Ab Workout for Women

Just like any other exercise, abdominal muscle workouts are equally essential for maintaining the shape of your body too. In general, ab workout for women can be very stressful or critical as compared to men because women tend to possess more body fats. These workouts may include several types of crunches, kicks, etc.

Woman working out in fresh air

Target of Ab Exercises

Ab workouts or exercises are beneficial for every woman regardless of the age because belly fat is that kind of problem which is very common especially in women. Now most of you would think that ‘do ab workouts burn belly fat?’ The answer is Yes because the affect of these exercises is majorly on the stability and firmness of abdominal muscles.

Abdominal muscles or abs are considered as the core or center of your body as it is involved in every single movement of your body. The usual foremost exercises required for the core target four abdominal muscles of your body, including:

  1. External abdominal obliques, are the muscles in each side of your body starting from just beneath your arm continuing along your rib cage.

  2. Internal abdominal obliques, lies below the external abdominal obliques and are the stabilizing muscles.

  3. Transversus Abdominus, are the transverse muscles running around the midsection of the abdomen. They are also the deepest muscles of the core.

  4. Rectus Abdominus, are the most superficial muscles of the core and has the action of flexing the spine. It is visible in the six packs.

Exercises of Abs for Women

In order to achieve your purpose of having all four abdominal muscles toned, you should choose any five exercises from the following which you have to practice for three to five times a week. Following are the best ab exercises for women:

1. Table Top Crunch

The table top crunch is an addition to the traditional crunch exercises and can be practiced by performing the following steps:

  • Lay on your back with your knees bent at a right angle. Put your hands behind your head.

  • Perform a crunch by bending your head forward towards the stomach.

  • Try to keep your knees still in the bended position just like a table top.

  • Repeat this as much as you can to pressurize your core.

2. Plank

This type is very common and most practiced exercise among women. It can be done in various ways, but the choice of it also depends on the firmness of your muscles. In this exercise your arms and legs are used to increase the resistivity and intensity. General steps of this exercise include:

  • Placing your elbow or sometimes palms flat on the floor such as your arms are in line with your shoulders.

  • Similarly extend your legs backward with your toes touching the ground and bearing your weight.

  • Tighten your core and back. Do not bend them.

  • This placement will make your body look like a straight line and in plank position.

A woman in Plank Position

Bear Crawl:
Bear plank is also similar type of position, the only difference is that your body is bend like a bear instead of being extended. By placing yourself in a bear like position but knees off from the floor, move your body forward by lifting one of your arm and leg (opposite) and moving them forward (bear walk) on the ground. Then repeat the same movement backward.

This same crawling can be done laterally i.e. moving your body side by side, it is called as ‘Lateral Bear Walk’.

One Leg Plank:
This can be considered as more challenging form of plank as it involves lifting up one of your leg in the plank position for about 5 - 10 seconds. Then repeating it with the other leg too.

Alligator Drag:
This specific kind of drag also begins with the plank position. While in plank, move or crawl forward by using force of your hands and dragging your feet along with it. Then crawl back to the starting position just like an alligator. For this workout you will need extra space and something soft to be placed beneath your feet as you would be dragging them on the floor.

Swiss Ball Plank:
Swiss ball is very efficient tool in building up your abdominal muscles and to maintain the stability of your muscles. Doing plank on this tool can be really helpful for your core.

  • Put your elbows on the ball and toes on the ground making yourself in a plank position.

  • Attentively move the ball forward and backward extending your body and bringing it back in the position

  • Resist your hips from moving and repeat it for 30 sec.

Crawl Out:
This include standing on your feet and bending your hips so that your palms are pressed flat on the ground. In such position start crawling out without moving your legs so that you can reach the pushup position. Similarly, return to the original position by reversing the whole method. Inch your hands a little too backward so that your hips are pushed forward. Repeat the procedure again.

3. Side Plank

The side plank usually target the obliques and can be performed by following the below mentioned steps, accurately:

Woman doing side plank

  • Initiate from your left side, with your elbow directly under your shoulder, your forearm flat on the floor and your legs extended making your body perpendicular to the forearm.

  • Place your feet in front of one another.

  • Engage your core and lift your hips up from the ground making a diagonal or a right angle triangle with the ground.

  • Stay in this position for 30 to 40 seconds.

  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side too.

If you have enough control over your body or your muscles are strong then you can also practice this exercise only with the force of your palms.

4. Reverse Crunch

This type of exercise is good for the rectus abdominus specifically and can be carried out in two different ways:

Method no. 1:

  • Take a seat on a solid thing such as a wooden chair or a table, with you knees bent at 90 degree and feet flat on the ground.

  • Straight your arms forward with palms facing each other.

  • Take a deep breath to straighten your spine, pulling your belly button towards it.

  • Exhale, and bend your spine in a C-shape.

  • Repeat the inhaling and exhaling procedure to complete up to 15 reverse crunches.

A woman doing reverse crunch

Method no. 2:

  • Lay flat on your back on to the ground or any smooth surface.

