You’ve been obsessing over your abs for almost two decades. That ends now. Because we laid out one of the best ab workouts for women to kick those elusive buggers out of hiding. Finally.
Why’s our plan so damn effective? Because it hits your entire core—not just your ab muscles but the muscles that support the spine—from all angles with a variety of moves that challenge your stability, balance, and rotational strength.
EXERCISE 1STABILITY BALL PELVIC TILT CRUNCH
Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball. Lie faceup on a stability ball with back and head pressed into the ball, your feet together on the floor, and the medicine ball positioned against your chest (A). Brace your abs and crunch up until your shoulders are off the ball. Then reach the ball toward the ceiling (B). That’s 1 rep.
Works chest, abs, hips, and glutes
EXERCISE 2WALK THE PLANK AND ROTATE
Get in plank position with your hands on a 12- to 18-inch step (A). With your weight on your left arm, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling (B). Return to plank position and step your right arm down to the right of the bench, then your left arm down to the left of the bench. Step back up, leading with your left arm. That’s 1 rep.
Works entire core, shoulders, chest, back, and hips
EXERCISE 3ARM PULL OVER STRAIGHT-LEG CRUNCH
Grab a pair of 10- to 12-pound dumbbells and lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle (A). Bring your arms up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor (B). Return to start (don’t let your legs touch the floor). That’s 1 rep.
Works upper back, abs, and hips
EXERCISE 4THE MATRIX
Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your abs (A). Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees planted (B). Hold the reclined position for 3 seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.
Works abs, back, glutes, and quads
EXERCISE 5NOSE-TO-KNEE CRUNCH
Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball (A). Draw your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for 1 second, then return to plank position. That’s 1 rep.
Works entire core, shoulders, chest, hips, and glutes
EXERCISE 6PRONE OBLIQUE ROLL
Get in plank position with your shins about hip-width apart on a stability ball and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor (A). Keeping your feet on the ball, draw your right knee toward your right shoulder (the left just comes along for the ride) (B). Return to center.
Works shoulders, chest, obliques, back, and glutes
EXERCISE 7BACK EXTENSION REAR LEG RAISE
Rest your hips and stomach on a stability ball. Straighten your legs and position your toes hip-width apart on the floor. Extend your arms in line with your shoulders (A). Lift your right leg about 6 inches off of the floor while reaching your arms as far out as possible (B). That’s 1 rep.
Works lower back and glutes