Women’s abdominal exercises
No woman wants to have a flabby tummy, but with working, parenting and finding some time for yourself, few women have the time or incentive for arduous and long gym sessions. That’s okay, because some of the most effective women’s abdominal exercises can be done in a relatively short time, in the comfort of your own home.
One thing to remember is that abdominal exercises must be undertaken carefully so that the back is adequately supported. With these exercises, it’s all about frequency as opposed to intensity and no exercise should be continued if it’s painful. You should start off slowly, with just a few repetitions, until your body is more used to the abdominals being worked out.
Benefits of women’s abdominal exercises
- They can help you look better by slimming and toning your tummy; this in turn can have a positive impact on your body image.
- They improve your core muscles, leading to better stability and lessening the chance of back injuries.
- If they are used in conjunction with regular aerobic exercises, they can help with weight loss.
- They can help prevent pregnancy-related injuries.
Our favourite women’s abdominal exercises
The crunch is performed by lying on your back on the floor, with your ankles crossed and knees elevated toward your chest. Hands should be placed behind the head with elbows straight out to the sides. Contract the abdomen muscles and lift your shoulders off the floor. Don’t strain your neck and flatten your lower back to the floor.
Floor leg lifts
This tummy exercise really works your lower stomach muscles.
Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight, hands at your sides. Lift your legs about 20 cm off the floor and hold for as long as you can without hurting your neck or curving your back. Do this as many times as you can, whilst keeping your tummy muscles tight and your lower back flat against the floor.
The idea is to work the upper and lower stomach muscles in one go. Fully extend out one leg while the other is bent and you touch your opposite elbow to the bent leg. Then you repeat for the other side without taking any rest or dropping your torso back down, in a twisting, bicycle pedal motion so the whole time you are doing them your upper body is in a crunch position. You should do this very slowly and concentrate on deep breaths and working your abdominals.
Don’t worry, it’s not as evil as it sounds. You may need a mat for this but you can also do it on a comfortable carpet. Lie face down resting on the forearms, palms flat on the floor. Push off the floor, raising up onto your toes and resting on the elbows. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels. Try to keep your bum from sticking up in the air while contracting your tummy. Hold for about half a minute and try to do 3 repetitions. You’ll find this gets easier as you go along and it is a great exercise for toning the body.
Remember, tummy exercises are easy to do and don’t usually require equipment. Abdominal exercises are one of the most important types of exercises you can do for your core, and your core is where all movement in your body originates. Another thing to remember is that abdominal exercises alone will not help you to achieve a flat tummy. You have to exercise your entire body and lose weight in all areas.