There's a good chance you've incorporated resistance bands into your at-home lower-body workouts. But these portable bands aren't just for building bigger booties and gorgeous gams — they're just as beneficial for boosting your ab burn too.
Adding a resistance band to your ab routine can really help you slow down to focus on the movement, enhancing your core engagement and strengthening your abdominal muscles, says Morit Summers, CPT, creator of Brooklyn-based training studio Form Fitness. And since your core is your body's powerhouse, supporting all movements, that's a major benefit.
Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.
Try This 20-Minute Workout for a Stronger Core
Designed by Summers, this resistance band circuit will challenge your core in new ways and tighten and tone your tummy.
Do: 10 to 12 reps (unless otherwise indicated) of each exercise, resting for 30 seconds between moves. Repeat for 3 to 4 sets.
Move 1: Banded Renegade Row
- Get into a high plank and place the resistance band under one palm.
- Grab the band with your other hand and pull it toward your chest. Try to keep your hips facing the floor and use your upper back muscles to pull.
- Slowly lower your hand back to starting position.
Move 2: Plank With Knee Tuck
- Begin in a high plank and place the resistance band around the arches of your feet.
- Pull one of your knees toward your chest.
- Return to a neutral position before pulling the other knee toward your chest.
- Continue alternating legs.
Move 3: Bicycle Crunch
- Lie on your back and loop the resistance band around your feet with your knees bent in the air at 90 degrees and your hands interlaced behind your head.
- Raise your shoulders off the ground and do a crunch as you bring your knee in toward your chest aiming at the opposite elbow. Fully extend your other leg, pushing your foot against the band.
- Switch sides, rotating across the body and alternating the foot that presses against the band.
- Continue rotating side to side and alternating legs.
Move 4: Dead Bug
- Lie on your back with your knees bent in the air at 90 degrees, looping the resistance band around your feet. Bring your arms straight up in the air above your chest.
- Press and extend your right leg as your left arm extends all the way behind you. Work to get your leg to full extension, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor.
- Bring your leg and arm back to the middle before switching to the other side.
- Continue alternating.
Move 5: Hollow Body Hold
- Lie on your back with your knees bent in the air at 90 degrees. Place the resistance band around your wrists with your arms behind your head.
- Crunch up and push against the band. Make sure that your arms are in line with your ears and your chin is tucked.
- Slowly extend both of your legs, pointing your toes and pressing your legs together. Only extend as low as you can, keeping your lower back on the floor, and continue to maintain tension in the band while holding this position for 30 seconds.
Move 6: Plank With Toe Taps
- Start in a forearm plank with the resistance band around your ankles.
- Holding your body strong, slowly bring the right leg out to the right side, squeezing your glutes as you tap the floor with your foot. Be sure to keep tension in the band and move slowly.
- Return your leg to the center and move your left leg to the left side by engaging your glute muscles.
- Continue alternating.
Move 7: Quadruped Hip Extension
- Place the resistance band just above your knees and get into a tabletop position on all fours.
- With a flexed foot, push one of your legs straight up to the ceiling, maintaining a 90-degree bend in the knee. Try not to shift your weight to one side and engage your core muscles to keep your stomach from sagging.
- Slowly bring your leg back to starting position, then repeat on the same side.
- Continue for 10 to 12 reps, then switch legs.
Move 8: Superman With Pull Down
- With the resistance band around your wrists, lie on your stomach. Press your belly into the ground as you lift the rest of your body up and off the ground.
- As you lift, press your legs together (this will give you an extra inner thigh workout) and pull your elbows down behind your head while keeping tension in the band.
- Slowly bring your arms back to starting position, still maintaining tension in the band, and lower your body back to the floor.