have access to an ab wheel. If you don’t they’re relatively inexpensive, and often can be taken apart to store in a suitcase when traveling. Adding a band in the way shown is a way to increase the difficulty of rollouts and add tension as you move further in to flexion as you pull inwards.
Pallof presses come in many forms. They train your ability to resist rotation, often termed “anti-rotation” exercises. Feel free to get creative with these. Watch the video for ideas.
The band works to activate your hamstrings. This in turn helps switch-off your hip flexors somewhat, making these vastly more challenging that regular sit-ups. Read more about why HERE.
Kneeling crunches are a personal favourite. As already noted spinal flexion exercises are a key component in building six-pack abs. A band works to add load more the further you go in to flexion. Just be sure to use a relatively heavy band with these, as your own bodyweight leaning in to the band can factor in a lot. For some extra intensity try adding in an isometric hold on each rep
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Also known as “The Fitness Maverick”, Gareth specializes in smarter training techniques to get you strong and looking great naked year round!