Are there any hidden secrets to getting the flat tummy you have always wanted? You could be fooled into thinking so and it’s all too easy to fall for the promises of the health and fitness magazines and websites. Whilst there are some excellent stomach exercises for women, most of these exercises are almost useless for achieving the look you want unless you have the correct diet.

You could do a 1000 stomach crunches a day and yes it will make your abs strong, but if you are indulging in the wrong foods, that stubborn layer of fat you have on your tummy will hide all the hard work you have put into your ab training.

Try not to listen to the slick marketing campaigns and fitness gurus promising you the world from a super new product or supplement. The simple truth is there is no shortcut to achieving the awesome flat defined abs you want. It will take a lot of effort on your part, you will need to stick to a healthy diet, choose the right exercises and do some cardio each day.

What Do I Need To Do?

First of all forget everything you have heard in the past, your abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym, it’s here we need to concentrate most of our efforts. Its quite simple 80% diet choice and 20% exercises and cardio.

Focus on what’s important and that is nutrition, as I said above forget about the next best fat loss pill or highly marketed supplement, leave all the hyped false marketing out of your training schedule and get going on what works.

Are You Eating Enough Protein?

Protein will help you build muscle as well as burn fat, protein has the highest thermogenic effect on the body compared to all the other macronutrients. Helping burn a load of calories breaking the protein down.

If you want to reveal that lean muscle underneath, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet, one made up of lean proteins high in the essential amino acids, fish, beef, chicken, healthy fats and some carbs, mix this up with your leafy greens and your body will soon start to become a calorie burning machine.

Exercises Cardio

Now you have your diet where you want it to be, it’s time to consider what exercises and cardio you will need to get your lean midsection. With no major differences between the muscular structure of the female or male abdominals, apart from women are slightly wider through the hips and have a longer waist, there is no real reason why women should exercise their abs any differently to men.

So no matter what abdominal exercise you do, you first have to understand if it is primarily an ab movement? In the past bodybuilders and athletes would do a lot of conventional exercises such as sit-ups and leg raises, but unfortunately those are not primary abdominal exercises, instead, they work the hip flexors(iliopsoas muscles). The secret to all primary ab exercises is a crunch.

  • Crunching your rib cage towards your pelvis (The crunch)
  • Your pelvis up towards your ribcage (reverse crunch) Reverse crunches can be done using a weight bench, flat or decline or hanging from a bar

New To Stomach Exercises?

If you are new to abdominal exercises, it is recommended to train your abs every other day, for those of you who are already working out in the gym but have neglected ab training in the past, train them with every workout. “Alternate each session of ab training with 5 sets of crunches and your next session 5 sets of reverse crunches,” says Mr Schwarzenegger.

Both reverse crunches and crunches work the whole of the abdominal area. But crunches tend to work the upper abdominal area and reverse crunches the lower.

Exercises

CRUNCHES

Upper Abdominals

  1. Lie on your back on the floor, your legs resting across a flat bench in front of you.
  2. Place your hands behind your head so your thumbs are behind your ears.
  3. Curl your shoulders and trunk upward toward your knees, rounding your back. Try not to lift the whole of your back off of the floor, it’s important to roll forward and crunch your ribcage towards your pelvis.
  4. Hold and squeeze your abs for a moment at the top of the movement.
  5. Slowly lower yourself back down to starting position.
Floor Crunches With the Legs on a Bench : Working Out to Be Fit

REVERSE CRUNCHES

Lower Abdominals

This exercises is best done using a bench but can be performed on the floor.

  1. Lie on your back on a flat bench and reach up behind your head and hold the back of the bench back pad.
  2. Without lifting your pelvis off the floor bring your knees towards your face. Starting position.
  3. Now bring your knees up as close to your face as possible rounding your back, with your glutes coming up off the bench and curling up towards the ribcage.
  4. Hold the contraction for a moment and move your legs back down to starting position whilst exhaling.
Reverse crunches on a bench

TWISTING CRUNCHES

Upper Abdominals And Obliques

  1. Lie on your back with your feet resting across a bench in front of you.
  2. Put your hands behind your neck and curl your trunk towards your knees rounding your back as you do this. twist your right elbow towards your left knee until you feel a stretch in your abs.
  3. Hold for a moment at the top of the movement and repeat with the opposite side.
Oblique crunch on bench

SEATED LEGS TUCKS

Upper And  Lower Abdominals

  1. Sit down crossways on a bench and hold on to the side for support. Stretch your legs out in front of you and bend your knees slightly. Lean backwards at a 45-degree angle. This is your starting position.
  2. Bring the knees in toward you as you move your torso closer to them at the same time. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
  3. You should feel the crunch as your rib cage and pelvis squeeze together. From this position lower your torso and knees back to starting position.
How to do Bench Knee Tucks

What You Will Need

As you can see most of the exercises in this workout are best performed using a weight bench although you can do variations of the exercises on the floor. If you do not already own a weight bench and would like to see some of the best benches available on a budget then please check out our detailed reviews of adjustable weight benches under $150. Click on any of the pictures below for adjustable bench reviews.
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