Girls have harder abs than boys

Abs Workout: The 4 Best Exercises

Your belly is great. There's nothing wrong with that. Don't let anything persuade you. Do you still want it to be a little sportier? Okay, but then properly and not with quick diets and wrong training.

We'll show you how to do abdominal muscle tuning right! For an all-round athletic, slim figure in just 8 weeks: Get our highly effective weight loss training plan here.

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"Unfortunately for women, the stomach, next to thighs and buttocks, is the part of the body where, for genetic reasons, we are most likely to attach fat deposits - especially when we do not do much sport and like to eat," explains Marleen Schumacher, trainer and founder of Greenbodycamp Strengthility Coaching. Regardless of whether your goal is just a flat stomach or a pronounced six-pack - these tips will make your abdominal muscle training more effective than ever before.

The anatomy of the abdominal muscles

Before you start, let's first explain what exactly you are training. The abdominal muscles can be divided into 3 areas: the front, straight abdominal muscles, the lateral abdominal muscles, and the rear, deep-set abdominal muscles.

1. The front abdominal muscle

From a purely visual point of view, this is clearly the focus. It runs in 2 longitudinal strands from the breast to the pubic bone and is separated in the middle by the Linea Alba. Its tasks: to ensure an upright posture and to stabilize the trunk and pelvis.

In the case of a six-pack, the transverse intermediate tendons mean that it only looks like it consists of several small muscles. Therefore, from a purely anatomical point of view, there are no 'upper' and 'lower' abdominal muscles that you can train. Depending on the posture, however, the upper or lower area of ​​the straight abdominal muscle is more likely to be stressed.

2. The lateral abdominal muscles

They run from the outside of the ribs at an angle to the pelvis and support the front abdominal muscle: They bend the trunk, lift the pelvis and, together with the back muscles, stabilize the spine.

3. The rear abdominal muscles

The lumbar muscles stabilize your ribs and flex your hips. The abdominal muscles are also involved in breathing and help you push hard out of your stomach.

That's why women should train their abs

Regular and effective training of the front, side and rear abdominal muscles strengthens the middle, forms a beautiful waist and lets the abdominal muscles shine through. In the long run, that doesn't just look good. Abdominal muscle training is also recommended for health reasons. Schumacher confirms: strong abdominal muscles ...

  • strengthen the back and thus prevent back pain
  • stabilize and relieve the spine and thereby improve posture
  • relieve the joints (for example when jogging)
  • make generally more stable and more efficient in everyday life, so that, for example, lugging crates of water is a lot easier

The 4 best abdominal exercises to do at home

The basics have been clarified, then you can start. But before you put your feet under the edge of the bed, get a lot of momentum and do countless crunches, we'll quickly show you how to do it properly. It is best to do the exercises on a soft surface like this exercise mat (€ 34.95) here.

When coach Marleen Schumacher trains her abs, she combines 4 types of abs exercises that you should definitely include in your training plan in order to properly challenge all abs:

1. Explosive exercises like quick sit-ups

Südwest Verlag / Christina Körte

a: Lie on your back and stretch your arms and legs long.

b: With your arms straight up, straighten up explosively and bring your fingers to your toes. Keep your legs on the ground. Hold abdominal tension and put it down again.

2. Negative movements as with the jackknife

Südwest Verlag / Christina Körte

a: Lie on your back and stretch your arms and legs long.

b: Tense your stomach and straighten your upper body as much as possible. The arms pull towards the outstretched feet. From this position, slowly lower your upper body and legs back to the floor.

3. Slow motion exercises like slow leg raises

Südwest Verlag / Christina Körte

a: Lie on your back with your arms next to your body. Lift your legs together and stretch them perpendicular to the ceiling.

b: Now lower your legs very slowly. Work without any momentum and only with traction from the abdominal muscles. The lower back remains firmly on the ground and does not fall into the hollow back. Slowly straighten up again.

4. Static exercises such as the forearm support

Südwest Verlag / Christina Körte

Put your forearms on the floor and put your feet up. The elbows are below the shoulders, the back is straight, and the stomach is tense. Hold this position stable for about 60 seconds. Do not stretch your hips too far up or let them sag.

Are you in the mood for more? Here are 8 super effective abs exercises. But everyone who thinks that they can uncover the longed-for six pack with a few targeted abdominal muscle exercises will unfortunately now be disappointed. Because the usual sit-ups are not enough for the washboard abs.

Why ab training alone doesn't make a flat stomach

You can do as many crunches and sit-ups as you want - it will give you a toned stomach, but it won't always be visible. Because the abdominal exercises only train this specific muscle area. As a result, the subcutaneous fat lying over the anterior abdominal muscles does not automatically melt.

