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5 Abs Exercises for Women

5 Abs Exercises for Women

The summer swimsuit season is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to start toning those abs. However, it’s hard to get motivated when the only ab exercises in your repertoire are the traditional crunches and planks you’ve been doing since middle school gym class.

Instead of resorting back to boring old ab exercises that never seem to get the job done, try these five ab exercises that will help tone your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. Even better, these simple ab exercises can be performed in the comfort of your home, with no costly gym memberships or time-consuming training sessions required.

1. Pilates 100s

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    Feel the burn in your upper abs with this basic pilates maneuver that promotes a deeper ab workout, so you’re not just working the top layer of your abdominal muscles.

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    Start by laying flat on your back, then lift your upper back off the floor until your shoulder blades are only touching the floor slightly. Lift your legs to a 45-degree angle and keep your arms at your sides about two inches off the floor. Inhale, and pump your arms up and down five times. Exhale, and pump another five times.

    2. Planking frog tucks

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      Take the boring plank you hate and make it more interesting with planking frog tucks, which use your body weight to work your core and abs without doing crunches.

      Start on the floor in a push-up position. Tighten your abs and bring your left foot forward so it sits beside your left hand. Straighten the leg back to the starting position, and bring your right foot forward, so it sits beside your right hand. That’s one repetition.

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      3. Seated Russian twist

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        The seated Russian twist is an abdominal exercise that engages the whole abdomen. You’ll feel the burn in all of your core muscles, including your internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis, and even the lower back.

        Start on the ground with your knees bent and your heels on the ground. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight. Extend your arms in front of you and place one hand on top of the other. Pull your belly button in toward your spine and rotate to the left. Inhale as you come back to the center, then rotate to the right. This is one rep.

        4. Twisting side plank

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          It’s no secret that many women struggle with dreaded “love handles.” The twisting side plank not only works the abs and obliques (love handles), it also engages the shoulders, quads, and glutes for an all-around workout.

          Start in a side plank position. Put your weight on your right elbow and point your fingers away from your elbow. Place your left arm behind your head and inhale. Rotate the left side of your body toward the floor. Hold the position for one second, tightening your abdominal muscles, then return to the starting position. Perform the exercise on the opposite side.

          5. Scissor kicks

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            Scissor kicks are an abdominal exercise that can be altered to suit beginner or advanced exercise enthusiasts. The primary muscles worked are the transverse abdominis (your stomach’s deepest muscles) and the hip flexors, but you’ll feel the burn in your rectus abdominis, internal obliques and external obliques too. Simply put, be prepared for a sore core the day following your workout.

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            Start by lying flat on your back with your arms at your sides and palms down. Bring your legs up toward the ceiling while pressing your lower back into the floor. Pull your abs in and lower one leg toward the ground (stop a few inches above the floor), keeping the other straight up in the air. Alternate legs to complete one full rep.

            Featured photo credit: Jimi Lanham via c2.staticflickr.com

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            Last Updated on August 7, 2020

            6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

            6 Best Fat Burning Exercises You Can Do at Home

            Gyms all over the world are re-opening, yet most people are put off by the various restrictions, risks, and the realization of not having so much time to dedicate to exercise anymore. Covid-19 has started a revolution within the fitness industry, and the new trend is all about at-home training. If you’re going to follow this trend, you’ll need to know some of the best fat burning exercises you can do at home.

            Many busy people around the world don’t want to spend hours commuting and queueing outside of gyms, but the desire for a flat stomach is stronger than ever now that the summer season has finally peaked. If you want to maximize the little time you have to exercise from your living room, check out these fat burning exercises.

            The best workouts are always going to be those that consist of moves that engage multiple large muscle groups. You can easily take a simple, conventional toning move and turn it into something more efficient that gives you the most bang for your buck.

            While it takes a lot of different kinds of training to reach well-rounded fitness (strength training, cardio, stretching, etc.), total body strength training and HIIT (high-intensity interval training) are best for burning off body fat quickly.

            Apply this concept to the exercises that make up your routines, and they become dynamic, fat-burning workouts. Here are the best examples of exercises that consume a lot of energy and don’t require any equipment.

            1. Burpees

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              No cardio compilation would be complete without burpees. They challenge every part of your body and send your heart rate soaring in no time. All this adds up to an exercise that burns about 10 calories per minute[1].

              Assuming you’re doing between 10 and 20 repetitions every minute, this is one of the best fat burning exercises out there. You can torch even more calories by upping the pace. Just make sure you don’t let your form suffer!

              2. Jumping Lunges

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                If you thought basic lunges were hard, you’ve never tried jump lunges before. This plyometric exercise strengthens all the same muscles, but it’ll also get your heart pounding in no time.

                To get started, simply lunge forward on your left leg as you bring your right arm forward and left arm back, elbows bent at 90-degree angles. From the lunge, jump straight into the air as you switch your arm and leg positions, then land with the opposite arm and leg in front. You’ll burn about 12 calories per minute, so you can really get a good workout in a short amount of time.

                3. Jumping Squats

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                  Like with jump lunges, jump squats add a cardio element to a basic strengthening move. You’ll perform a bodyweight squat with your arms straight out in front of you, or bent with your hands behind your ears. At the bottom of the squat, jump as high as you can, land with your knees slightly bent, then immediately sink into your next squat.

                  4. Push-ups

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                    Push-ups are a total body exercise that are easily modified and can be made to be very challenging, even for the most avid exerciser. To make pushups easier, elevate your hands on a bench, counter-top, or against a wall.

