Getting great abs isn't gender specific anymore. 👨 👩 Once upon a time, it seemed like men were the only ones working to get rock hard abs, but head to any gym 🏋 and you'll see that there are just as many women interested in learning how to get great abs. The problem is that we girls seem to have a difficult time sculpting our midsections… but we still want fab abs! Generally, women must work much harder and longer to achieve the washboard abs we’ve have been dreaming of 😌 💤, but it’s not impossible! 🙌 You just have to know the right moves 💃, and a few diet tips 🍏 🍇 🌽, to get great abs, even if you’re a girl, like me. I can help! Here are dozens of ways to get great abs if you are a girl… 🙆
1. Bust the Myth
You’ve seen the ads all over the internet: bust belly fat fast! Well, guess what? Those ads are only helping spread a myth. There is NO way to get rid of fat in one area of your body. The only way to get rid of fat, and get great abs, is to lose weight all over, and tone the muscles in that entire core area. Now that the “lose belly fat” myth is busted, let’s move on and get great abs!
2. Skip the Soda
Before you do a single tummy crunch, think about what you’re putting into your body. A bottle of soda, which is two servings (not one!), contains almost 250 calories. Those are EMPTY calories, so skip the soda in favor of better hydration, like mixed fruit juice with no sugar added, or water with a squeeze of lemon.
3. Forget Fast Food
Here’s another diet tip that will help you get great abs: forget fast food! It’s loaded with calories, many of them from fat. In fact, one value meal can contain all of the calories you’re supposed to eat in one day! Forget fast food. Prepare your own meals at home.
4. Try for Five
Did you know you’re supposed to eat five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day? Most of us don’t! If you try for five servings each day, you’ll notice you have more energy, and that you won’t be hungry… hey, five servings is a lot of food!
5. Don’t Starve Yourself
Don’t think that by cutting calories to the extreme you’ll lose belly fat and sculpt your abs. to build lean muscle, you’ll need protein, and carbs. Don’t starve yourself, or you’ll end up the flabbiest skinny girl on earth, or worse. Don’t’ even skip breakfast! Don’t skip any meals!
6. Fiber Supreme
Did you know that making the simple switch from chemical-filled (and notoriously bland) white bread to fiber-rich, tasty whole grain bread can help you feel fuller, longer, thus giving you the extra push you need to work out, and get great abs? It’s true. All true.
7. Know Your Serving Sizes
Okay, this is the last diet tip, then we’ll move on to exercises that will help you get great abs! Remember when I said that a bottle of soda is actually two servings, not one? Most of us don’t know what an actual serving size is. Check package labels carefully, and learn that a serving size looks like, so when you’re counting calories, you’re including everything you eat.
8. Practice the Inverted Bicycle
You might remember this little exercise from elementary P.E. class. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and spin those legs like you are riding your bicycle. Always remember to breathe throughout your exercise time and pace yourself. To step it up, gently lift your head and crunch in as you “pedal.” Try for 3 sets of 3 minutes apiece.
9. Do Crunches Using an Exercise Ball
Crunches are a great way to shape up your abs. Sit on your exercise ball resting your lower back on the ball and placing your feet on the floor and place hands behind your head. Do crunches up and back while keeping your lower back on the ball. Why are these crunches better for getting great abs? Because, to stay on the ball, you’ll have to use your core for balance, kicking your crunches up a notch.
10. Try Some Old-school Sit-ups
Sit-ups work the core of your body and they don’t require any equipment. For the best results, do fast paced sets and keep your form sharp. Focus on correct breathing and contracting your abs with each movement. Try for 3 sets of 12 or 15.
11. Plank It!
Lie face down and rest on your forearms. Push your body off of the floor resting your body weight on your elbows and toes. Keep your back in a straight line with your head and toes. Tilt your pelvis and then hold for about 20 seconds. Lower back to floor and then repeat several times. See how long you can hold the plank position without bending! Whew!
12. Try Sit-DOWNS, Too
What’s the just-as-effective opposite of a sit-up? How about a sit DOWN! Sit on a decline bench with your feet tucked under the bar at the “up” end of the bench. Sit up, with your hands behind your head, and lay half-way back… don’t lay all the way back! Then slowly sit all the way up again. Repeat for 3 sets of 12… and remember to contract your abs all the way down and up!
13. Reverse Fly
Use a stand-up machine with a waist-high bar. Keeping your knees straight, bend at the waist, then “fly” back up. Don’t over-extend, just keep your line straight as you come up. Repeat for 3 sets of 12. It doesn’t sound like much, but this is great for your core!
14. Twist (shouting is Optional)
Remember these calisthenics? They were also called windmills, I think. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, then bend at the waist and touch your left fingers to your right toes. Come back up, then touch your right fingers to your left toes. Whee! It’s so much fun, you’ll forget you’re working your abs and core. Repeat for 3 sets of 12.
