Life these days has become more and more chaotic! Whether you’re working your tail off at a 9 to 5 job or running the little ones from one activity to the next, finding time for the gym has become a chore all in itself! When we do finally find time to hit the gym, how many of us remember to include our abs? I myself am guilty of forgetting to include my abs in my routine.

So why the fuss over blasting our abs? Researchers have said that we use our core muscles to do almost everything from walking from our car to our cubicle, to mopping up spills left behind from the kiddos [1]. A stronger core can also make it easier to do almost everything from playing a quick backyard pick-up game to tying your shoes!

Why Are Ab Workouts for Women So Important?

Researchers at Harvard have found that our core plays a very significant role in many activities. They refer to our core as a sturdy central link in a chain, connecting our upper and lower body. No matter where the motion starts, it ripples upward and downward to adjoining lings in the chain. Thus, weak or inflexible core muscles can impair how well the rest of our body functions.

One of the most important rolls it helps with is good posture. Weak core muscles contribute to slouching. Good posture trims your silhouette and projects confidence, (who couldn’t use more of that?!) More importantly, it lessens wear and tear on the spine and allows you to breathe deeply. Good posture helps you gain full benefits from the effort you’ve been putting into exercising too! [2]

5 Quick & Simple At Home Ab Workouts

So here are some quick and simple at home ab workouts (no equipment needed!) to help you sculpt those abs.

1. Boat Pose

Sit tall on the floor, or mat if you have one, with your legs extended and hands at your sides. Lift your feet off the floor and bend your knees so that your shins are parallel with the floor. Keeping your abs engaged, lean back slightly but stay as far forward on your butt as possible. Reach your fingers forward, keeping your hands in line with your shoulders. Breathe! Hold for 30-45 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

2. Bicycle Crunches

Lie on your back with your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your shoulders up and bring your left knee to your chest, extend your right leg out and twist your right elbow to your left knee. Repeat on the other side. Keep alternating until you’ve done 12-15 on each side for a total of 24-30. Repeat 3 times.

3. Plank

Start down on your hands and knees. Straighten your legs so that you’re now in a plank position resting on your toes. Try to keep your back straight and aligned. Hold this pose for 30-45 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

4. Scissor Lifts

Lying on your back, bring your legs straight into the air to form a 90* angle with your torso. While engaging your core muscles, lower your right leg down so that it’s 4-6” off of the ground. Hold it there for 3-5 seconds. Make sure to keep your abs engaged and your back flat on the floor. Now bring your right leg back up and repeat using your left leg. Do 10-15 reps per leg. Repeat 3 times.

5. Mason Twist

Sit on the floor keeping your upper and lower body off the floor, almost in the same position as the boat pose we did earlier. While clasping your hands together and twisting at the waist, bring your hands down to your right side and touch the floor (or as close as possible!). Return to the starting position and now twist to your left trying to touch the floor as well. Do 15-20 on each side. Repeat 3 times.

6. Good Old Fashioned Crunch

The basic crunch exercise for the abs seem simple, yet many people don’t perform it properly! Using good form on this simple and basic exercise will make it that much more effective.

Lie on your back, bend your knees and place your hands on the side of your head. Contract your abs and keep your lower back against the floor. Slowly lift your shoulder blades 1-3 inches off the floor. Keep your neck straight and your chin up. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Breathe! Slowly lower back to the starting position keeping your abs contracted. Repeat 25-30 times, while focusing on keeping proper form.


[1] Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Oct 2011. Core Exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles. Mayo Clinic.

[2] Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School. 2012. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core. Harvard Medical School.

About The Author

Brian E. is from southern California and has worked for names like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as a supplement expert and consultant. He currently lives in Utah and is studying marketing.

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