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Ab Workouts for Women

Looking for the Best Ab Workouts for Women?

Ready to tighten and define your stomach? Jump In!

Finding an ab workout that will really define and chisel your core can be a challenge!  If you have been on the look out for the best ab workouts for women, you have come to the right place.  Oxygen Magazine choose me to be the cover model for their Incredible Abs Issue just a few years after the birth my son.  Of course it took a lot of hard work and some seriously focused ab workout to get magazine worthy abs!  Well, today I am super excited to share with you one of my favorite ab workouts so that you can implement this kind of training into your workout fitness routine.

Here, I have put together an amazing abs workout for women that will target your entire abdominal wall, especially the transverse abdominis...those midsection abs muscles that pulls in your belly like a corset. Better yet, this sexy abs workout does more than just firm your core: you'll feel it and see results in your shoulders, legs, and glutes as well. There is no need to wait until swimsuit season to lose body fat and tighten your abs to start working on a strong core and killer abs. Let’s start building and defining your mid-section now!  This is one of my very favorite ab workouts... one that I like to call this one Julie Lohre's Killer Abs.  Give it a try in your own plan and let me know how it goes!

Abs workout for women infographic
Abs workout for women with Julie Lohre

Ab Workouts for Women Directions:

Complete each of these abs exercises as a circuit on three nonconsecutive days a week in addition to your regular workout routine. Do one set of each core movement moving down the list with our rest. Once you complete one set of each exercise in the circuit, rest for 1 minute. You will want to go through this circuit 3-4 times depending on your skill level.

Abs Exercise for Women: Plank

Plank Abs Workout for Women
The plank might be one of the most simple exercises, but when preformed correctly it is a powerhouse for core muscle engagement! For a proper abdominal plank, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut). This is best done by drawing your belly button inward and keeping your stomach tight. Ideally you want to get to where you can hold the ab plank for 60 seconds. If you can’t make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute. Over time you will find that as you get stronger and use your core muscles more, the plank becomes easier to hold.

**Julie's Pro Tip: Focus on form! Don’t drop your hips or raise your butt. Ab planks are deceptively simple looking but when done properly they can be more effective than situps!

Ab Exercise for Women: Barbell Wipers

Barbell Wipers  Abs Workout for Women
One of my all time favorite exercises are the adbominal barbell wipers. Barbell wipers really target those oblique muscles which you use to bring your legs back up. Begin with a barbell (either just the bar or loaded with the weight of your choosing) and lie down flat on the floor. Press the barbell over head and using your upper body, maintain that contracted position. Extend your legs up over head. In a controlled manner, allow your legs to fall to one side just low enough that you are still able to maintain control of the abdominal movement. Contracting your oblique ab muscles, lift your legs back up to the starting position. Switch sides by repeating this movement on the opposite side forming a 'windshield wiper' type motion. That is why this abs workout for women exercise is referred to as abdominal barbell wipers. Complete 10 on each side.

**Julie's Pro Tip: DO NOT use a weight bench for the abdominal barbell wiper ab exercise! It is far too easy to actually fall off the bench. Instead, the floor is the best choice. If you find that using straight legs makes this ab exercise too difficult, you can bend at the knees and allow your feet to come closer to your glutes as you complete the ab barbell wipers.

Abs Workout for Women Exercise: Ball Pike Ups

Ball Pike Ups Abs Workout for WomenBall Pike Ups Abs Workout for Women
Abs Workout for Women Stability Ball

Get this Stability Ball for your Workout Now!

Ball Pike Ups are an advanced ab exercise that is sure to test both your core strength and upper body strength. Begin by bringing a stability ball close to your feet and placing one foot on top of the ball. Then move your hands forward and bring your second foot up on the ball to bring your body to an evaluated plank position. Keeping your core engaged, draw your legs in and upward to bring your hips as close to overhead as possible. With control, return to the initial elevated plank. When you include this specific abs workout for women exercise, you will be strengthening way more than just your core!  Complete 10 Ball Pike Ups.

**Julie's Pro Tip: If you are not ready for this full abdominal ball pike up, modify it by bending your knees and drawing them into your chest. You will still be working the core but with less strain on your delts.

The ab ball curl ins are a very advanced ab exercise as you can see in my youtube ab demo video. If you would prefer, instead of maintaining straight legs for the ball pike ups, you can bend your knees and curl in. Doing this advanced ab exercise with bend knees will take a significant amount of pressure off of your upper body and your delts. It is important that as you work through each of the ab exercises, you listen to your body and cut back when you need. The most important thing with all ab exercises is that you tighten your abs or core and engage those ab muscles. As you lose body fat and gain upper body strength, you may find that you can advance to more challenging exercises for abs. I suggest resting 30 seconds between each set for ab curl ins with the stability wall too.

Abs Workout for Women Exercise: Side Plank Pulses

Side Plank Pulses begins with the above abdominal plank. Begin in that tight plank position with your core contracted. From there, you will rotate to one side coming to balance on you one arm. Place the other hand at your hip for this challenging abs exercise. Ideally, your body will form a diagonal line from your shoulders to your feet. Keep your core muscles braced by drawing your belly button inward as you lift up through your top hip as if there is a string from your hip pulling toward the ceiling. In a controlled manner, allow your hips to come down just below parallel. Continue this pulsing movement upwards 20 times on one side before you switch sides and rotate over to the other. Be sure your hips and knees stay off the floor. Rest 30 seconds between each set.

**Julie's Pro Tip: If you have an elbow or wrist injury you may find it helpful to balance on your forearm instead of fully on your palm when you are completing this portion of the abs workout for women.
Plank Pulses  Abs Workout for Women
Easy Ab Workout for Women

Abs Workout for Women Exercise: Crossfit Butterfly Sit-up

Butterfly Sit-Up Abs Workout for Women
There is a good reason that Crossfit athlete world wide have some of the most amazing abs... they love the Crossfit Butterfly Sit-up! To complete this movement, begin by lying flat on your back and draw your heels in toward your glutes to make a diamond shape. Extend your arms up and overhead to touch the ground. Using your rectus abdominis come up and over to touch your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Complete 20 Crossfit Butterfly Situps.

**Julie's Pro Tip: When you are trying to do these crossfit butterfly setups quickly, there is a tendency to allow your lower back to arch off the floor and use momentum to carry you upwards. Don't do it! That places a strain on your lower back and does not allow your abs to fully engage. To complete this crossfit butterfly sit-up safely, keep your lower back firmly pressed to the ground and sit-up in a controlled manner. Don't compromise form just to get this part of the abs workout for women done quickly!