Easy Ab Exercise for a Woman

Your head must be spinning after watching all the commercials on TV that promise flat abs in just days. Can they really be true? Are there really abdominal exercises that will help you shape your body? Do they work for women? The good news is there really are easy exercises for women that will help you get rid of your love handles.

Abdominal exercises can help you gain strong stomach and back muscles, which can reduce the likelihood of back pains and provide protection against injury. All effective ab exercise programs progressively increase in their intensity. Ensure that your back is adequately supported while you are exercising.

If you are going to start an exercise program, remember that abdominal exercise should be followed religiously. It’s more about frequency rather than intensity. Don’t continue if you experience pain or extreme discomfort though.

Below are several easy ab exercises that can be very effective for women:

- Short Crunch: The short crunch conditions your rectus abdominis through a short range of motion, requiring a concentrated contraction as you press upward. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and hands placed behind your head. Begin with your upper body lifted midway and the abdominal muscle held in tight. Keep your head and neck in alignment and moving as one unit. Lift your upper body a short distance, keeping the abdominal muscle contracted. Concentrate on the lift upward. Breathe and repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

- Combo Crunch: The combo crunch emphasizes both the upper and lower region of the abdominal. Although the full length of the muscle is contracting, you should perform the exercise slowly to emphasize isolating the lower region of the abdominal. Lie on your back with your legs elevated, knees bent, and ankles crossed. Place your hands behind your head. Keep your head and neck in alignment as you perform the exercise. Slowly and gently contract the upper body toward the lower body while lifting the hips off the floor. Slowly lower to starting position. Repeat for 8 times and progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

- Oblique Curl: The oblique curl involves bending and rotating at the waist to isolate and contour your waistline. Tighten the oblique muscles on the side you are lifting toward, and always move slowly. Lie with your lower back relaxed into the floor, knees bent, left foot flat on the floor, and left arm under your head. Rest your right foot on your left knee and extend your right arm out to the side. Keeping your hips squared and your lower body motionless, lift and rotate your upper body, aiming your left shoulder to your right knee. Repeat for 8 times. Repeat with the other side.

- Beginning Back Extension: The beginning back extension conditions your lower back and should be performed slowly and gently. Try to keep your hip bones on the floor and lift only as far as you can keeping your elbows on the floor. Lie on your stomach with your forehead resting on the floor. Place your hands under your shoulders with your elbows bent alongside the body. Extend your legs. Slowly and gently lift your upper body, keeping your forearms and elbows on the floor, exhaling on exertion. Return to your starting position and repeat for 8 times.

Once you’ve mastered these easier ab exercises, you can move into the intermediate and advanced arena. As you start seeing results, you’ll have a lot of incentive to keep on exercising.

Joan Yankowitz writes on a wide variety of health and fitness topics. She can provide you with an effective free home exercise program.

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