Men aren’t the only one that desires ripping abs that stand out, calling for attention, women too also like to have a toned abdominal section that will give a befitting touch to their physique. However, having a toned midsection is not usually as easy for women as it is in the case of men. Talking fitness, even though there is no significant difference in the muscles, the female folks tend to have a wider pelvis and a longer waist which tend to make having a firm and flat tummy a lot more challenging for them.

Does this mean you can’t have visible abdominal muscles? Of course not. It only means you may need to commit to doing more than just the standard sit-ups. Below are some abs exercises that can help you have a flat and ripped abs.

The best abdominal exercises for women usually target about four muscle groups in the core, including the external abdominal obliques, the internal abdominal obliques, transverse abdominal muscle, and the rectus abdominus muscle. While all these muscle groups play a major role in ensuring you have a flat midsection, the rectus abdominus muscles are the ones you see in “six-pack” abs.

Therefore, to properly put all these muscle groups into work, you may need to perform a range of stabilization exercises. Unlike the conventional crunches and sit-ups, you are bound to burn a higher number of calories and work more muscles with exercises that target the core. Working these core muscles will also help bring stability to the pelvis and spine to improve your posture and reduce or totally avoid back pain. A few of these exercises may include:

#1: Plank

No doubt, this is the most common abs exercise among fitness enthusiast looking to have flat abs. I have seen countless people in London fitness gyms doing it for the sake of maintaining a healthy lifestyle or building muscles.

Start by lying face down on the ground extending your legs with your elbows directly bent under your shoulders. Clasp your hands. Maintain your elbows at shoulder-width apart and also let your feet be hip-width apart.

Tyr bracing your abs and then tuck your toes to keep your body raised while your forearms still remain on the ground. This will keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Hold this for as long as you can but try to make it a minimum of 30 seconds.

#2: Side Plank

Unlike the usual planks, when performing the side plank, the body weight is supported on just two points of contact. This means more work from your core to stay stable.

Usually, this starts with the left side by placing the elbow directly below the shoulder and forearm in a perpendicular direction to the body. The feet are stacked or placed in front of each other. Gently lift your hips from the floor as you simultaneously contract your abs. Lift the hips until your body to form a diagonal line from your shoulder to your feet.

Be in this position for about 30 to 45 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Caveat: You can add hip dips to make this more challenging. Dip your hips until you are lightly tapping the floor and then return to the starting position.

#3: Dynamic Plank

You start this by being in a plank position, support your body weight on your forearms. Keep your body in a straight line from the shoulders to the ankles.

Brace your core as you contract your abs just like you were about getting pushed in the stomach. Extend your arms one at a time to press your body up into the top position of a push-up.

Pause, and then reverse the movement, returning back to your elbows. That makes a rep. You can perform as many reps as you can. 

#4: Cross-Body Toe Touch Crunch

Here, lie down facing up having your legs and arms straight out, keep your right leg bent at an angle of 45 degrees next to you.

Contract your core in a motion crunch your abs and then lift your left leg as you stretch your right arm to reach it. Slowly engage your abs and make them touch your toe with your right hand. Hold for 2 seconds before you slowly bring yourself back down to where you started. You had just made one rep.  Continue this for 10-15 reps before you switch sides and make another 15 reps total.

#5: Mountain Climber Exercise

For you to do this, get yourself into a full body push-up position having your hands directly under your shoulders. From your head to your heels, make sure your body is in a straight line.

Lift one of your foot as you brace your abs, then slowly raise your knees and bring it towards your chest. Keep your back flat and also engage the abs. Go back to the starting position and repeat with the other leg (the left leg). Continue alternating for 30-45 seconds.

#6: Crossbody mountain climbers

Starting at the top in a push-up position, keep your body in a straight-line form from head to heels. Engaging your abs, pick up your right foot and in a slow motion, bring your right knee towards your left shoulder.

Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat this for as many repetitions as possible.