10 Best Ab Exercises for Women for a Flat and Sexy Belly


Many women will want to have a good range of intensive ab exercises in their workouts because they are looking for a smooth, strong belly. However, abdominal strength is much more than just a flat belly and an hourglass figure. Your abdominal muscles play an important role in posture, balance, and injury prevention. For women, where spinal deterioration and hip injuries are a risk as we age, maintaining strong abs is critical to keeping long-term fitness, mobility, and safety – and of course, we want to keep that smooth, sleek torso as long as we can! Let’s take a look at what ab muscles you have and what they do, and the 10 best ab exercises for women to keep those muscles strong and sexy

The Muscle Groups of Your Abs

Your ‘abs’ comprise several sets of large, powerful muscles, all connected and working together. The exercises we use here are designed to work all of the major muscle groups of your abs, sometimes targeting a single area, sometimes working them in combination.

Upper abdominals

Your upper abdominals are comprised mainly of the upper half of your rectus abdominis, a segmented muscle that runs down the front of your torso from the base of your pectorals (chest muscles) to your pelvis. The upper abdominals are very important for protecting and stabilizing your rib cage and the delicate internal organs of your upper abdomen, and they support your diaphragm. They also work to help your posture and are part of an intricate network that keeps your spine in good health.




Maintaining upper abdominal strength will help to preserve your posture, something very important especially for women as they age. The upper abdominals are also part of that elusive ‘six pack’, so if that’s something you want to develop, or keep if you are lucky enough to have it already, then upper abdominal exercises will be important to you.

Lower Abdominals

Your lower abdominals are made up of the lower part of the rectus abdominis, and the aponeurosis, a slender, fan-like muscle that stretches on either side over your lower abdomen. In the lower abdominals, the rectus abdominus is the strongest muscle and is essential for stabilizing and supporting your lower back and pelvis.

Developing and maintaining this muscle is important to help prevent pelvic injuries and keep good posture – which can prevent the onset of lower back pain. The aponeurosis helps ‘hold it all together’ in your lower abdomen, and is an often overlooked muscle that is important if a flat belly is your goal!

Obliques

Your obliques are the muscles that run down either side of your torso. You actually have two sets on either side, external and internal. Your internal obliques are deeper, and help to control lateral stability. Even deeper is your transversus abdominis, a thick, short but powerful muscle that runs down either side under your obliques.

All three are important to protect your hips and spine, and they also provide protection for your internal organs from side impacts and falls. The external obliques are long muscles that help with balance and posture, and control your movement when you twist, lean, or bend to the side. Both sets of obliques are also important in keeping that hourglass figure!

10 Best Ab Exercises for Women

Exercise #1: Basic Crunch

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The basic crunch is the foundation to strong abs. It’s simple, you can do crunches anywhere, and if you are short of time they are a great way to fit in a quick ab workout.
Muscles Involved : Upper abdominals  3 sets 10 reps


 Exercise #2: Bicycle Crunch

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The bicycle crunch is great in a short workout with the basic crunch, as you can easily switch from one movement to the other and bring in a workout for your obliques and lower abs.
Muscles Involved : Obliques, lower abdominals  3 sets 12 reps


Exercise #3: Reverse Crunch

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The reverse crunch is an intensive workout for your lower abdominals. If you really want that flat belly, this is the movement for you!
Muscles Involved : Lower abdominals  4 sets 10 reps


Exercise #4: Flutter Kick

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The flutter kick is a dynamic movement that works your lower abdominals. If you have difficulty with the reverse crunch, then accent this movement in your workout instead.
Muscles Involved : Lower abdominals  3 sets 15 reps


Exercise #5: Basic Plank

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The basic plank is a stationary movement – but don’t think that just because you aren’t moving, it’s going to be easy! With the plank, it’s stability that counts, so work to hold your body as still as possible, for as long as possible. It’s the endurance that will make your muscles work!
Muscles Involved : Upper and lower abdominals  3 sets 30 sec


Exercise #6: Plank Jack

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The plank jack brings some movement into the basic plank exercise. If you are just getting started with ab exercises, you might want to wait until you have the basic plank really solid, and able to hold it for at least 30 seconds, before you add the plank jack into your routine.
Muscles Involved : Upper and lower abdominals  3 sets 10 reps


Exercise #7: Side Plank Raise

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If you find the basic plank tougher than you expected, then get ready for this one. Applying the same principles of the basic plank, where strength and balance work together to work your muscles, this time, the target is your obliques.
Muscles Involved : Obliques  3 sets 10 reps


Exercise #8: T-Stabilization Plank

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The T-Stabilization is another great movement that really targets your obliques, bring balance and control into the workout.
Muscles Involved : Obliques   3 sets 12 reps


Exercise #9: Russian Twist

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The Russian Twist is a great exercise that really focuses on the obliques, but yet is easy to learn, and you can adapt it as your strength and balance improve.
Muscles Involved : Obliques  3 sets 20 reps


Exercise #10: V-Tuck

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The V-Tuck is a smooth, balanced but dynamic exercise that works upper and lower abdominals together. Once you get the hang of it, chances are it will become one of your favorites, as it’s really effective yet it’s a surprisingly fluid movement.
Muscles Involved : Upper and lower abdominals  3 sets 10 reps
Source : www.fitandme.com





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