There is a common misconception that women are unable to build strong abdominal muscles. This doesn't mean that women can't have great abdominal muscles - only that is might be a little harder.
Getting those every evasive abs can seem like a monumental mission for even the most seasoned pro, so just how the hell are we supposed to get them if even the fittest of fitness gurus struggle. Well the secret is out there, and unfortunately the secret is that abs are made in the kitchen.
That's right, we all have abs, but we just can't see them through the layer of fat we have covering them up, and the fastest way to clear that away, is to make sure you're consuming less calories than you burn. But we're not gonna preach to you about what you should and shouldn't eat, we'll save that for another day! We will however talk you through five of the very best ab exercises that can help you coax out those abs from hiding.
Incorporate these exercises into your fitness routine, and you'll find yourself with a toned tummy to die for in no time.
Elbow to Knee Oblique Crunch
- Lie on your back and keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your hands behind your head.
- Curl up and bring your left elbow and shoulder across your body while bringing your right knee in toward your left shoulder at the same time.
- Reach with your elbow and try to touch your knee. You can do one side for all your reps, then switch to the other side or alternate sides.
- Often overlooked, your obliques play an important role in core stability. But if you overlook these muscles, you will not target your entire midsection.
- Imagine yourself holding an orange under your chin while you go up and down.
- You should neither arch your back or flatten your spine too rigidly as you do the exercise.
- Use slow and controlled movements.
- Go for quality of the movement rather than quantity, making each move count.
- Inhale as you go down and exhale when going up.
- Get power from the core instead of your back.
The most common plank is the front plank which is held in a push-up-like position, with the body's weight spread across forearms, elbows, and toes.
- Place hands right below the shoulders around shoulder-width apart, as though you were about to do a push-up
- Squeeze your butt and keep everything tight as you stabilise your core
- Keep your toes planted into the floor with your back nice and straight,
- Hold this position as long as possible but for at least 20 seconds,
- Tip: keep your gaze focused on a specific spot on the floor to keep your position solid
Another great ab exercise for strengthening the lower abs while lying on the floor. Crossing your ankles while performing this exercise also helps to protect the lower back and seems to make this exercise easier.
- Lie nice and flat on your back,
- Place your hands facing down on the floor beside you, or tuck them under your bum for added support,
- Cross your ankles and lock them together in preparation for the movement,
- Slowly raise your legs off the ground, exhaling as you lift,
- Keeping knees tightly together, try to hold the position for 30 seconds,
- Slowly return back to the starting position,
Swiss Ball Rollout
- Get ready by resting on your knees facing the Swiss ball,
- Rest your arms and fists on the ball (in an almost prayer position),
- Keeping your stomach nice and tight,
- Slowly roll the ball forward by pushing your arms forward,
- Roll out as far as you can without letting yourself drop
- Hold your furthest position for 2 seconds before using your stomach muscles to slowly return back to the starting position,
While performing the exercises your abdominal muscles become slightly damaged. It is during the resting phase that your muscles grow because building your ab muscles is no different than building any other muscle. It is during the resting phase that abdominal muscles will grow. If you overwork them then you will not see great results.
There is a common misconception that women are unable to build strong abdominal muscles. This doesn't mean that women can't have great abdominal muscles - only that it might be a little harder.
If you'd like some support in improving your fitness routines, or if you'd like someone there to push you to the next level and guide you every step of the way, then check out our Personal Training page for more information about what we do.