Ab Exercises: 25 Best Ab Workouts for Women to Get Toned Abs

25 Best Ab Exercises for Women

Get ready to revamp your ab workouts routine with this list of effective ab exercises. These moves will not just target your rectus abdominals a.k.a your six-pack muscles but your whole core. 

Your core is the muscles that connect your hips and shoulders together.

These inter-link muscles are involved in every move you make. So not only it is important to do exercises that burn stomach fat but also the ones that’ll strengthen your core. 

If you’re not sure which abs exercises that’ll do just that, don’t worry we’ll list 25 of them below.

But before we go into a breakdown of the list, let’s answer a few questions, regarding the abs and belly fat.

I often get these questions from readers who are looking for exercises to help them lose belly fat.

I thought you might have similar questions, so here they are. 

What Exercise Burns the Most Belly Fat?

25 Best Ab and Core Exercises for Women
25 Best Ab and Core Exercises for Women

The exercise that burns the most belly fat is the one that targets more than just your abs. Abs focused exercises like crunches and plank will help with muscle definitions. But to lose belly fat, it’s the cardio that’ll help you torch fat and fasten your way to a flat stomach.

While cardio is broad, it is any form of exercise that gets your heart rate up.

Adding cardio into your regular routine will fasten your way to six-packs and belly fat burning. 

This is evident in many studies. They show cardio’s effectiveness in reducing belly fat and making the toned abdominal muscles visible.

The mountain climber is a good example of a cardio and abs exercise. Not only it works the abs but also gets raises the heart rate which helps to burn calories and fat.

This exercise is #7 on our list. Any exercise that has a cardio effect on it is good to burn and lose belly fat. 

How Can I Tone My Abs Fast?

The best way to tone your abs is to exercise those muscles that make your abdomen. Doing regularly like 2 to 3 times per week will help increase muscle definitions and achieve toned and defined abs fast.

Abdominal exercises like bicycle crunch and planks are a few of the most effective exercises. They effectively help strengthen your abdominal muscles and create the flat stomach you want. 

They’re also included in the list below. 

Pair those exercises with cardio and a healthy eating plan to optimize your results. Together, it’ll help you burn off fat and increase your chances of getting tone abdominals fast.

How Do Women Get a Toned Stomach?

The stomach area is a stubborn area to lose, for both men and women. 

For most women, losing fat from the abdominal region and achieving a flat stomach is a major task. Particularly, compared to men, women have wider pelvis circumference with a taller waist. This makes it even more challenging for women to get rid of belly fat and flatten the abs. 

But this is also not to say toning your abs and having visible definitions in the abdomen is impossible. It may mean it requires a bit more persistence, commitment, and hard work. But with some continuous efforts and the right exercises, you can achieve a toned stomach. 

And that includes properly engaging all your muscles in your abs and core. This includes your front abs, rectus abdominis, obliques, back, and all other adjacent stabilizing muscles. 

By engaging more muscles, you’ll also build more lean muscle mass that’ll help to burn more calories and fat. 

What Is the Best Ab Workout for Home?

The best ab exercises for at home will be exercises that target and strengthens your abdomen without equipment. 

But thankfully, there are many equipment-free exercises that intensely work your abs and they are perfect for home. 

Abdominal crunches, planks, and leg lifts are considered some of the best abs workout you can do home. 

Add these stomach exercises to your routine to strengthen your abdominal muscles. They’ll also help create the appearance of six-pack flat abs you want.

All those exercises are included in this list. 

1. Dead-Bug

Lie down flat on your back on a Yoga mat, with your arms and legs up towards the ceiling.

Take a deep breath and engage your abs. As you exhale, lower your right leg and extend your right arm behind your head. Switch sides and keep alternating legs and arms until you complete a set. Do 8-12 reps/side.

2. Plank

Lie facedown on the ground with your legs extended, elbows bent directly under shoulders. Clasp your hands. Keep your feet hip-width apart and elbows shoulder-width apart.

Brace your abs, then tuck your toes to raise your body (forearms remain on the ground) to form a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 30-60 seconds or as long as you can.

3. Dynamic Plank

Start in a high plank, support your body weight on your forearms. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to your ankles.

Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the stomach. Press your body up into the top position of a push-up by extending your arms one at a time.

Pause, then reverse the movement and return to your elbows. That’s one rep.

