The Best Abs Workout For Women

When it comes to getting fit, nothing says goals like toned, tight abs! Gone are the days when the prescription for washboard abs was thousands of crunches. Those are out of the window. Instead, you need to work your abs from several angles while working other sections of the body to help with burning fat.

Here are seven abdominal exercises that form up the best abs workout for women, just like you!

Give them a try as a complete circuit, working through each exercise for the noted amount of time or reps before working in another set. After the second round, your core is guaranteed to be screaming—but in a good way.

Abdominal Hold

The abdominal hold is the kind of move that looks simple but isn’t. It’s also not something you want to be caught doing on lunch break—unless you want people knowing how strong you really are.

How to do the move:

  • Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair or a step about four risers high. Place your fingers around the lip of the chair with the thumb pointing towards the knees.
  • Engage the core and bring the toes about 2-4 inches from the floor. Lift away from the chair, putting space between your butt and the cushion.
  • Hold this position for as long as you’re able. Aim for 5-10 seconds. Then gently lower yourself down and repeat.
  • Do this exercise 10-15 times or as many times as possible for 60 seconds.

Opposite Arm and Leg Raise

Sometimes known as bird-dog in yoga, this exercise is often considered part of the warm-up; but you can get a great core with it too. You can also work the glutes and activate the hips.

How to do the move:

  • Start on all fours in a tabletop position. The knees should be under the hips, and the wrists should be in line with the shoulders.
  • Raise one arm to shoulder height at the same moment you lift and extend the opposite leg behind you.
  • Extend outward through the fingers and toes, maintaining this.
  • Optional: You can crunch the extended arm and leg inward before extending out again.
  • Lower the arm and leg and reset yourself for the opposite set.
  • Once you are ready, you can make this move more challenging by doing it in plank.
  • Do about 12-20 repetitions, alternating sides.

The Best Abs Workout For Women

Boat Pose

A favorite of yogis can also be a favorite of yours! This pose is excellent for strengthening the hip flexors and your abs all at once.

How to do the move:

  • Begin in a seated position on the floor with the knees bent and feet flat.
  • Lift the feet from the floor. Keep the knees bent as you raise the shins, trying to get them parallel with the floor. The spine is long and straight.
  • The torso will naturally want to fall back, so engage the core, breathe, and hold.
  • If desired, lengthen the legs from the bent position to a 45-degree angle with the floor. Keep the torso upright to achieve a V shape between the chest and the legs.
  • Roll the shoulders back, so the arms are parallel to the floor. Turn the palms up.
  • Stay for 15-20 seconds before lowering down to the start position.
  • Repeat for 5-10 repetitions.

Low Plank Hip Swivel

The low plank swivel is something that you unlock once you can hold a low forearm plank without swaying your back. Once you have that, you can start making plank more difficult, so you can keep toning that tummy.

How to do the move:

  • Begin in low plank with the shoulders in line with the elbows. Your weight should be even throughout the forearms. Draw the kneecaps towards the belly to straighten the backs of the legs. Then push your heels away from you.
  • Depending on your shoulders, your hands can either be clasped together in front of your face, or you can extend your arms like a sphinx.
  • From there, rotate the torso to the right by lowering the right hip towards the ground.
  • Return to center.
  • Rotate to the left side by doing the same action.
  • Continue this pattern for 30-60 seconds. Keep your core and legs strong, and do not sway the back.


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Lying Windshield Wipers

This move works so much more than your core. You strengthen the legs too.

How to do the move:

  • Lie back on the floor. Place the arms at a 90-degree angle against your sides. The entire length of the forearm and hand should be pressing into the ground.
  • Slowly lift the legs, so they are hovering. Then, engage the core.
  • Gently swivel the hips, guiding the legs to one side, going only as far as you can control. Do not let the legs touch the ground.
  • Return the legs to center.
  • Change sides, moving fluidly.
  • When you return to center, you have completed one rep.
  • Continue for 10-15 reps.

Side-to-Side Crunch

Here is another deceptive move. You wouldn’t think that shifting side-to-side while holding your core would work, but it leaves you feeling a fantastic burn.

How to do the move:

  • Start on your back, feet planted, and knees bent.
  • Engage your core and lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground. The arms are long against your sides, fingertips reaching for the heels.
  • Start to reach the right hand farther towards the right foot and crunch the oblique on that same side. Keep the chest lifted as you return to center.
  • Repeat the same motion on the left side.
  • That’s a single rep. Now repeat 10-15 times.

Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is one of the best moves for the core because the rotation and the isometric hold develop the corset effect and whittles your waistline. If a bodyweight Russian Twist isn’t challenging enough, you can always do this move with a medicine ball, dumbbell, or kettlebell.

How to do the move:

  • Sit on the floor with the knees bent and the feet slightly lifted.
  • Lean your torso back slightly, attempting to make a 45-degree angle with the floor. Your back is straight, not rounded.
  • Slowly turn the torso to the right side, pause for a moment, and then squeeze the core to return to center. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • That is one rep.
  • Do 15-20 reps, alternating sides.

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