Tired of doing endless crunches and situps with no results? Below are the top 20 ab workouts for women I recommend to build a flat and toned midsection.
They are in no order of preference so read through them all and see what ones can be done. Some may involve equipment like weights or a medicine ball, etc.
This is a great exercise that is great for conditioning, building endurance, getting a stronger core, and toning your butt. These are intense and you need to face them head on if you want to get the body you want.
Tip: When doing these, the faster you go the more conditioning will improve.
Great core strength and abs workout that targets a full body response. Most of the pressure will be put on your abs but you must stabilize with your whole body.
Tip: Squeeze abs as tight as you can and hold while doing these. You might not be able to plank long but you will build up endurance over time.
This is the plank but on your side. Be sure to hit each side with this workout and get a good squeeze on your abs. This is a great oblique and hip exercise.
Tip: Practice makes perfect. Try to do this by a wall so you can keep your balance. You’ll get the hang of them after some practice so don’t get discouraged if you have trouble with these.
Single Leg Side Plank
This is a harder exercise than the side plank. With these do the same technique but raise the leg that’s free up in the air. You will feel this in your hips, butt, and obliques. Attack both sides at once!
Tip: Squeeze hard and keep control of your leg for the best stimulation.
Ab rollouts are a very hard exercise that will take some time to build up the core strength to do. Targets your whole upper body and abs. Squeeze abs tight and don’t let your arms do most of the work.
Tip: Start on your knees and don’t go out as far as possible to start. Work your way out further and further or else you will get discouraged at how difficult these are.
This is a great change from all of the crunches you may do. Instead of having your hands across your chest or behind your head, stretch your arms out straight in front of you and really reach like you’re trying to grab someone’s hand to stand up. This is a great exercise.
Tip: For added resistance, grab a weight or medicine ball.
A great variation to doing endless situps. Use a decline bench press or decline ab bench to do these. These are hard and be sure to use your abs to do the sit up and not your legs.
Tip: If you have access to an adjustable ab bench you can determine how steep of an incline you use.
Twist and Crunch
Simple but effective variation to your crunches. Once in the crunched position, twist side to side and feel the burn.
Tip: Add extra resistance holding a weight or medicine ball.
Tip 2: If you want to really get the burn going, go for more than 1 full set of twists.
Side bends are a great oblique and core strength exercise. Be sure to go directly side to side, if you lean forward you will feel it in your lower back and you might pull something. Use weights to add resistance.
Tip: Put the arm not holding a weight on your hip, this will help you stay straight when you bend.
This exercise is like a reaching crunch and leg lift all in one motion. This is another full body workout that is intense.
Tip: Slow and controlled, squeeze all muscles tight.
Hanging Leg Raise
This is a great exercise that uses stabilizer muscles, abs, and full body to hold yourself up. Be sure to use abs to make the movement and not your legs.
Tip: Use ankle weights or squeeze a dumbbell in between your legs for added resistance.
This is a great full body workout that has many variations. Find the variations you enjoy to do and stick with them.
Tip: Use a medicine ball or weight for added resistance.
Lying Floor Leg Raise
Great workout for abs, be sure to squeeze with abs and not use your legs.
Tip: Ankle weights or a weight in between your feet is a great way to add resistance.
A variation of a crunch using a decline bench.
Tip: Add extra resistance with weights or using a more steep decline.
This workout can be intense but this is a great one because you can hit your abs and butt at the same time.
Tip: Add in a crunch or twisting crunch for added difficulty.
Great workout for abs and obliques. This is a great exercise for warming up for weight training as well.
Tip: Get a good stretch and really squeeze your muscles. This is a very effective workout.
Lying Alternate Floor Leg Raise
This is an alternate workout to the lying floor leg raise. Raise one leg instead of both. This may be easier at first for beginners.
Tip: Do a reaching crunch with the arm opposite of the leg that is up.
Side Crunch with Leg Lift
This is a great alternative to a crunch. Do a side crunch and lift the leg of the same side up. This is a difficult workout to master, but once you do, your obliques will thank you.
Tip: Do a reaching crunch with arms to add more resistance.
Exercise Ball Crunch
This is a great alternative to a regular crunch because you can really get a stretch going for your abs.
Tip: Use a medicine ball or weights for added resistance.
Exercise Ball Plank
Do a plank with your legs on an exercise ball. This is going to work more stabilizers and really test your core strength.
Tip: Instead of being on the ground on your elbows, go into a push up position to give your arms a workout too.