                    To make push-ups more difficult, elevate your feet. The higher the angle (with your hands on the ground), the more of your bodyweight you support. Also, you can increase the range of motion by elevating your hands on books, push up handles, or something similar.

                    5. Mountain Climbers

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                      Mountain climbers might win the award for most travel-friendly exercise because they require no equipment and take up hardly any space. On the flip side, they also deserve some recognition for being super challenging.

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                      A 150-pound person can expect to burn around 30 calories after three sets of 40 repetitions. You can easily incorporate any of these other moves to create a full workout, or simply go for as many sets as you can.

                      6. Jumping Jacks

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                        That’s right. This old-school warm-up is an effective form of cardio. The primary benefit of doing jumping jacks is that it elevates your heart rate. You breathe more deeply while jumping, which delivers oxygen to your bloodstream and ultimately to your muscles.

                        In addition, you will also shake your lymphatic system and burn fat at a rapid rate[2], promoting weight loss. Extra tip: Do as many jumping jacks as possible for 10 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the same routine for 20 seconds and 30 seconds.

                        What to Do With These Exercises

                        Each one of the above-mentioned moves has the potential of consuming a lot of calories on its own. Pairing them or combining them can be an excellent way of creating a time-effective, fat-melting home workout. I have been coaching busy executives, moms, and dads for over a decade, and finding time-effective hotel room workouts has always been a skill of mine. In my experience with extremely busy clients all over the world, three types of routine give the best bang-for-buck results while also improving the rate of compliance (it’s useless to have the best routine if you don’t practice it).

                        Let’s explore a few examples:

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                        Daily Walks

                        This is the home fat burning protocol baseline. It’s important to realize that no exercise routine will help you lose weight if you don’t make a point of getting your 10,000 daily steps.

                        If you’re able to be out and about, aim to get 10,000 steps per day. Walking serves as a great way to clear your head, manage stress, and keep fat gain to a minimum.

                        This may not sound like a big deal, but getting around 10,000 steps per day may burn as many as 500 calories[3]. Taken over the week, that’s 3500 calories, or the same number of calories in a pound of fat.

                        Walk in the morning. Walk while doing meetings on the phone. Walk after meals. Walk while you listen to podcasts. Walking time doesn’t need to be dead time.

                        Bonus: When you go for your walks, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and breathe through your nose. Nasal breathing has a ton of benefits including:

                        • Better oxygen extraction, which can lead to more energy.
                        • Maintain a balanced pH in your body.
                        • Deep nasal breathing may decrease nerve activity in the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response).
                        • Increase Nitric oxide, which can improve the flow of nutrients into your body, improve waste disposal, and regulate blood pressure.
                        • Regulate workout intensity.
                        • Mouth breathing accelerates water loss, which can accelerate dehydration.

                        The Intermittent Training Protocol

                        This protocol should be the base of your exercise program, and it takes virtually no time. Do this every day:

                        Pick one of the above-mentioned exercises and perform it with perfect form, as fast as you can, for 30′ seconds, totally cold. If you have stiff joints or previous injuries, scale down the jumping version of the exercise with the static one (example: switch jumping squats with regular squats).

                        Repeat this 2-3 times a day, every day.

                        In his book, The Immunity Code, Joel Greene explains how quickly performing an exercise totally cold and at a totally random time of the day will prime your body to learn that particular movement pattern, improving strength, metabolic rate (therefore fat loss), and joint health.

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                        The secret of maintaining a young body may as well be being able to sprint from zero to hero or squat as fast as you can without a second notice (as our ancestors might have been doing their whole life).

                        This intermittent training protocol takes virtually no time and has an insane cumulative effect. Think about it: 30 squats, three times a day, for seven days is 30 x 3 x 7 = 630 squats that likely equal 1000 calories burned and virtually zero time consumed. A great idea is to do your chosen exercise each time you hit the toilet in order not to forget about it.

                        The 20-minute Hotel Room HIIT Workout

                        Here, the game gets tough. If you can cut 20 minutes, one to four times per week, you’re up for a sweaty, fat burning blast. Do this:

                        Pick 4 of the above-mentioned exercises, and do them as fast as you can for 60 seconds, then rest for 2 minutes.

                        Example of a lower body + core day:

                        • 1′ jumping jacks, rest 10”
                        • 1′ jump squats, rest 10”
                        • 1′ jump lunges, rest 10”
                        • 1′ jountain climbers, rest 2′
                        • Repeat 3-4 times

                        Example of an upper body + core day:

                        • 1′ jumping jacks arms, fully extended, rest 10”
                        • 1′ press-ups, rest 10”
                        • 1′ burpees, rest 10”
                        • 1′ mountain climbers, rest 2′
                        • Repeat 3-4 times

                        Final Thoughts

                        Over my 10+ years of experience as a trainer coaching TV celebrities, executives, CEOs, and a ton of average people looking for a great workout, I’ve learned that the only way to help people maintain a fitness routine is to create a fitness regime that can improve people’s lives rather than consume it.

                        Going to the gym is great, but it’s a time-consuming activity, and it’s rarely a necessary one if your goal is to be lean, young, healthy, and energetic. Over the past four months, I’ve been helping thousands of people to get fit from home, for free, in my private Busy Yet Fit Community by streaming my live home workouts every single day. Feel free to join and learn more about at-home routines that suit all levels of fitness.

                        More on the Best Fat Burning Exercises

                        Featured photo credit: Pavigym Prama via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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