Abs is your storehouse of energy and power, and if you have a strong core, you can stand against the toughest of fitness challenges. Therefore, to help you get going and started, Women Fitness has compiled a set of exercises for a strong ab workout for women.
The most common and most effective core exercise to make it strong is the Plank. What you have to do: Get on the floor, bring yourself up on your forearms, and flex your toes.
Your body should form a straight line. Contract your abs and glutes—tightly. Hold this for 15 seconds, then rest by lowering your knees to the ground for five seconds. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps.
2. Side Plank
Then comes the sister of our plank, the side plank. Begin in high plank position, abs engaged, keeping a straight line from your head to your heels. Keeping abs contracted, slowly transition from plank position to a right side plank. Rotate your body slowly, lifting your left arm off of the ground and placing weight through the palm of your right hand. As you rotate your body, reach straight up or over your head with your left arm, keeping your body in a straight line (your left foot stacked on top of your right to create this line), contracting your abs and pushing through the palm of the hand that is on the ground. Hold this motion for 30 seconds, contracting obliques throughout the entire exercise. Rest and repeat on the other side.
3. Half Crunches
Now this one is a total killer and you will now feel the stretch in your ab muscles. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Now place your hands lightly on either side of your head keeping your elbows in. (Don’t lock your fingers behind your head.) While pushing the small of your back down in the floor to better isolate your abdominal muscles, begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Continue to push down as hard as you can with your lower back as you contract your abdominals and exhale. Then return to the starting position. Repeat it for 30 seconds.
4. Bicycle Crunches
This exercise will work specifically on your obliques. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground (pull your abs down to also target your deep abs). Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows. Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the “pedaling” motion). Do this exercise with slow and controlled motion. Do 10 to 20 reps.
5. Russian Twist
This one is a little advanced so don’t worry it you’re not able to do it. Seated on your exercise mat, gently lean back until the core is activated. Raise feet off the ground. Gently reach around from one side of the body to the other. Ensure core is engaged at all times to avoid overuse. Do 20 reps.
6. Double Crunch
The last one on our list is the double crunch to work on your lower abs. Lie on your back on the floor, raising your arms and legs to a 90-degree angle. Engage your abs to lift both your shoulders and pelvis off the ground. Touch your fingers to your toes. Keeping your core engaged the entire time, slowly lower them back to the starting position to complete one rep. Do 20 reps.