It is perfectly reasonable for a woman to want great abs for looks. Having a tight stomach means you can wear a bikini, low-rise jeans and other clothing that just may not look right if you don't have a tight tummy. Other benefits that can last a lifetime come with having great abs, however, including posture improvement and a stronger back. Several exercises exist to help you get more definition in your stomach region.
The pelvic tilt is an ab exercise that can be done anywhere you have room to lie down. Just lie down on your back with your knees bent and your arms down your sides. Press your lower back against the floor until you pelvis begins to tilt upward. Tighten your ab muscles and hold for a count of five and relax. Repeat 10 times.
Stability Ball Crunch
The stability ball crunch is essentially just the same thing as your regular crunches that you probably have already been doing, but with a twist. Get yourself one of those big, soft stability balls and lie across it so that the ball is supporting the small of your back. Keep your knees bent and your thighs parallel to the floor. You can hold your arms behind your head or press them against your stomach so you can better feel the action of your abs tightening. Contract your abs and tuck in your chin as you curl upward at the torso. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Stability Ball Leg Raise
Another exercise for the abs that women can do with a smaller ball is the leg raise. Hold a beach ball between your knees as you lie on your back. Stretch your arms down by your sides. Do a pelvic tilt as you squeeze the ball and tighten your stomach muscles. Repeat eight to 10 times.
Raised Leg Crunch
Doing crunches can quickly wear you down, so it is good to add variety. One way to mix things up a little so that repetition of crunches doesn't kill your motivation is to do a raised leg crunch. Lie down on your back and bend your legs at the knees as you would to do a normal crunch. The differentiation in this version is that you hold both legs up in the air as you curl up your torso. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
Those side muscles known as the obliques need to be worked just as much as the six pack in front. One of the best ways to define and tone your oblique muscles is to lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor as if you were doing a standard crunch. Clasp your fingers behind your head and pull your stomach muscles in as you lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Hold in this lifted position for a count and then rotate your left elbow toward your right knee. Extend your right arm toward your left knee. Hold for a count and then return to the starting position. Repeat by doing the same for the opposite side. Do this for 10 to 12 reps on each side.
Article Written By Timothy Sexton
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.