Put Your Best Abs Forward

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Bringing out what nature intended calls for exercises that not only hit your abs from various angles, but also work other body parts. Well-defined abs come from reducing the body fat that’s covering them. In other words, you’ll have to bust out more than isolated, on-the-floor sit-ups to see the hoped-for results.

Related:Five Moves for Sexy Abs

To get you started, Oxygen developed an abs-blasting workout that hits all four major abs muscles in one routine. It covers your rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques and your deepest abs muscle, the transverse abdominis. And since all you need is a stability ball and a mat or a comfortable section of floor space, it’s perfect for at home or the gym.

Go for the beginner/intermediate choice (see chart below) when you start out, doing the routine three times a week on non-consecutive days. Set your sights on trying the advanced exercises after two or three weeks, but only if you feel comfortable doing so. Either way, you’ll want to start showing off your sexy abs in as little as two months.

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1. Floor Crunch

Muscles Emphasized: rectus abdominis (upper portion)

How To: Lie faceup on a mat with your head, shoulders and torso on the floor, and your heels and calves resting on top of a stability ball. Place your hands behind your head, elbows flaring out to the sides.

Contract your abdominals as you curl your torso upward, lifting your head and shoulders from the ground but keeping your lower back on the floor. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.

Pointer: Having your legs on a ball does a better job of activating your abs than placing them on a bench because a ball has to be controlled.

Stability Ball Crunch

Muscles Emphasized: rectus abdominis (upper portion), internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis

How To: Sit on a ball with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet away from the ball and lean backward until the ball is under your mid- to upper back with your shoulders and head just off the ball’s surface. Place your hands lightly behind your head, elbows facing out to the sides.Keeping your abdominals tight, slowly curl your torso upward, lifting just your upper back from the ball. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

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