Bungee cords provide elastic resistance to core exercises.
A form of elastic resistance, bungee cords can be purchased by the foot at outlets selling sporting goods. Similar to resistance bands, cords come in various strengths or levels of tension. By using these cords in workouts for your core musculature, you can boost the intensity of the exercises in an inexpensive and efficient way. Perform five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as jogging or stationary cycling, as a warm-up.
Train Your Midsection
Your core muscles consist of your abdominals - rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis and internal and external obliques - as well as the muscles in your lower back and small muscles that run along your spine, or erector spinae. Target different core muscles as well as different regions of one muscle via a variety of exercises with a bungee cord.
For example, while crunches work the upper region of the rectus abdominis - front abdominal wall - reverse crunches put pressure on the lower region. Begin a reverse crunch by looping the bungee cord around a stationary object, such a sofa leg at ankle height. Attach the ends of the cord to your ankles. Lie supine facing the anchor point with your hips flexed at 90 degrees, legs raised and knees bent. Slip a balance disc under your natural curve of your lower back and hips. Exhale and lift your buttocks, leading the upward movement with your heels and contracting your lower abs. Inhale and return to the starting position. Perform four to six reps for three sets.
Rotate and Resist
To build your obliques, or the muscles that run along the sides of your waist, perform a variety of trunk-rotation exercises with a bungee cord, such as standing twists, woodchops, supine side bends or oblique crunches. By doing woodchops, you can target both your front abdominal wall and obliques.
Begin by attaching the end of the cord to stationary object, such as a door, that's higher than your head. Stand sideways with your right side close to the anchor point and far enough away to take out the cord's slack. Position your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. Hold the other end of the cord with both hands, one hand on top of the other as if you're wielding an axe. Exhale and pull the cord down and across your body until your hands reach the outside of your left hip. The motion should resemble the sheathing of a sword. Inhale and return to starting position. Perform eight to 12 reps for one to three sets. Turn around and repeat the exercise on the other side.
Do a Surfer Workout
Between swells, tides and winds, surfers need an iron core for stability. To strengthen their midsection, surfers perform intense core exercises with bungee cords on an exercise ball.
For example, begin a crunch by looping the middle of the cord around a stationary object at the height of your exercise ball. Position the ball far enough away from the anchor point to remove slack from the cord. Lie on your back facing away from the anchor point with your back on the ball and hips hanging off the ball. Bend your knees at 90 degrees with feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your hips, forming a straight line with your body. Hold the ends of the bands with arms fully extended toward the anchor point. Exhale and slowly curl your upper body, drawing your chin to your chest and pulling the bands over your shoulders. Bend your arms and draw your hands to your upper chest. Inhale and uncurl to return to starting position. Perform 25 reps.
Consider Circuit Training
By performing a circuit of resistance exercises with a bungee cord, you can condition your core and other large muscle groups while improving your cardiovascular health and burning calories. Perform a 30-minute circuit with 10 minutes of burpees, five minutes of push-ups, five minutes alternating between 15 reps of rows and 15 reps of squats, five minutes alternating between 15 reps of biceps curls and 15 reps of side raises and five minutes of a standard plank.
You can use elastic resistance to boost the intensity of the rows, squats, curls and side raises. For example, begin squats by looping the cord around a stationary object at waist height. Stand facing the anchor point with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the ends of the bands with arms bent and forearms extended in front of you. Exhale and sink into a squat, bending your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push your hips back as if you intend to sit in an invisible chair. Inhale and return to starting position.