15. Crunch Time
Ah, the dreaded crunches. They’re not very much fun, but they’re necessary if you want great abs. Some gyms offer crunch machines, so you can try those if you’d like. Or, if you prefer, you can use a decline bench. Either way, remember to crunch with your tummy, not with your head or neck. Aim for 3 sets of 12.
16. Crunch and Twist
Sounds like a snack, doesn’t it? Try these in addition to a typical crunch, by simple twisting slightly so your left elbow touches your right knee, then your right elbow touches your left knee. Again, repeat for 3 sets of 12.
17. Leg Raises
How can raising your legs help tone your tummy? Trust me, it works. Sit on a flat bench with your arms behind you for support, then raise your legs (bend your knees on the way up) to tummy-level. Squeeze your abs, then slowly lower your legs. Don’t let your feet touch the floor! Repeat for 3 sets of 20. Whew! See? Feel the burn!
18. Walk It
If you’re just not up to running or jogging, did you know that walking (fast walking, that is) can be just as effective at helping you tone? Make sure you’re going fast-paced enough to make your heart thump, and to break a sweat. Here’s a good rule of thumb to tell if you’re walking fast enough: if you can sing along to your iPod, you need to speed up a bit!
19. Climb the Stairs
Whether you opt for the stairs instead of the elevator or use the torturous stair-climber at the gym, climbing the stairs in another way to get great abs. Why? Again, it’s all about the balance and cardio and weight-bearing exercise. It’s also good for your buns and thighs!
20. Spin It!
If you’ve ever taken a spin class then you already know how marvelous it is at toning your entire body. If you haven’t taken a spin class, what are you waiting for? It’s a wonderful way to get great abs!
21. Take Another Class!
Most gyms have one goal in mind: to help you get healthy and fit, and stay that way. So most of them offer group classes, from spinning (see above) to yoga to Zumba. Find a class that interests you, and sign up! When you’re rocking a bikini-ready bod, including great abs, you’ll be glad you did.
22. Yoga, Too!
That’s right, yoga is another excellent way to get great abs! It’s not all about the Tree or Downward Dog. Most moves help strengthen your core, which in turn is great for your abs. Try a DVD, or take one of those classes I mentioned above.
23. Don’t Forget the Cardio!
By getting good, heart-thumping cardio 4 times a week, for about forty minutes each session, you’ll tone your abs (along with everything else) and be heart-healthy and fit! Good examples of cardio are running, jogging, elliptical, and swimming.
24. Snack Well
For me, the hardest part of sticking to a plan that will help me get great abs is the snacking. I am ALWAYS hungry, so I keep a few healthy snacks in my work bag so I'm prepared when the urge to nosh strikes.
25. Squeezy Does It
No matter how you're working out — cardio or jogging or yoga or whatever — be sure to keep your abs tight. This ensures you'll be getting the maximum ab workout, and even help you keep proper form.
26. Straighten up!
Poor posture won't help you get great abs, or anything else, for that matter. In fact, if you tighten your tummy muscles, you'll notice that you'll automatically sit up a little straighter. There! That's better!
27. Dress the Part
Even if you have the greatest, most sculpted abs on the planet, wearing too-tight jeans will give you the illusion of muffin top, so imagine what even a tin pudge will look like! Wear jeans that flatter your body, rather than super-skinny jeans that are a size too small. Wouldn't you rather look hot in a 6 than look bulgy in a 4?
28. Track Your Progress
Take a before photo of your tummy region before you start working on your abs, then every two weeks, take another. You'll be able to track your "great abs" progress much better this way than by just weighing yourself on a scale.
29. Stay Inspired
Keep a photo of that bikini you want on the fridge to deter late-night snacking, or (sometimes more effective) a less-than-flattering photo of you in your gym bag when you’re feeling less-than-motivated. Or check out our list of motivational quotes for working out… anything that gets you, and keeps you, inspired!
30. Be Realistic
No matter how dedicated you are to your great-abs routine and diet, you won’t get your washboard belly in a week. Or even a month. It takes time, so be patient, and be realistic.
31. Hire a Pro
If all else fails, why not hire a pro? Personal trainers can help you in ways reading a list can’t. I mean, have you ever seen Jillian Michaels NOT get someone fit? Tell your potential trainer you want to tone up, including your abs, and ask for a trial workout before you make a hiring decision.
If you’re searching for how to get great abs and tighten your midsection before you make you big debut at the beach, you can relax. Use these 8 ways to get great abs if you are a girl and you will get great results. Which of these will you try first? What is your favorite ab exercise to tighten your tummy?