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! Do you know how to get abs? 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 Get Abs
You wanna’ know how to get abs? 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 female abs 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 ab workouts for women. 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, working all your core muscles is how to get abs for girls.
Ask some trainers how to get abs, 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 exercises for women:
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. Working with heavy weights is one surefire way to build a crop top-worthy pair of female abs.
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. This move definitely has to be included in ab workouts for women.
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 – Ab workouts for women often include isometric exercises such as the boat pose, which is one of the most effective moves for abdominal muscle activation. 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 and is one of the best ab workouts for women. 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, is exactly how to get abs.
Amazing female 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.
Slideshow by: Alexa Erickson
Perfect Female Abs: Exercise Motivation and Inspiration
1. Kate Hudson
This blonde bombshell owes her toned tummy to Pilates—an exercise she has remained loyal to for more than 15 years.
2. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani, who is known for dropping down and doing pushups during live shows, has always worked hard for her fit physique. So, what’s her ideal way of maintaining washboard abs? “There is no secret: you just have to eat healthy, work out, and torture yourself!” Stefani says.
3. Jessica Biel
With a naturally athletic build, Jessica Biel sure knows how to pull off some serious muscle tone without looking too masculine. She owes her toned tummy to celebrity trainer Jason Walsh, whose fitness programs make their way to many famous actors, athletes and even musicians.
4. Emily Skye
The founder of F.I.T. (Fitness Inspiration Transformation) program, Emily Skye has a great Instagram feed full of inspiring toning videos. Her stylish workout gear and chiseled abs are sure to keep you coming back for more. She knows how to get abs, women.
5. Gisele Bündchen
The highest paid supermodel in the world, Gisele aspired to become an athlete in her childhood, so it comes as no surprise that her workout routine is well-rounded. But her ideal way of keeping a solid core is a high-five plank with a partner — now that’s a challenging ab workout for women.
“Some people prefer the gym, but when I have to put on workout clothes and run on a treadmill, I get bored,” the singer says. “For me, dancing is what keeps me active and I would just say, everyone is not supposed to be the same. Be healthy and take care of yourself, but be happy with the beautiful things that make you, you.”
7. Natalie Uhling
The trainer and Under Armour ambassador has an Instagram full of great gym motivation. She owes her toned tummy to her programs like NUFit, JumpCut, Triple Threat & RoundHouse, which all provide cutting edge ways to stay in shape.
8. Serena Williams
With a career that requires her to stay in shape, this tennis pro takes her love for fitness off the court. “I am never, ever satisfied. I always want to do more, be more, reach a new level. Not just in tennis but in everything I do,” she says. She’s not afraid of haters calling her masculine, because she knows true beauty comes with a little sweat.
9. Kayla Itsines
Known for her Bikini Body Workout Guides, this Instagram influencer shows how to get abs in a seven-minute workout routine that involves straight-leg raises with a hips lift, mountain climbers, ab bikes, snap jumps, sit-ups with reach and tuck jumps. Like the idea of a workout without crunches? Check out this fun abs series for more ideas.
10. Salma Hayek
This Mexican-American film actress, producer, and former model owes her great figure to short intense workouts. Try out this 20-minute high-intensity interval training workout that will get you in shape in record time.
11. Jeanette Jenkins
A Hollywood trainer and nutritionist, Jeanette Jenkins specializes in toning female abs. She especially loves cardio kickboxing. One of the best results of any kickboxing routine is a rock hard core. Learn more about it here.
12. Alessandra Ambrosio
This Brazilian beauty is best known as a Victoria’s Secret model. Her secret for how to get a flat tummy is the barre method. Learn more about the fun ballet-inspired exercise method for toning your abs and everything else for that matter here.
This hip-shaking singer has no problem showing off her feminine physique. She owes her beautiful abs to dancing. Try out a DivaDance class with your girls. It’s one of the best ab workouts for women that feel like nothing but fun!
