6 Best Banded Core Exercises
Working abs and trunk stability is one of the most pivotal points behind being a world-class athlete. Watch any of the best athletes in any sport in the world and notice how effective their dynamic trunk control executes. They can run very rapidly without losing their posture. They are able to control their gut and their trunk through various different positions.
It is okay to isolate the abs. It is very effective to isolate the abs. But we need to start to utilize different means of resistance. Meaning it isn’t just utilizing bodyweight or doing just a plank, but doing a plank and a dynamic motion, or completing different weighted positions or hanging positions. We start to work through different ranges so then when we transfer over to do compound movements or speed work, we can feel it transfer more effectively because we are training from a global perspective.
Training the abs with a band forces different coordination pathways. It takes the abs and coordinates them with the lats, lower back, hips, or other muscles.
6 & 5. Banded Hollow Body Rocks Super-Setted With Banded Bicycles
With the hollow body rocks, we want to really focus on pushing the belly into the floor. Think about the lumbar spine pushing into the floor as hard as possible. Then as the band starts to pull the body back towards the rack where the band is anchored, we want to squeeze and bring the movement back up top. We really like to focus on having a slight pause at the top position of the rock.
The hollow position is really great for helping with any lower back pain and correcting an anterior pelvic tilt. Do the banded hollow body rocks for eight to ten reps.
Now we like to go right into banded bicycles because the most effective means of training abs as an athlete is doing movements over a long period of time (a long duration) or through very explosive work. This tandem of banded hollow body rocks in conjunction with banded bicycles is a really long set. It fatigues the muscles greatly and that ends up forcing higher levels of coordination which in turn leads to better output from the gut. Now when doing different athletic movements, the body can handle the movements better when fatigued.
Like the hollow body rocks, do eight to ten reps. The goal is to be under tension between the two movements anywhere from one minute to ninety seconds. Three to five sets will be plenty of work.
4 & 3. Alternating V-Ups Super-Setted With Rotating Lunge And Hold
With the alternating v-up, we want to see one leg stay down and the other leg raise. The arm opposite of the leg raising needs to bring the elbow towards the knee or the hand towards the foot.
The reason why this is challenging is that any athlete who really favors one side over the other will be able to feel the body rotating the wrong way on the floor. Because of this, we recommend doing the weak side of the body first to train the body to coordinate the gut more effectively. Try to hit ten reps of this movement before proceeding to the second movement in this tandem.
Now after this movement we want to rest for about a minute and then go into the rotating lunge into a hold. We like this movement because it is a compound movement. It helps with anti-rotation. This is a movement that helps increase striking speed as well as helping absorbing forces from various sides. When the body rotates and lunges, we will feel the trunk coordination into the feet.
This is a key concept: we want to train the abs from an isolated perspective with the band, but we also want to train the abs with the band when doing compound movements. Using the PowerLastic band really targets the trunk throughout the lunge position. It is a really unique method of isolating the abs while teaching the hips, lower back, and glutes to fire together. Like the previous movement, perform in the neighborhood of ten reps to each side. This exercise is great for pitchers, cricketers, and throwers.
2 & 1. Standing Push Down And Hold Super-Setted With Banded Chinese Side Bends
We stole the side bends from the Chinese Olympic weightlifting team. We spoke with a female coach who spoke clear English and she told us is that training the obliques and side abs in conjunction with the lats will increase stability in an overhead position. This concept works for pitchers, volleyball players, tennis players, basketball players, and any sport where the arms go overhead.
Training the obliques in conjunction with the lats, IT band, into the glutes, even into the quads a little bit, and with a focus on the feet gripping the floor we will be able to take the Chinese side bend and apply it directly to sport to have a better overhead position. Do this movement for fifteen to twenty reps to each side.
Now super-setting this movement with pushdown and hold forces an extremely strong movement that forces the body to squeeze through the abs while also utilizing the hamstrings to hold the body in place. Do this movement for at least ten reps or more.
These two movements in conjunction help with sports performance and help to isolate the trunk and abs while still using the muscles synergistically with the posterior chain and quads and simultaneously train core stability.
These movements not only isolate the trunk and abs, they sneakily train overall core stability in conjunction with multiple muscles. They create greater proprioception throughout the body by targeting the abs while at the same time performing movements of a compound nature. This is a way to train the abs in a very unique fashion. The best part about training in such a unique fashion is that the exercises transfer to sport incredibly well. Go and try a pairing of the movements and let us know how it goes.
Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.