Resistance bands are adjustable bands of thin, stretchy rubber available in different resistances, or strengths. These bands are found in sporting good stores, through your personal trainer, a physical therapist or online. You want to remember color when purchasing a band. With resistance bands, color means band strength. The lighter the color, the easier it will be to use during exercise. Likewise, the darker the band, the more resistance it will provide. When exercising with resistance bands, regardless ofyour starting resistance, you can target your abs.
Loop the resistance band around each hand and get into a plank position. Reach one arm out, feeling the resistance. Take the same hand, reach it to the side and back toward its matching thigh. Repeat two times for each hand alternating for three sets in all.
Tightly tie or fasten one end of your resistance band to a doorknob or immovable object and take hold of the opposite end. Stand tall and face away from the door so the resistance band is at your side. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your abs tight and breathe in. Breathe out as you pull the resistance band across your body. Let your upper body do all the work. Breathe in as you finish the move, taking the resistance band back to the starting position. To add difficulty, try standing on one leg during this exercise.
Attach one end of your resistance band to a door or immovable object and the other end to an ankle. Select the ankle that is away from the object to which you chose to tie the band. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and tighten your abs. Breathe in while balancing on your untied foot, then slowly breathe out while kicking the other foot to the side. Lower your foot when the resistance becomes uncomfortable by breathing in and slowly bringing your foot to the floor. Repeat and switch legs once your muscles tire of this action.
- Use a chair or stable surface for support if you feel unstable. Start with a low-resistance strength and work up in intensity to reduce your risk of injury.
- Stop exercising if you experience pain while performing the resistance band workout. Your physician should evaluate pain that is not relieved with over-the-counter pain medication or rest.
Having studied at two top Midwestern universities, Catherine Field holds degrees in professional writing and patient safety. Writing since 2000, Field has worked with regional newspapers while publishing fiction online. She conducts medical communication research at a Midwestern medical institution and is slated to write a book based on her research findings.