Achieving a toned and lean midsection is no easy task, especially for women, as they tend to be slightly wider through their pelvis and have a wider waist. However, visible abs aren’t impossible if you’re committed to doing the right exercises and consuming the right diet.
The best part? You can achieve six-pack abs by simply doing specific bodyweight exercises. They can train your abs and obliques more effectively compared to any other part of the body.
The best bodyweight exercises for women are those that target the four major muscle groups at the core – rectus abdominus, external abdominal obliques, internal abdominal obliques, and transverse abdominus.
To target all four muscle groups, it’s important to incorporate a variety of stabilization exercises into your workout routine. The best thing about including these exercises is that they not only help stabilize the pelvis and spine but also improve posture.
Bodyweight Exercises for Six-pack Abs
Look to do these five bodyweight exercises two to three times a week to strengthen your core and achieve six-pack abs. Let’s get started:
Sit-ups are a staple bodyweight exercise that targets the rectus abdominus and external obliques.
- Lie down straight on your back on a mat, with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Position your feet flat on the flat.
- Cross your hands over your chest, or position them behind your head.
- Keeping your abs engaged and feet flat, lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
- Pause for a second at the top, and slowly lower back down to the starting position.
- Continue the movement for two sets of ten reps each.
2) Leg-up Crunch
Leg-up crunches are one of the core-killing bodyweight exercises that work on the upper and lower abs. This exercise is a challenging variation of the standard crunches.
- Lie down straight on the floor or mat. Lift your legs at a 90-degree angle, and extend your hands behind your head.
- Slowly crunch up while trying to touch your toes or knees with your fingertips.
- Lower back down to the starting position, and crunch up again.
- Continue the exercise for three sets of ten reps each.
3) Flutter Kick
Flutter kicks are great bodyweight exercises that target all the muscles in the core, particularly the lower rectus along with the hip flexors.
- Lie down on a mat with your face up, and position both hands under your butts.
- Keeping your lower back on the mat, lift your right leg off the floor past hip height, and then lift your left leg so that it gets a few inches off the floor.
- Hold for a second, and switch the position of your legs while making a flutter kick movement.
- To make it more challenging, try doing this exercise with your neck and head lifted off the floor.
- Repeat for up to 30 seconds.
4) V-sit Crunch
The V-sit ab exercise targets the external obliques, rectus abdominus, internal obliques, and hip flexors. It also improves trunk and core balance.
- Start the exercise in a seated position with your hands on the floor and feet flat.
- Engage your abdominal muscles, and slowly lift your legs up until they get extended at a 45-degree angle with the torso.
- Move your arms straight forward, or allow them to reach towards your shins.
- Maintain a good posture and a stable spine throughout the movement to prevent rounding the shoulders forward.
- Hold this V-shaped posture for a few seconds, and return to the starting position while continuing to keep your core engaged and tight.
- Complete two sets of ten seconds each.
Planks are another staple and one of the most beneficial bodyweight exercises to get six-pack abs. Doing this exercise regularly can help improve posture and prevent lower back pain.
Planks target the internal and external obliques, rectus abdominus, transverse abdominis, back, shoulders, arms, hips, and quads.
- Kneel down on the floor, and position your palms just in front of you. Make sure the palms are flat, and arms are extended straight.
- Slowly bend down, and position your forearms on the floor. Move your legs behind while flexing your toes and keeping your legs straight.
- Hold this posture for as long as you can, and make sure to engage your core muscles throughout the exercise.
- Release after a few seconds, and repeat.
The aforementioned bodyweight exercises can not only help you achieve six-pack abs but also strengthen the major muscle groups. They also promote good posture.
Apart from exercising, though, you must also eat right to get the desired results. So, for an optimal healthy physique, load up on nutritious and clean foods, and limit your intake of processed foods and alcohol.