Fitness and Training

Best Ab Exercises for Women

If you guessed the abdominals, then you’re correct. The core is what helps promote stability and strength. And for most women looking to tone their physique, this can be a problem area. After all, your stomach is the main area where excess fat is stored.

While there are many exercises that can target your abs, knowing the best ab workouts for women can save you time and effort, ultimately helping you reach your goals in the most effective way possible. Training your abs also transfers to improvements in other activities like running, CrossFit, weightlifting, and just about any other sport you can think of.

If you’re looking to transform your tummy, you’re in luck. We break down our top ab exercises for women below. Any combination of four or five of these 15 exercises can serve as an all-star ab session. Better yet, try performing one set of all fifteen exercises with minimal rest in between for a killer core circuit.

 Best Ab Workouts for Women
Hollow hold
Hip lift
Tabletop crunch and reach
Sit-ups with towel
Flutter kicks
Twisting mountain climber
Lying toe touches
Hip dip plank
Russian twist
Stir the pot
Exercise ball crunch
Side bend
Weighted ball sit-up and throw
1. Hollow Hold

Some exercises don’t require movement at all. Simply staying stationary in an upright position can serve the purpose. The hollow hold is one of those movements that will do just that.

Lie on the floor and straighten your arms behind your head. Contract your abs and bring the shoulders off the floor. The chin should be in towards the chest. Your legs should be elevated but kept straight. The lower back should maintain contact with the floor. Hold this position until you can no longer hold it, or 30 seconds have passed.

Expert tip: If you can go beyond 30 seconds, challenge yourself to hold it as long as you can. Repeat for three sets.

2. Hip Lift
The best ab workouts for women are those that can be performed at home or the gym. And all you need for the hip lift is your body and room to move.

Lie on your back with your legs together but pointed up towards the ceiling. Keep your arms flat to your sides with your palms on the floor. Suck in your stomach as if you want your belly button to touch your spine. Lift your hips off the floor while keeping your legs straight. Lower your hips back down. This is one rep. Repeat for at least 8 reps, or 12 if more advanced.

Expert tip: Hold the top position for five seconds, lower for three seconds, and stop short of the bottom before raising your hips up again. This increases your time under tension, which makes the exercise that much more intense.

3. Tabletop Crunch and Reach
Most crunches keep the focus on the upper abs but doing them in a tabletop style helps engage the lower group as well. The result is a more intense version of a classic exercise.

Lie on your back with your arms raised toward the ceiling. Lift your legs so they are bent at 90 degrees. The thighs should be perpendicular to the floor with the lower legs parallel.

Perform a crunch, lifting your arms out past your knees as if you want to t*   ouch your feet. As you lower yourself down, move your arms so they are behind your head, and straighten out your legs without letting them touch the floor. Perform the next rep by bringing the legs and arms in towards each other. Start out completing 10 reps and increase as you grow stronger.

Expert tip: Try wearing ankle and wrist weights while doing the exercise to add a strength component to the equation.

4. Sit-ups with Towel
Some people have to avoid sit-ups because they believe it leads to back pain. But this towel method helps you focus on the abdominals while minimizing strain on the lower back.

Roll up a mat or towel and place it by your glutes while you’re sitting on the floor. Lie back on the floor so the towel is directly underneath your lower back. Your upper body should be flat, and your legs should either be straight or in a butterfly position with your feet touching, whichever is more comfortable.

5. Flutter Kicks

Start with your hands behind your head. Sit up while bringing your hands up and reaching for your feet. Once you either touch your feet or reach maximal contraction, slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position. Try to go for 15 reps or as many as you can do.

Expert tip: The thicker the towel, the more your abs are extended at the bottom which improves your range of motion. Just don’t make the towel or mat so thick it becomes uncomfortable.

6. Twisting Mountain Climber
The mountain climber is an oldie but a goodie, but the twisting motion is what takes it to the next level. Once you get used to this exercise, you’ll likely keep it in your routine for a long time to come.

Assume the top of a pushup position. Pull one knee into the opposite side of your chest. If you start with the right knee, then pull it up and in towards the left side of your chest. Once you return to the starting position, lift your left knee towards the right side of the chest.

Expert tip: You can place your hands on a higher surface like the edge of a table, so you have more room to lift your leg up. This can also be done by resting your hands on a barbell at hip height in a squat rack.

Source: active

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Nomatriquency is a female character that Lasizwe plays on his YouTube channel. She has become a fan favorite and has bagged an endorsement with Steers. Learn more

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