There are several abs exercises that you can execute in order to strengthen the abdominal muscles, some of which are performed with resistance bands. Due to the resistance provided by the elastic tubes, it creates the challenge and difficulty of the exercise that adds tweaks and innovations to traditional exercises. The classic exercise such as the crunch can be performed with resistance bands as one of its variations. Provided below are the methods on how to perform the crunch with resistance bands and exercises that can also be applied with the elastic bands. So read on, and develop abdominal strength and definition.
Training the Abdominals
There are several reasons why people train the abdominals. Two of the primary reasons are for aesthetic and functional reasons. Whenever a physique is presented before us, our eyes are drawn to the midsection of the subject, whether it is a man or a woman. People search for the well-defined abs that determine a true aesthetic physique. Think of the human body as an X with extremities and as the two lines that make up the figure. At the intersection of these lines are the abdominals which make up the area that receives the most attention. After all, a body with great legs, ball like shoulders and rounded chests would be spoiled with no abdominal definition or with a flabby abdomen that resembles that of an obese person.
Training for Function
Having great and strong abdominals is essential for any athlete, bodybuilder or gym enthusiast trying to lose weight or gain a significant amount of muscle. This is because the abdominals and the core help in the generation of force and strength throughout the body. Whenever you perform exercises such as the squat, dumbbell shoulder presses, barbell shoulder press, dumbbell bench press, Arnold press, squat to press, clean and jerk, bench press and pull ups, your core or the abdominals specifically act in accordance with your arms and legs. The abs deliver the power from the center of the body into your limbs, helping you lift the weights properly and with more weight as you progress with your workout. A strong abdominal area also helps in maintaining balance, flexibility also the stability of the body.
If you are trying to lose weight and shed off that spare tire around your waist, you must also take precaution when using heavy weights in lifts such as the squats or the bench press, dumbbell and barbell shoulder presses, and squat to overhead presses. These lifts require the use of the waist and the overall core which also adds more mass and muscle to the waist. With this case, it is advisable to perform resistance band ab exercises especially during the later parts of a preparation of a competition or when trying to lose weight rather than using weights to strengthen your abdomen. Using weights for your abs is actually good as it deliver the size and the strength that you need for most lifts. But to help your abs become more defined, resistance band ab exercises are recommended, like the ones suggested below.
Getting Started With the Band Exercises
Resistance bands are tubes or bands used by fitness enthusiasts to maintain muscular tone, stay fit and increase strength as well. The resistance that you may experience ranges from 5 to 10 pounds but could be as high as twenty pounds and sometimes more. The craze behind resistance bands is due to the ability to help you achieve good results especially when it comes to your abs. Try these new and efficient exercises to train your core and the rest of your body with resistance bands.
The Seated Crunch with Resistance Bands. The benefit that you get with this exercise is the same with the traditional crunch but without the unnecessary neck strain.
Start by sitting on a chair and looping the bands around your back and hold the bands in front of you.
The next step is to lie down on your back, and bend your knees to a 45 degree angle.
While holding the bands, crunch your torso up to a 45 degree angle and then return to the starting position with your body just inches up off the floor. Do not totally lie back down as this may relax your abdominals by removing the stress off your muscles. Repeat for as many times as you can and then rest. Continue with three to four sets more.
Check out this video I found on a version of the Seated Crunch using a resistance band:
The exercise can be done with the use of the handles or with the band straps. Start by inserting the anchors of the band at the top of the door. You may also use the bands as a loop to make an anchor for resistance and stability.
Provide enough space from the door and kneel in front of it. Grasp the handles tightly and then bring your elbows to your knees. Make sure you maintain keep your abs contracted throughout the excercise to maintain strict stress. Repeat as many as you can as three to four sets.
Oblique Exercise with a Resistance Band
Anchor the bands on a door or in any stable post. Stand perpendicular to the door, shoulder width apart and grasp the handles at waist height using your right arm.
Bend to your left side at the waist while keeping your left arm straight down pointing towards the floor. Bend slowly and feel your obliques contracting while maintaining a firm hold on the handles with your right arm. Only the waist and your obliques must move in this exercise. Avoid use of the legs and arms and only pull the bands. Imagine your arms serve as hooks to hold the bandsand nothing else.
Repeat as many times as you can then repeat with the left arm before resting. Do three to four sets total.
Check out this video on exercising the obliques with a resistance band:
Resistance band ab exercises are essential workout routines that you can perform in order to gain total body strength in most lifts that require abdominal stability. You can either perform these exercises after your back, chest, legs or shoulder workouts or as a stand-alone routine. Of course, efficient ab exercises result in core and ab strengthening sincethey go hand in hand as strength and stability of the abdominals is the heart and soul or every abdominal workout/exercise. Always keep in mind that when performing these resistance band exercises, it is important to execute them properly with the aid of a trainer or a workout partner to prevent injuries.
If you haven’t lifted weight or exercised for a long time, it is advisable to start at a slow and light pace and progress to more repetitions and a higher intensity pace of workout. Essential dieting, consistency and discipline are also the building blocks of a great physique.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Jordann Campose is a fitness enthusiast and instructor. He currently works as a health care professional with part time work as a fitness instructor and weight loss teacher for people seeking results that will help boost their confidence and strengthen their whole being. [/stextbox]