6 Resistance Band Exercises That Will Absolutely Smoke Your Core

Sara Lindberg
Photo credit: Julia Hembree Smith
Photo credit: Julia Hembree Smith

From Bicycling

While most of us would rather be out on our bikes, we know that cross-training is an important aspect of staying healthy and riding well. From squatting and deadlifting to increasing upper body strength, building strength leads to better performance on the bike and reduces your risk of overuse injuries from regular cycling.

And while your legs play a major role in propelling you up huge climbs, it’s actually your core muscles that really kick in for extra power. And to really take your core work up a notch, even without access to a gym, you can add resistance band ab workouts to your training arsenal.

“The key to becoming a stronger, more resilient cyclist, is to strengthen your core,” explains avid mountain biker and fitness instructor, Hollis Tuttle, lead instructor at CITYROW in New York City. Since your core transfers forces between your extremities, Tuttle says it must be solid and stable before any powerful movement like a pedal stroke can occur. “Having a stronger core will allow you to transfer more power through the legs, improve posture, and reduce the risk of injury.”

To help with that power transfer, Tuttle created a workout with six core-smoking resistance band ab exercises you can do. What makes these core exercises so effective is they also challenge other parts of your body, too. You’ll build strength in your chest, shoulders, back, and glutes as well.

[Want to fly up hills? Climb! gives you the workouts and mental strategies to conquer your nearest peak.]

How to do this workout: Review the exercises below. Each is demonstrated by Lindsey Clayton, certified trainer and instructor at Barry’s RIDE in New York City, so you can learn the proper form. Select a long band that feels challenging but allows you to maintain your form. If your form starts to fall apart, swap your band out for a one with less resistance.

Complete 2 rounds of 10 reps of the following 6 exercises. As you become stronger, increase the number of rounds to 3 and then 4. Perform this workout once or twice each week.

Pallof Press

Secure the band to an anchor point at chest level. Stand next to to the anchor point so it is on your right side, keeping band at chest height and taut when pulled straight out in front of chest. Secure feet hip-width apart and soften knees. Keeping torso still, push band away from your chest with both hands. Keep core tight to resist rotating towards the anchor point. Return starting position. Complete 10 reps. Position yourself so band is on your left side, and perform another 10 reps.

Single-Arm Row

Face the anchor point and line up your left shoulder with the band. Secure feet hip-width apart, soften knees, and hinge hips back slightly. Keeping torso still and shoulders square, pull band toward rib cage, driving left elbow straight back. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and perform another 10 reps.

Single-Arm Press

Face away from the anchor point and line up right shoulder with the band. Secure feet hip-width apart and soften knees. Keeping torso upright and still, push band away from rib cage without rotating chest. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and perform another 10 reps.

Banded High-Plank Row

Establish a high plank with head pointing toward the anchor point. Line up left shoulder with band. Secure feet hip-width apart and tighten lower body. Keeping torso still and parallel to the floor, hold band in one hand, and pull band to rib cage without opening hips up. Return to starting position. Complete 10 reps. Change arms and perform another 10 reps.

Glute Bridge

Lie faceup with head pointing toward the anchor point. Holding on to the band with both hands, pull it straight out over chest. Arms should be straight and shoulder width apart so that you feel tension on the band. Tuck pelvis and draw ribs in to flatten back to floor. Keeping spine straight, push hips up, and lower back down. Complete 10 reps.

Dead Bug


Lie faceup with head pointing toward the anchor point. Holding on to the band with both hands, pull it straight out over chest. Arms should be straight and shoulder width apart so that you feel tension on the band. Tuck pelvis and draw ribs in to flatten back to floor. Bring knees over hips and flex feet. Keeping back on the floor, tap alternating heels on the floor. Complete 10 reps per leg.

GIFS by Julia Hembree Smith

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