Exercise regularly and your stomach will become flat, and the silhouette – attractive.
Some women want to see the definition of the abdominal muscles, while to others it does not seem quite feminine. And although the listed goals may seem opposite, they have one common characteristic: the developed abdominal muscles as the opposite of a flabby stomach. Thus, whatever is your goal, you will have to work hard on your abdominals.
There are exercises aimed at training the oblique muscles of the abdomen, but we did not consider them in this article since we do not recommend them for women. We explain this by the fact that pumping oblique muscles of the abs and having a spectacular figure is obtained only by professional athletes who, as a rule, use pharmacology to gain muscle mass and reduce body fat. To an average woman, exercises on the oblique muscles of the abdomen will bring only the effect of increasing the waist. Keep this in mind if you decide to train your obliques.
The 5 Best Ab Exercises for Women
For the maximum effect, do any two exercises from the list in 4 sets of 12-20 repetitions. Change the exercises for each workout to diversify your training and prevent the muscles from getting used to the same workout.
1. Floor Crunches
Crunches are the most popular exercises for training abdominal muscles. Its trick lies in the fact that it does not require any additional equipment – so you can safely carry it out both at home and in the gym. Many do this exercise incorrectly, lifting their backs off the floor and lifting the entire body up. The strength of the muscles of the press does not become stronger when you do this movement.
With the right technique, this exercise is performed as follows: lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your hands behind your head (if not using weights). Twist while tearing the shoulder blades off the floor, while not lowering the lower back from the floor. If you feel that the exercise is too easy for you, use extra weight, such as a weight plate or dumbbell. Hold the weight with your arms crossed over your chest.
2. Decline Sit-Ups
Decline Sit-Ups is a well-known exercise for training the abs. Unlike classic crunches on the floor, this exercise is performed at an angle and is more effective.
Technique of the exercise:
Lie on an inclined bench and fix your legs under the special rollers. As you exhale, lift the body up. On exhale, return to the starting position.
Experienced athletes perform body raises with an additional weight (weight plate on the chest), which further strengthens the muscles of the abs. We recommend using weights only if you can easily perform at least 20 repetitions without using weights.
3. Rope Crunches
This is really a very good exercise for an effective abs workout, but for some reason very few do it. Today, every fitness club has a top block exercise machine, so we recommend that you pay attention to this wonderful exercise.
Grab the handle of the top block and kneel down about a meter away from the treadmill. Now do the twisting down, which in movement resembles a prayer. When lifting the body up, do not relax the abdominal muscles and do the exercise at a slow pace.
4. Hanging Leg Raises
Another exercise to train your abs. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that the burden is shifted to the lower abdomen. And although during its execution the entire rectus abdominal muscle works, nevertheless, the emphasis is shifted to its lower part.
There are two options for performing this exercise (we do not take into account twisting to the sides for oblique muscles): lifting straight and lifting bent legs at the knees. When lifting straight legs, the straight muscles of the hips and tensioners of the wide fascia work. When lifting the legs bent at the knees – the rectus abdominal muscle work.
To perform the exercise, hang on the bar, holding it with a medium or wide grip. Raise your legs (straight or bent at the knees) to form a right angle between them and the body. Return to starting position.
5. Incline Bench Reverse Crunch
This exercise, like the previous one, works the lower abs. Lay your back on an inclined bench, holding your hands on its upper part. Tightening the abs, tear off your legs from the floor and lift them, while lifting your hips and pelvis from the bench. On exhale, return to the starting position.
Abdominal exercises can be performed at the beginning or the end of a workout. If you do them at the end of a workout, you do not need to warm up separately. If you start your workout with abdominal exercises, follow at least one easy twisting approach before moving on to more intense, heavy weights.