Top 5 Tummy Toning Exercises for Women

woman with toned tummyFirm Your Waist With These Five Exercises

Although men may be drawn to big ab machines with large weight stacks and rope harnesses, women tend to be less enthusiastic about hopping on the same sweat-soaked benches. Women can easily tone their tummies on a comfy exercise mat or stability ball. The following exercises target the front and side abdominal muscles for a firmer waist all around.

Top 5 Tummy Toning Exercises for Women

1.)  Bicycle Crunches

A popular exercise on most “best of” lists is bicycle crunches, mainly because there is no better exercise to tone all the muscles of the abdomen. Bicycle crunches should be performed slowly as it is easy to cheat yourself out of doing any real work with this exercise.

Starting Position: Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Lift your feet off the floor and curl up so that your shoulder blades are not touching the ground.

Action: Rotate your shoulders to the left and pull your left knee in toward your right elbow. Simultaneously, extend your right leg straight. Rotate your shoulders to the right and bring your right knee toward your left elbow as you straighten your left leg. Continue to “pedal” your legs as you twist your shoulders.

2.)  Prone Iso-Abs

Prone iso-abs is a similar exercise to a plank, but instead of holding a static position you move your body up and down off the floor. The movement is challenging to the entire core, which must work to hold your spine straight while your body moves.

Starting Position: Lie face down with your forearms on the floor underneath your chest. Interlace your fingers and lift your heels so you are balancing on the balls of your feet.

Action: Tighten your abs and push your body off the floor. Maintain a straight spine as you lift. Lower your body slowly back to the starting position.

3.)  Suitcases

Suitcases are a challenging core exercise for your upper and lower abs. It is especially important during this exercise that the lower back stays straight and does not round.

Starting Position: Sit on the floor, bend your knees and pull the knees toward your chest. Extend your arms straight in front of you, parallel to the floor. Lift your feet off the ground.

Action: Lean back and extend your legs at the same time. Keep your spine straight and your arms parallel to the floor. Go back as far as you can without breaking form. Sit back up as you pull your knees toward your chest.

4.)  Ball Lean Backs or Stability Ball Crunches

Ball lean backs use a stability ball because sitting on one creates more activation in your muscles than sitting on the ground. This exercise works your abs by forcing you to use the muscles to stabilize your spine and balance on the ball.

Starting Position: Sit on a ball with feet on the floor. Cross your arms to your chest.

Action: Slowly lean back as far as you can without losing your balance. Sit back up straight.

5.)  Side Crunches

Side crunches tone the muscles on the sides of your tummy.

Starting Position: Lie on your back or stability ball with your hands behind your head and your knees bent as if to perform regular crunches. Twist your legs to the left and rest them on the floor.

Action: Curl your upper body off the floor. Repeat with your legs twisted to the right.

Final Thoughts

These 5 tummy toning exercises combined with a healthy diet and cardio exercise will give you a tight, flat abdomen in no time. Strong ab muscles also improve balance and posture.

Author Profile: Sarka-Jonae Miller

Sarka-Jonae Miller is a personal trainer, massage therapist, and the author of the novel "Between Boyfriends." Sarka writes articles on health, fitness, wellness, travel, weight loss, and more.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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