The 5 Hardest Ab Exercises You Can Do With a Mini Band

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Make sure you keep your hips lifted during the resisted side plank.
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com

Although they're commonly known as booty bands, mini resistance bands are much more versatile. There's no shortage of ways you can make your workouts a little bit more tricky with a mini band. And now, you can add them to your ab workouts, too.

Give your core a real challenge with five of the hardest mini band ab exercises.

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The Best Mini Bands

  • Fantadool Resistance Bands (Walmart.com, $6.58)
  • Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands (Amazon.com, $7.95)
  • Jooan Indoor Outdoor Exercise Band (Walmart.com, $12.89)

1. Resisted Bicycle Crunch

1. Resisted Bicycle Crunch
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Loop a mini resistance band around the balls of your feet.
  2. Lie flat on your back on the ground with your hands behind your ears.
  3. Raise your shoulders and legs a few inches off the floor. This is the starting position.
  4. On an exhale, drive your left knee toward your right elbow.
  5. Touch the two together and return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat with your right knee and left elbow.
  7. Continue alternating sides.

Tip

If you can't touch your knee to elbow, get as close as you can with good form, says Cameron Yuen, DPT, a New York-based physical therapist. Also, feel free to pause and rest your legs and shoulders on the ground between reps if needed.

2. Resisted Mountain Climber

2. Resisted Mountain Climber
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Full Body
  1. With a mini resistance band around the balls of your feet, come into a high plank, shoulders in line with your palms. This is your starting position
  2. On an exhale, drive your right knee up toward your chest.
  3. Return to the starting position.
  4. Drive your left knee to chest.
  5. Return to the starting position.
  6. Continue alternating sides with control.

3. Resisted Side Plank Leg Lift

3. Resisted Side Plank Leg Lift
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Full Body
  1. Loop a mini band around your ankles.
  2. Lie on your left side with your feet stacked, left forearm on the ground.
  3. Raise your hips off the ground, balancing on your forearm and the outer edge of your left foot. This is the starting position.
  4. Lift your right leg up with control, keeping your back in line with your hips.
  5. Bring the leg back down.
  6. Do all your reps here, then switch sides.

4. Resisted Flutter Kick

4. Resisted Flutter Kick
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Loop a mini band around your ankles and lie on your back, arms at your sides and palms down.
  2. Lift your legs a few inches off the ground.
  3. Raise your right foot an inch or two toward the ceiling.
  4. Simultaneously, lower your left foot an inch or two toward the ground.
  5. Then, swap sides, raising the right foot and lowering the left.
  6. Flutter your legs up and down in a scissoring motion with control.

Tip

To make this exercise less difficult, you can place your palms under your butt for extra stability.

5. Resisted Toe Touch

5. Resisted Toe Touch
Image Credit: Cameron Yuen/LIVESTRONG.com
Activity Resistance Band Workout
Region Core
  1. Loop a resistance band around your ankles.
  2. Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight up to the ceiling, arms at your sides.
  3. Spread your feet a few inches apart and hold this position, maintaining tension in the band.
  4. Raise your hands up and tap your toes, lifting your shoulder blades off the ground.
  5. Lower back down to the ground with control and repeat.

Tip

You can tap your shins if getting all the way to your toes isn't available to you, Yuen says.

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