Best Ab Workouts for Women: Good Routines, Great Results
Nothing is sexier than a flat, toned stomach. But are washboard abs achievable for the everyday woman? Of course! With the right nutrition plan and some toning, you’ll be on your way to rocking those string bikinis and crop tops all year long.
How to Lose Stomach Fat Fast
Six pack abs are made in the kitchen. If you are serious about blasting stomach fat and toning your muscles, you need to change your diet. There are no magic pills and it’s not going to happen overnight, but if you follow this program, this is how to get abs, women!
The best way to get a flat stomach is to ditch the junk food. That means alcohol, soda, and foods high in sugar and carbs. Your new best friend is water and you’ll be drinking a lot of it. Water is essential to flush water and toxins from your body. Water has a powerful dual purpose in your diet, it keeps you full longer and it accelerates the flushing of fat from your system.
In order for your ab muscles to show, you need to drop your body fat percentage to about 16-19%. This means no more junk food. Clean out the fridge and fill it with healthy, belly slimming foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables lean meats, and nuts. Focus on eating between 5-6 small meals throughout the day.
Each meal should contain a lean protein, like chicken, fish, eggs, or a protein shake. You should aim to eat at least 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. Vegetables, especially dark leafy greens, are an important part of your diet as they are low in calories and high in nutrients. Reduce your intake of saturated fats, but increase your intake of good fats with foods like fish, avocado, and nuts and seeds.
To lose fat quickly, keep a food journal of everything you eat. Not only does a food journal help you track your food consumption, it can help you identify bad habits and identify how much food you are eating. If keeping a journal isn’t your style, try one of the of the great apps out there. MyFitnessPal let’s you not only track your calories, but your activity levels too. To lose one pound a week, you should be eating about 1500 calories a day. Start with your diet and you’ll start to see definition in no time.
Ab Exercises for Women to Get a Beautiful, Toned Stomach
You can’t achieve a muscular stomach without exercise. Cardio will help expedite the fat loss process. Skip the hour long run on the treadmill and focus on 15-20-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. You’ll burn just as many calories in a shorter amount of time leaving more time to cook a healthy dinner.
Once you finish your cardio, it’s time to hit the mat to work that core. Your six-pack ab muscles include your Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, and the External and Internal Obliques. While you only really see the Rectus Abdominis, it is important to work all your core muscles for strength and stability.
Ask some trainers how to get a flat stomach, and they will tell you lots of crunches. But, crunches can hurt your back and neck if you’re not careful and really are not that effective. Skip the crunches and focus on these following ab strengthening exercises:
Barbell Squats – Stand in a squat rack beneath a loaded barbell (or just the barbell if you’re new to weighted squats). Position the bar across your upper back and shoulders, grasping it with a comfortable overhand grip. Unrack the bar and take a couple of steps back to clear the rack. Place your feet shoulder-width apart, bracing your core, stiffening your torso and looking straight ahead. Slowly lower into a squat until your thighs reach parallel or beyond. Press through your heels to return to the staring position. Avoid lifting your heels or rounding your back during the movement.
Hanging leg raises – Hang from a fixed bar such as a pull-up bar. Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly lift your legs up until your body forms an L-shape. Pause for a count, then slowly lower your legs. If you are unable to lift your legs while straight, bend your legs and lift your knees upward — try to get them higher than waist-high to engage your abs.
Inchworm to plank to side plank – Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Bend at the hips and lower your hands to the floor. Bracing your abs, slowly walk your hands away from your feet until you are in the plank position. Hold the plank for 10 seconds. Rotate your body to the right to perform a side plank for 10 seconds, rotate your body to the left for a second side plank. Hold for 10 seconds then transition back to plank position and slowly walk your hands back to the starting position.
Stability ball roll out – Kneel in front of a stability ball with your knees hip-width apart and place your forearms on top of a stability ball with your hands clasped in a loose fist. Lean your weight onto the ball, brace your core and slowly roll the ball away from your body by straightening your arms. Extend as far as you can without allowing your hips to drop or your lower back to hyperextend. Pause, then bend your elbows to roll the ball back toward your body.
Boat pose – Begin by sitting on the floor with your back flat, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms along the side of your legs so that your fingers are pointing at the wall in front of you. Contract your abs, straighten your back and lean your torso back about forty-five degrees. Hold this position for 30 seconds. For a greater challenge, lift your feet off the floor and adjust your shins until they are parallel to the floor. Balance on your bottom while you hold the boat pose.
Russian twists – Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Clasp your hands in front of your chest or, for a greater challenge, hold a med ball or weight plate. Lean your torso back about forty-five degrees, brace your abs and, keeping your back flat, begin to slowly twist from side-to-side moving through your full range of motion. Keep your feet anchored to the floor throughout the exercise.
Start training your abs 3-4 days per week with no or light weights. As you gain strength, you can start to add weights or more advanced ab exercises for women, but if you do, you should only perform ab workouts for women 2-3 days per week. At the beginning, only do 3-4 sets of each exercise and over time, built up to 6-8 sets.
Alternatively, Pilates is an excellent form of core training. It emphasizes correct spinal alignment, breathing, and core strength. Through a multitude of exercises, you’ll improve your muscle elasticity, joint mobility, and gain long, lean muscles.
A sexy flat, toned stomach is achievable for every woman. With a healthy diet full of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, and the right ab-focused training, you’ll get those washboard abs quickly.
Washboard abs do require effort, so when you spot someone sporting a sexy six pack, it’s hard not to gawk. A toned and taut tummy is something to admire, especially with all the hard work it often entails. The following 30 women prove abs are made in the kitchen and in the gym with effective ab exercises for women. Here’s how to get a flat, toned tummy quickly with tips from celebrities and influencers.
Here are twelve weeks-worth of workouts to get you on your way to perfect abs.
Slideshow by: Alexa Erickson