Ladies, you are just as concerned about your abdominal muscles as men, and with good reason.
You are undoubtedly aware that women tend to accumulate fat deposits over the abdomen and thighs as they age, and you can fight these off. But take the time to learn a few facts before you get started.
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Moderated and Sustained Training
You’ll be relieved to learn that with these ab workouts for women you do not need to do thousands of ab crunches per week to get a flat and toned stomach.
This is true for men, and it’s true for women. We want to reassure you that abdominals don’t need to be over-trained. Working out the abs three times a week is more than enough.
As Years Goes By
Even slender women will notice a thickening waistline around the menopause years. There’s a reason for that. Doctors tell us that when you’re younger, the fat on your lower body and thighs lays between the abdomen and the skin; it’s called subcutaneous fat.
As we age, the fat deposits creep upward on the body and wrap around our internal organs. This kind of fat is called visceral fat, and its presence is a strong indicator for risk of diabetes or heart attack. Specially designed ab workouts for women have proven to counteract this evolution to accumulate visceral fat.
Ab Workouts for Women – Keep It Simple!
As you begin your ab workouts for women, remember that you are not just working on abs—you’re also concentrating on the visceral fat.
And you don’t have to buy high-tech equipment to exercise the abs. Just remember the fundamentals and expend more calories than you consume.
Doing simple and regular ab exercises is the way to go. Choose from the list below the routines that suit you. Stick with the basics!
Ab Workouts for Women – The Works
Abdominal Crunches (click for animated illustration):
Lie down on your back and pull your knees toward your chest. Your shoulder blades will not be touching the mat.
Don’t put your hands behind your head, as you were probably told years ago in gym class; make fists and keep them pressed on your collarbone (or right above your stomach). Raise your shoulders upward until your elbows touch your knees. Go back but do not let your shoulders touch the mat. Repeat rapidly; you should be counting one-and-two-and-three, and so forth; go for as many as you can. No need to count the number of repetitions when doing abs. Always do your abs until complete muscle failure.
Abdominal Bike Crunches (click for animated illustration):
You crunch up and twist so that your right elbow reaches toward your left knee—as you do this, your right leg is extended.
Then you switch very rapidly so that your left elbow reaches your right knee with your left leg extended. Your legs pump as if you were on a bike and you continue to twist your upper abdomen so that your elbows reach your knees. Do this exercise with vigor for thirty seconds. Make certain that you are actually twisting and reaching with your elbows; some people just roll from side to side, and this doesn’t work the abs. If you start to roll from side to side too much and feel off balance – then slow down. This is a great exercise for your obliques and if you do it right it hits side abs (obliques) really well.
Exercise Ball Crunches (click for animated illustration):
Have you worked with a stability ball? They’re marvelous, especially if you’ve had knee surgery and you can’t get up and down off the floor easily.
Sit on the ball, and then scoot your butt forward until it rests just on the edge of the ball. As you lean back, your lower and middle back will rest on the ball; your upper back and shoulders will not touch it. Clasp your hands behind your head and crunch back up.
Do these a little slower than the abdominal crunches and bike crunches. Try doing them in eight sets of eight, and then add some sets in which you twist to the right, and then to the left
Exercise Ball Leg/Knee Tuck (click for animated illustration)
For these, you will support your shoulders with your hands on the mat while your feet rest on the stability ball.
Bend your knees up toward your chest, and the ball will move forward. Once your knees have just about reached your chest, straighten your legs back out.
This is an advanced exercise and we suggest giving it a try only after you have worked your abs with the other exercises listed here. If you can master this exercise ball knee/leg tuck exercise you will truly be able to hit your abs in ways you never imagined.
This exercise is performed in Pilates classes and is most definitely one of the more effective abs workouts. It engages your abdominal muscles from all sides due to the fact that you need to balance yourself during the entire range of motion/movement.
Floor Crunch Stomach Exercises (click for animated illustration)
Lie on your back with feet up on a bench or exercise ball; in fact, your feet should hang over the other side of the bench if you are using one.
If your feet are on the ball just rest your legs (calves) on top of the the ball comfortably.
Put your fingertips on each side of your face near your temples. If your neck starts to hurt after a few reps put your hand behind your head. Crunch upward by raising your shoulders until your elbows get close to your waist. Hold your position for a second, and then reverse. Never let your shoulder blades touch the mat; and as you progress, the longer you hold your position, the more benefit you will reap.
Ab Workouts for Women – Some Final Tips
With these ab workouts for women as with any exercises, remember to stretch before and after your session to maintain good flexibility. Do your cardio workout before your ab exercises.
In fact, you can divide your cardio routine into segments and work on your abs between the cardio segments. This is a way to use interval training for maximum calorie burn.