14. Vanessa Hudgens
Never afraid of a crop top to show off her strong stomach, this gorgeous singer and actress is a well-rounded fitness fanatic. One of her favorite workouts? Spinning. Learn more about why you should give it a go here.
15. Izabel Goulart
The Brazilian model frequents the Victoria’s Secret runway, sporting a sexy set of abs you simply cannot miss. She’s a huge fan of core workouts, especially utilizing Pilates moves, which are ideal for getting a strong core quickly. Learn more about the benefits of pilates here.
16. Hannah Bronfman
The co-founder of the Beautified app and founder of hbfit.com, Hannah Bronfman is in shape from head-to-toe and proves being muscular is one sexy quality. She’s an all-around fitness enthusiast who loves a good challenge, especially when it takes her outside of the gym. Like the sound of that? Check out these alternative workouts to switch it up and still get a toned tummy.
17. Jennifer Aniston
She’s had a bangin’ bod for decades, and owes it to a healthy diet and intense exercise plans. One of the ways she keeps a muscular midsection is by picking up the kettlebell. Learn more about kettlebell workouts here.
18. Jessica Alba
For achieving a flat tummy fast, a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise is essential. Jessica Alba forbids processed and unhealthy foods and instead opts for kale, green smoothies, blueberries, ginger, celery, green apple, cucumber, spinach, green apple for wholesome snacks. She’s also a fan of cardio workouts, strength training, and core workouts to get her lean in record time.
19. Jillian Michaels
The world-renowned personal trainer says the best ab exercises for women requires exercising the entire body, not just the stomach. “Scoring a flat stomach is all about workouts that impact different muscle groups at the same time — so you’re strengthening your entire body AND burning more calories.
This is why I’m such a huge advocate of circuit training and use them in my online workouts and in my DVDs,” she says. As for diet? “Get rid of the potato chips, microwave dinners, and definitely put an end to those fast food fixes,” she urges.
20. Miranda Kerr
Models know a thing or two about the importance of good posture, since it’s the backbone of their job from the runway to the studio. Practicing good posture regularly along with performing posture-building exercises is a surefire way to bust belly fat, and Miranda Kerr’s toned tummy proves it!
21. Ronda Rousey
This MMA maven has a rock solid core, and owes her flat tummy to HIIT workouts, which research shows is an intricate part of melting away belly fat fast.
“Cardio is the key. I have a personal trainer who travels with me if we have a big event coming up. I work out every day but I need a trainer to motivate me,” says the sexy singer.
23. Gwyneth Paltrow
Among the many famous and savvy followers of the alkaline and plant-based diet, Gwyneth Paltrow can thank her flat tummy in part to the diet’s shift away from acidic foods that cause inflammation, resulting in belly bloat. She also works out with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson on a regular basis.
24. Anna Victoria
The creator of The Fit Body Guides, this fitness guru loves to post healthy foods, motivational quotes and fit mirror selfies on Instagram.
Every morning, she has four eggs, oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries or goji berries. All incredibly beneficial for busting belly fat, cinnamon, for instance, is said to impact abdominal fat more so than fat found in other parts of your body.
25. Jennifer Lopez
Though Jennifer Lopez has earned a rep for her curvaceous butt, her toned tummy is a standout as well. This dancer-singer-actress loves to work out and says she prefers a “soft, feminine” approach to exercise, opting for a personal trainer and yoga classes. The ideal yoga pose for a strong core? Boat pose. Check out a breakdown here.
26. Jen Selter
While her butt certainly gets a lot of attention on Instagram, this New York native and fitness model is also dedicated to keeping her core strong as well. For a sculpted female abs like Jen Selter’s, try this 30 Day Plank Exercise Challenge.
28. Caitlin Turner
She’s a globe-trotting yoga queen whose adventures and beautiful poses will inspire you to get moving on Instagram. Get a strong core like Turner’s by perfecting your plank pose.
30. Cameron Diaz
She’s a water fanatic, so it only makes sense that this stunning actress has picked up one of the best core exercises out there: paddleboarding. And that’s how to get abs, women!