"The most common fallacy is that isolated abdominal muscle training can break down local fat deposits. But there is no such thing as local fat burning," says Schumacher. "In order to lose weight on the stomach and thus make the abdominal muscles visible, the percentage of body fat in the entire body must be reduced." This works best with a mix of full body training, endurance exercise, and a healthy diet. "In addition to this, you should of course also train the abdominal muscles," says the trainer.

This is how the abdominal muscles become visible

The lower your body fat percentage, the more clearly the fine contours of the abdominal muscles become apparent. For women, this is only possible with a body fat percentage of around 18 percent. You can read here how much body fat is ideal for women. One thing is clear: because women generally have a slightly higher percentage of body fat than men, they have to work particularly hard for visible abdominal muscles.

In order to reduce the body fat percentage, the body's basal metabolic rate must be increased. That is the amount of energy that you burn up each day. The most effective method for this is an intensive full-body training in which you build up more muscle mass - the 4 basic exercises of squats, deadlifts, rowing and bench press should not be neglected because they activate large muscle groups and thus burn a lot of energy.

In addition, the core is always trained during squats, deadlifts and many other exercises. "The trunk is the trump card - and on the way to a defined center of the body much more effective than endless cracking with crunches," says Schumacher.

Which food is good for the abs?

Diet also plays a decisive role: in order to reduce the percentage of body fat, many rely on a low-calorie diet, because low carb is considered a kilo killer. "I thought that was too short for me," says the trainer. "You won't get strong muscles just by eating a low-calorie diet." In general, the fitness trainer advocates focusing less on appearance and more on performance when it comes to the stomach.

"Sure, with 'Abs made in the kitchen' you can bring yourself to a low body fat percentage and then enjoy a slim stomach, but what do you get from a flat stomach? Much better are really powerful muscles that will keep you in the long term Support everyday life. " This is only possible with intensive training - and then a few carbohydrates and, above all, lots of good proteins are allowed on the plate. Our tip: Here are 6 foods for a nice flat stomach.

Rocksweeper / Shutterstock
Important: Always tense the entire torso. This significantly improves your execution of the exercise

The 9 most important rules for abdominal training

If you stick to these 9 commandments, nothing can go wrong with the Sixpack project:

1. Avoid a hollow back

"If the muscles are too weak, many tend to fall into the hollow back when doing abdominal exercises," explains Schumacher. You can counteract this by pushing your hips forward, pulling in your belly button and maintaining this tension throughout the exercise.

2. Keep breathing

"Do not hold your breath during the exercise, otherwise the abdominal muscles will cramp quickly," says the trainer. So always keep breathing and breathe out loudly, especially during explosive exercises.

3. Maintain tension

"A mistake that many people make, not just with abs, is that they don't tense the core properly. This improves the performance of almost every exercise."

4. Strengthen your back too

"A well-trained stomach also requires a strong opponent. If the stomach is strong but the back is weak, bad posture can quickly arise." Speaking of which: This is why back training is important for your health.

5. Exercise the whole body

Crunches and sit-ups are good for defining your stomach, but you shouldn't neglect endurance training and strength training for the whole body.

6. Exercise regularly

Logically, those who consistently do their abdominal muscle training achieve the greatest success. However, your challenges should grow with the muscle. That means: Increase the load on your abdominal muscles gently but continuously during training.

7. Muscles need recovery

It usually takes between 48 and 72 hours for a muscle to regenerate. Then he is resilient again for the next round.

8. Bring variety to abdominal muscle training

The body quickly gets used to stress. Therefore, the exercises for the abdominal muscles should always vary and target as many muscle fibers as possible. Here are the 5 best plank variations.

9. Listen to your own body

A final rule for efficient abdominal muscle training is: Perceive discomfort and pain during training as warning signals! Anyone who is unsure whether a certain workout or exercise is not healthy should clarify this with an experienced trainer.

Why am I not getting any abs despite training?

If your abdominal muscles simply do not show themselves despite hard training and a disciplined diet, do not drive yourself crazy: "A large part is simply in the genes. One has full hair, the other a great butt and some pronounced abdominal muscles," says Schumacher. Do not worry, you are definitely fit anyway!

In any case, one thing is certain: working out the abdominal muscles is hard work. Anyone who has worked their stomach in this way can celebrate a little with an abs selfie.

try now

Training plan for 8 weeks fat off in 8 weeks
  • 39-page training plan as PDF
  • only 2 dumbbells required
  • for beginners and advanced users
  • each exercise explained in pictures and video
  • optimized for printing, available on any device
  • More info
Are you already a customer? Then log in here.After successful payment you will receive an email with a download link. If you have any questions, send a message to [email protected]
Coaching ZoneYour fitness goal within reach

Do you want to lose weight, build muscle or get fitter all around? Then you are exactly right with us. Our top trainers will pick you up exactly where you are and write you a tailor-made one Training and / or nutrition plan - Including motivation and questions.

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