I’m a huge fan of resistance bands. They’re light as air, making it easy to take them anywhere, yet they make your muscles burn as if you were lifting heavy weights. Awesome, huh? While there are plenty of different exercises you can do with them, there’s one in particular that really sets my core on fire.
World-class high jumper Bogdan Bondarenko is always sharing the tricks he uses to stay gold-medal fit. (His weighted jump squats are all sorts of difficult.) His amped-up bicycle crunches is a move best represented by a visual of all the fire emojis. Instead of turning your body side to side per usual, you stay flat on your back with your arms straight above you with a resistance band around your hands, and another resistance band around your feet.
As you hold the resistance band tight between your hands, take turns bringing your knees in toward your chest, working against the resistance as you extend and lower your legs until they’re about an inch off the floor. You’ll quickly feel all your muscles fire up—especially your upper back, shoulders, legs, and core, notes Bondarenko. And after a few rounds of the exercise, it’ll be pretty clear why this guy is always taking home awards.
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