Maybe not everyone will agree with me, but I think visible, defined abs on us women is FIT and SEXY.
I know a lot of women are scared to properly train their abs as they think it will build thickness, and make their waist wider. Obviously if you train them in a certain way, this could happen, but in general… This is a MYTH.
Crunches: To put it simply, these are the best exercise for building visible abs. Working the main rectus abdominus (and obliques), this will gradually tighten in to the ‘6 pack’ shape. Not only this but they also strengthen muscle in the hips, pelvis and lower back.
Volume: For us women, always train abs in volume. We don’t want to be repping sets of 8 with a heavy weight –> ERROR (chunky waist big no). Training with bodyweight or a very light weight is more than enough for us to tone our midsections. Besides, volume training burns more fat. I definitely recommend reps of 15-30 and at least 3 sets.
Ditch the weights belt: ‘Controversial’ I know…. But your core is always being used when you training with weights. So by not wearing a weights belt, you are in theory strengthening your core. I have only ever wore a weights belt if I have done my one rep max with squats. I don’t use it for my sets of 8, and I never ‘super’ heavy deadlift. (But If you do, then maybe you should use it for those too)
I literally never use one. This is my opinion if what helps me build definition especially to my intercostals and obliques.
Hit at the end of your session: As above, your core is always being used when training, so to reduce risk on injury from a fatigued core, always hit them at the end of your session.
Do not be afraid to train your obliques: Training your obliques really helps to bring in your shape and tone up your midsection. Just one rule – Always use LIGHT weights or bodyweight.
Side bends, back raises, twisting movements, leg raises; working your whole core instead of just doing crunches will add to creating a tight midsection.
Practice your posture: Get into the habit of standing up straight, holding your core in tight. The law of muscle memory…will do all the work for you.
You can’t out-crunch your diet: (I reaaaaally wish we could!) No matter how much you train your abs, if there is still too much body fat over them, they just will not be as visible as they could be. It really is that simple. Obviously it is harder for us women to have lower bodyfat due to hormones, but trust me, it really can be done when combined with a healthy diet and training regime.
LOVE, E xx
See my latest YouTube video on my top 10 abs exercises