We all want a toned stomach, which is why ab workouts for women are extremely common. However, many women still rely on crunches to get a toned midsection. To get one thing clear, crunching is not the most effective abs workout. In fact, this exercise works only the muscles located on the front and sides of your abdomen. But if you really want female six pack abs, then you need to target all of the muscles in your core. This workout includes targeting muscles in your lower back, hips, and upper thighs.
To get rid of stubborn stomach fat and uncover your amazing abs, you'll have better results with a series of core stabilization exercises. These are based on the training program designed by personal trainer Alwyn Cosgrove, author of the popular book "Get With the Program". Focusing on core exercises such as the plank help to train your midsection muscles to stabilize your spine and pelvis so that you can get get abs while also avoiding back pain and improve your posture at the same time. These key exercises also burn through more calories than crunches alone.
Start with the Side Plank
Any muscle building workouts for women would be incomplete without the side plank. This exercise is more challenging than a traditional plank because you actually have to support your entire body on just two points of contact instead of four. In short, the side plank makes you work your core harder in order to stay stabilized.
To do this exercise, start by laying on your left side. Your elbow should be beneath your shoulder with your legs stacked. Place your right hand on the left shoulder or hip. Tighten your abs and then lift your hips from the floor until you're balancing just on your forearm and feet. Your body should ideally form a diagonal line. Hold this position for up to 45 seconds, or repeat until you've held this position for 45 seconds in total. Switch sides and then repeat.
Walkout from Push-Up Position
This exercise is designed as an integral part of women ab workouts, but actually involves the fully body, using the arms and legs. However, what makes it truly unique is incorporating resistance into the movement to strengthen the entire core. This is an easy exercise to do and it can be adjusted to increase the intensity.
Start in a push-up position and make sure that your hands are two inches outside your shoulders. Walk your hands slowly out as far as you can and then walk them back. Complete this for 10-12 reps and do up to 3 sets if you can. If you find that this exercise is fairly easy, then make it more difficult by lifting one leg a foot or so off the ground before you walk out with your hands.
This is an ab exercise that you may not be familiar with. It uses your entire core muscle group to keep your body stabilized and also burns through a significant number of calories by adding movement to the motion. You'll experience a great mix of cardio, strength training, and stability exercises to get fast results.
To get started, find a stretch of floor where you can move forward 10-20 feet. Grab something that will slide smoothly over the floor without adding friction. Dinner plates or magazines are great for carpeted floor while a towel may be a better option for wood or tile. Start this exercise in a push-up position. Place your feet on the slides, magazine, or towel.
Walk yourself forward using your hands to the end of the runway. Rest for a minute and then repeat the alligator walk back to where you started. This is considered one complete set. Try to complete five in a row, although take breaks if you're having a difficult time and work up to this number.
This exercise tends to be a little awkward to do, but uses most of the muscles in your core. It also strengthens your arm and shoulder muscles, creating a full-body workout in just one simple movement. For this exercise, you'll need a sturdy chair. Start by sitting straight up on the edge of the chair and place your hands on the edge with fingers pointing towards the knees.
Tighten your core and then bring your toes four inches from the floor. Slowly lift your butt off the chair. Hold this position 5-10 seconds and then lower yourself down. After a short pause, repeat 20 times. Do three sets of this exercise and take breaks if you need to change up your routine.
Putting it All Together
All of these exercises are a great way to get a firm core, but you may be tired of working through your set. Ideally, this workout should take anywhere from 20-30 minutes if you take minimal breaks and are able to complete each set. If you're having trouble getting in all of the sets you need, alternate each exercise. As long as you get them into your workout, you can do them in any order that's easiest for you.
Alternate your ab workouts and avoid doing them every day. On the other days of the week, try to get in a light cardio or total body resistance workout. Getting in a good amount of cardio will help you burn through fat stores, which will help increase your appearance of abs. You'll also be increasing your overall fitness, which will help you stay on track.
Complement with Lifestyle
Of course, even the best ab workouts in the world aren't going to give you significant results if you don't also pay attention to your diet and hydration. Eat whole foods as much as possible, with good sources of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and minimizing processed foods. Also, drink plenty of water to flush toxins from your system and get a tighter core appearance. When you change both your diet and amp up your ab workout, you'll see better results much sooner. Follow this workout plan to get a toned core.