4. Russian Twists

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet off the floor. Placing your hands together, extend your arms straight out in front of your chest. Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Brace your core and rotate to the right as far as you can.

Pause for 1-2 seconds, then reverse the movement and twist all the way back to the left as far as you can. Continue alternating back and forth until you complete 8-12 reps on each side. Do 2-3 sets.

5. Bicycle Crunch

Lie flat on the floor on a Yoga mat, with your lower back pressed to the ground and the core engaged. Place your hands behind your ears gently holding your head. Bring your knees toward your chest to about a 45-degree angle.

Lift your upper back until your shoulder blades are off the mat. Be sure not to pull from your neck. Contract your abs and straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee.

Make sure your rib cage is moving, not just your elbows. Switch sides, and continue alternating from side to side to complete one set. Do 8-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

6. Cross-Body Toe Touch Crunch

Lie down face up with arms and legs straight out, bend your right leg 45 degrees next to you.

Contract your core in one motion crunch your abs and lift up your left leg as you reach your right arm toward it. Engage your abs to touch your toe (slow and controlled) with the right hand.

Hold for 2 seconds, then slowly lower back down to the starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for 10-15 repetitions and then switch sides and repeat for 15 reps total.

7. Mountain Climber Exercise

To perform this exercise, get into a full-body push-up position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your heels.

Brace your abs and lift one foot, and slowly raise your knee and bring it towards your chest. Keep the abs engaged and your back flat. Return to the start position and repeat with the other leg (left).

Continue alternating for the prescribed number of repetition or 30 – 45 seconds.

8. Cross-Body Mountain Climbers

Start at the top in a pushup position with your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your abs engaged, pick up your right foot and slowly bring your right knee toward your left shoulder.

Then return to the start position. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.

9. Leg Lifts

Lie on an exercise or yoga mat and raise the legs so they’re extended upward directly over your hips.

Rest your palms down at your sides. Contracting abdominals, use your lower abs to lift your hips off the floor, pulling them toward the rib cage.

Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower the hips and legs, back down towards the floor. Do 8 to 12 reps.

10. Crossed Leg Crunch

Lie down face-up on your back as shown in the image. Cross your left ankle over your right knee. Supporting your head with hands, but do not pull on your head as you crunch up— let your abs do the work for you.

Lifting your upper back, head, and shoulders off the floor, contract your abs as you crunch straight up towards your legs— Pause for 1-2 seconds, then slowly lower back down to the start. Aim 12-15 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

Get ready to feel the burn.

11. Down-Dog Leg Lift

Get into the position of the downward-facing dog by getting down on all fours with your hands and feet and raising your right leg up.

Bring your right knee in by pulling it toward your forehead. Tighten your abs and extend your right leg back.

This time, bring the knee outside of your right elbow, then fully extend the leg again. Switch legs and repeat. Complete 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

12. Knee to Elbow Crunch

Lie flat on your back on a mat and place your hands behind the head to support the neck.

Tighten your abs as you lift the legs and shoulders off the mat. Attempt to reach your right knee with your left elbow by crunching up. Return and repeat on the other side. Complete 12-15 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

13. Toe Touch Crunch

Lie flat on your back on a mat and fully extend your legs. Stretch your arms behind you before you begin.

Tighten your abs and bring your head and shoulders off the mat and lift your pelvis off slightly off the floor. Let your toes meet with your hands by swinging your arms up toward the ceiling and bringing your toes up toward the hands.

If needed, place one hand behind your head to support the neck. Complete 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

14. Scissor Crunch

Lie flat on your back. Extend your arms so they’re against the sides of your body with your palms face down and pressing into the floor. Bend your knees 45 degrees and draw them into your ribs. This makes it easier for you to pull your navel in toward your spine and actively press your lower back flat on the ground.

Lift both legs straight up toward the ceiling, continuing to keep your abs engaged and pressing your lower back into the ground.

Keeping your core strong, slowly lower your right leg down toward the ground until it is a few inches above. Then slowly scissor your legs, lifting your right leg back up as you lower your left leg down toward the ground.

Continue scissoring for 15 to 20 times on each leg (or more if you’re still not feeling it).

15. Rolling Plank

Start in the side plank on your left with right foot staggered in front of the left foot. Extend your right arm up.

Rotate your torso to the right. Raise your right arm toward the ceiling as you roll onto the outside of your left foot.

