Flat belly is every woman’s desire but for many women achieving a slim abdomen area is a very difficult thing. Men and women have similar abdomen muscles, but in the case of ladies the structure of the body is wider through the pelvis which gives them a longer waist. This body shape is more challenging for getting flat, firm abs.
However, this can be achieved by implementing proper exercises, and by following them you will get those flat tight abs. These exercises target the four muscle groups in your abdomen and because of that they are very efficient.
Four Abdomen Muscle Groups
- External abdominal obliques
These muscles are the ones located on your sides which you can feel just beneath your arms, along your ribcage.
- Internal abdominal obliques
These stabilizing muscles lie below the external obliques.
- Transversus abdominus
They are the deepest, and go horizontally around the midsection.
- Rectus abdominus
Contrary to the transverses these ones are the superficial muscles which we recognize in the “six-pack” abs. They go from the sternum down to the pelvis. They assist in flexibility of spine while walking.
Essential abdomen exercises
The performance of stabilization exercises is an essence if you want to target and tone all four muscle groups. Working out these core muscles will contribute to the stabilization of the spine and pelvis thereby improving the body’s posture. In this way you will avoid the occurrence of back pain and as well as lower the existing one.
These stabilization exercises target the core which will stimulate the work of more muscles thus burning more calories which was not the case with the standard crunches and sit-ups.
For a stronger core, perform these abdominal exercises two to three times a week.
- Start this exercise on your left side, positioning your elbow straight underneath the shoulder and your forearm perpendicular to your body. Make sure to gather your feet or simply put one in front of the other.
- Now, contract your abs and start raising your hips off the ground till the body is in a diagonal line starting from the shoulder to the feet.
- Stay like that for about 30 to 45 seconds.
- After that change sides and repeat the procedure once again.
Getting the higher level of this exercise is by adding hip dips. Do the exercise for 30 to 45 seconds, just in this case continually dip your hips till you lightly touch the ground and then go back to the initial position.
The advantage of the performance of this exercise is that the back and the abs muscles work together in order to keep the spine elongated. Here you are supporting the body weight on only two points of contact which requires more involvement from your core to remain stable.
Plank Crawl Out
- Take the standing position with your feet together and engage your core. Then start bending at the hips in order to reach the ground. Once the fingertips tap the ground, walk your hands out till you come to a push-up position.
- Now, crawl your way back up to the initial position by inching your hands backward and piking your hips up to the ceiling. As soon as the feet become flat on the ground, bend at the hips once again and elevate your body back up to the standing position.
You can bring this exercise to a higher level by raising one leg before walking the hands out.
The advantage of this exercise is bringing intensity and resistance to your abs.
- Start this one in an upright sitting position with bent knees and feet flat on the ground.
- Then, lean back, balancing on the sitting bones and elevate your legs off the ground.
- Now, move your arms forward with palms up so that the body forms the V shape. Stay in this position for half a minute.
For advanced level you can do a low boat pose by dropping your feet to around six inches above the ground.
This move works your lower abs.
- For this exercise you need to sit with your knees bent at 90-degree angle and feet flat. Then bring your arms forward with the palms facing each other.
- Now, exhale, pulling your belly button toward your spine. Then, roll back onto your tailbone thereby curving your spine into a C shape.
- Inhale and go back to the initial position.
- Do 15 reps.
For a more advanced level, instead of rolling back into a C shape, roll all the way back going flat on your back.
The advantage of this exercise is that targets and intensifies the rectus abdominus.
The Alligator Drag
For the performance of this move you will need an extra space to move on and some object that slides easily across the floor like a plastic bag, or Frisbee used on carpet, or a towel used on hardwood or tile floors.
- Start the exercise in a plank position with your feet on the plastic bag, Frisbee, or towel.
- Now, start walking with dragging your lower body along for 10 to 20 yards, meanwhile using your hands to achieve this. In the process of moving forward keep your core and glutes tight.
- Take a little break (1 minute), and then drag your body back to the starting position.
- Rest and repeat the exercise.
In this exercise you are using the entire core for stability. Plus, it combines movement and resistance for added intensity.
All these exercises will help you in achieving the goal of firm and strong abdomen muscles and at the same time improve the body posture.
As per Mayo Clinic, a “spot reducing” fat in specific parts of the body does not exist, which suggests that you may not get those six-pack abs even if you do hundreds of repetitions. Successful reduction of body fat is achieved by lowering the consumption of calories, and introducing healthy diet plan and strictly following a consistent exercise plan.