  • Lift your thighs up making it perpendicular to your body, with your knees slightly bent.

  • Put the pressure on your back and bent or curl your knees towards your chest.

  • By doing so, lift your hips off the ground so that only your upper body would be in touch with the surface.

  • Repeat the same procedure for approx. half a minute.

5. Boat or Half Boat Pose

The main focus of this boat or half boat pose is the lower abs or tail bone. This exercise depends on the firmness of this bone.

Boat Pose Method:

  • Sit in an upright position with your knees bent and feet pressed flat on the floor.

  • Lean a little back, by putting pressure on your tail bone.

  • Stretch your legs out in the front by balancing yourself, in such a way that your body will form a V shape.

  • Extend your arm with palms up.

  • Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat.

Woman doing boat pose method

Half Boat Pose Method:

  • Sit straight on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on it.

  • Balance on your tail bone and extend your knees up in the air such that it make 90 degree angle.

  • Lower your body slowly such that your lower muscle and middle body are touching the floor but your head shoulders and legs remain suspended in the air.

  • Move back to the initial position and then repeat again.

Summary:
No matter which exercise of abs you choose, you should engage your core in it to tighten your muscles. The foremost thing is to do it regularly or frequently in a week. Because abs are the core of your body which defines your personality.

Ab Exercises for Beginner:

Not every woman is comfortable with doing the usual ab workout, some who are new may feel quite uncomfortable or difficult to follow the instructions and rules of exercises. Therefore for such beginners, following are the simple workouts which you may find easy other than the above mentioned exercises:

1. Bird Dog Crunch:
This is the most basic exercise which helps in tightening of your core or you can say making it ready to endure further pressure. It involves following steps:

  • Put your palms and your knees on the ground just like a dog position. Your shoulders should be straight and hips in line with the knees.

  • Extend your right arm forward in line with your shoulder and your left leg straight backward in line with your hip, in such a way that your body seems to be in a straight line.

  • Bend your leg and your arm so that your left knee touches the right elbow under the stomach.

  • Extend again and then return to the starting position. Repeat same procedure on the other side.

  • Do this exercise at least 5 times on each side

2. Standing Bicycle Crunches:
At times the traditional usual crunches can cause discomfort but this type of bicycle crunch can be easy for a beginner. It includes:

  • Stand on your feet with a little distance apart (hip-width) and your back straight.

  • Put your hands behind your head to tighten your core and relax your shoulders.

  • Lift your right leg, raise your knee and make its contact with your left elbow by bending it downward

  • Reverse your position and then continue it on the other side. Repeat it for 5 times.

3. Seated Lift Legs:
This workout might not be very easy as it may make you feel burn even after a few reps. The steps are:

  • Sit on the ground with your legs spread straight out in the front

  • Lean a little back so that you can put your palms on the ground

  • Take a deep breath and lift your leg up, about 6 inches off the ground, and hold on to 5 seconds.

  • Repeat it with other leg, continue doing this for one minute

  • Take a break for 20 sec then restart for five rounds at least.

4. Sit Ups:

  • To initiate this, lay on the ground with your knees bent and heels touching the floor.

  • Put your hands behind your head and relax your back and shoulders

  • Lay back on the ground as far as you can and then sit back up in the same position without moving the legs.

  • Continue for one whole minute and then again start after 20 sec break.

5. Spider Plank Crunch:
Still have your stamina left? You may want to try spider plank crunch which is a bit difficult as compared to other beginner exercises.

  • Put yourself in a push-up position with your hands on the ground underneath your shoulder and legs stretched out backward with toes on the ground.

  • Lift your right leg up and touch the right elbow with your knee.

  • Return to the push-up position then do the same thing with left leg

  • Perform 5 reps with each leg.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most effective ab exercises?

According to the research, the most effective and best ab exercises are:

  1. Bicycle Crunches
  2. Captains Chair
  3. Crunches on an Exercise Ball

Other than these top 3, following exercises can also be done for abdominal muscles but they show less effectivity:

  1. Vertical Leg Crunch
  2. Torso Track
  3. Long Arm Crunch

How can I tone my stomach after 50?

Toning stomach can be a very difficult thing to do even at a young age. And if you’re above 50 then it can be way more strenuous then you think. The four major rules to flatten your abs at or after 50 includes:

  1. Decrease the body fat
  2. Standing with your posture in line
  3. Tighten your muscles by doing exercises such as heel taps, lying flutter kicks, seated pull-ins, etc.
  4. Accept your basic body shape because this is something which you cannot control

Does Walk reduce belly fat?

Yes walking reduces the fat as it is also an exercise. And by doing exercises, calories are burned and body fat percentage reduces which means that by running or walking not only belly fat is reduced but fat from other areas is also reduced. Most of all the only equipment you need in this worth doing exercise is a nice pair of shoes :athletic_shoe:.

Conclusion

Ab workout for women is as necessary as for men. If you are a beginner you can easily initiate with simple crunch exercises or you can decrease the time limit of any exercise. Because time period doesn’t matter it only depends upon your muscular strength and stamina.

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