Pause, then reverse the movement to return to the side plank. Repeat on the other side. Continue from side to side for 10-12 reps on each side

16. Plank Side Tuck

Plank tuck ab workouts

From a high plank, bend your knees and jump your feet into the outside of your right hand, landing in a crouch on the balls of your feet.

Jump up and extend your legs back out to the plank. That’s one rep.

Repeat as quickly as you can. This time jump into the outside of your left hand and continue alternating for 12-15 reps on each side.

Tip: Keep your weight in your arms to make jumping in and out easier. If it’s too challenging to jump, you can instead perform in the form of mountain climbers moving your feet in and out.

17. Diagonal Plank

Start in a plank position, then walk your legs apart until they are a bit wider than your hips. Make sure your hips are lifted, and your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels.

Keeping torso stable, lift your right arm up and slightly out on the diagonal. Hold this position for two seconds, then return to elbow plank. Repeat with the left arm. This completes one rep. Do two 12-15 reps on each side.

18. Crunch Clap

Lie flat on your back face up and raise shoulder blades slightly off of the floor. Keeping your legs extended, lift one leg while keeping the other intact so that your legs create an L shape.

Crunch up slightly to clap your hands behind your raised leg. Return to the starting position and alternate. Repeat and continue to alternate. Complete 10-12 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

19: V-Crunch

Lie flat on your back face up and lift your legs and arms toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back slightly off of the floor and touch your feet with your hands. Lower your legs and arms to return to the starting position.

Repeat and complete 10-12 reps for 2-3 sets.

20. Side Lift (Double Side Crunch)

Lie sideways on your right buttock on a mat. Keep your legs fully extended and knees unlocked.

Bring out the right arm in front of your body for support and balance and left hand behind your left ear.

Engage your abs and lift your legs and torso off the floor all at once. Return to the starting position and repeat the movement until you complete 10-12 reps. Switch sides and complete 2-3 sets total.

21. Side V-Up

Lie on your right side, with your left hand behind your head and right hand on the floor.

Pressing down into your right hand, raise your straight legs off the floor and bring your torso toward your legs.

Lower yourself back to the floor with control. That’s one rep. Continue for 12-15 reps. Then switch sides and repeat on the other side.

22. One-Leg Plank

Start by getting into a standard plank position. Once positioned, lift one leg off of the floor and keep it fully extended.

Keep your body balanced in that position and hold for 10-20 seconds. Lower your leg and return to the starting position. Rest for a second or two, then repeat on the other leg. Complete 10-12 reps per side for 2-3 sets.

23. Side Plank Toe Touch

Get into a side push-up plank position with your hand under your shoulder and your bottom leg slightly in front of your top leg with your bottom foot rested on its outer side. After you are balanced, raise your top arm and keep your gaze straight ahead.

Kick your bottom leg up and forward, slightly twisting your upper body to reach your hand to your foot. Return leg to the starting position and repeat. Complete 10-12 reps then switch sides. Repeat and complete 2-3 sets.

24. Crunch

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears. Don’t lace your fingers across together.

Hold your elbows out to the sides but rounded slightly in. Tilt your chin slightly, leaving a few inches of space between your chin and your chest. Gently pull your abdominals inward to tighten your abs. Curl up and forward so that your head, neck, and shoulder blades lift off the floor.

Hold for 1-2 counts at the top of the movement and then lower slowly back down. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

25. Boat

Start by sitting with your knees bent. Rest your feet lightly on the floor as you balance on your tailbone. Engage your core and slowly recline while maintaining your straight back.

Bring your arms straight in front of you, then raise your legs straight to create a V-shape with your torso and legs. Hold that position for 30 to 60 seconds.

Final Thoughts

There you have it!

This is your ultimate abs workout cheat sheet. Now you have enough variety of exercises for your abs to create the perfect routine that will score you amazing abs.

What was your favorite workout for abs from the list? Let us know in a comment below.

Misato Alexandre

Co-Founder

After making healthy living a priority, Misato lost over 20 lbs in less than 90 days. Instead of weight loss being a dreading experience, living the lifestyle of health and fitness granted her more happiness and joy than ever before. She co-founded Fitwirr to make health and fitness simple for everyone and share her tips through writing evidence-based articles on nutrition, weight loss, and exercise.

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