Forget planks — strengthen and tone your core with just 1 resistance band and these 5 moves

a woman wearing white workout wear stretches a resistance band above her head
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to strengthening your core, one of the best resistance bands can be a game-changer. This handy little exercise tool can offer targeted resistance to help in building strength, definition and stability from the center of your body. 

With just a resistance band, you can effectively engage your core muscles in a variety of challenging exercises designed to enhance strength and endurance. Trainer Cindy Yu, has crafted a focused core-strengthening workout that requires nothing more than one band and five exercises.

When choosing which resistance to work with, opt for a band that provides enough resistance to challenge your core muscles without compromising your form. This session consists of multiple rounds of core-targeting exercises, each lasting for under a minute so give it your all during each rep and remember to engage that core.

What is the banded core workout?

There will be no minute long painful planks in this routine. You just need to spend 30-40 seconds on each exercise and keep that motivation up as there are four to five rounds to complete (the fifth is optional). 

It might be a wise idea to plug in a pair of the best workout buds to keep you entertained as you sweat - after all, there is a whole new Taylor Swift album to carry you through!

You can find a rundown on the exercises below and watch Yu perform each move.

  1. Glute Bridge Abduction Cross Crunch: 30-40 secs
  2. Banded Kick Out: 30-40 secs
  3. Abduction Ab Crunch: 30-40 secs
  4. Banded Bicycle Abs: 30-40 secs
  5. Leg Drop Abduction: 30-40 secs

Each exercise in Yu's short routine targets different aspects of core strength, providing a complete workout that engages various muscle groups around the abdomen, lower back, and hips. 

This banded circuit promotes functional core strength that translates into improved stability and balance in daily activities and in other forms of exercise such as running or weight lifting. Exercises like the Glute Bridge Abduction Cross Crunch and Banded Kick Outs challenge not only the abdominal muscles but also the glutes and hip abductors. 

Working with a resistance band in your core training adds an extra layer of challenge to traditional ab exercises, increasing resistance throughout the entire range of motion. This heightened resistance helps to activate deeper core muscles, including the transverse abdominis and obliques, which help your midsection to maintain proper posture and spinal alignment.

Another advantage of this resistance band core workout is its versatility and accessibility. With just a resistance band and a few feet of space, you have the freedom to perform the entire routine virtually anywhere, making it an ideal option for those who prefer to exercise at home or while traveling. 

Fancy giving it a go? Grab a band and see how many rounds you manage.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.