You can have firm female abs at any age or any stage of life. But, as many women know all too well, it really does get harder to burn fat and lose weight with each passing year. It isn’t because we have grown lazy or self-indulgent. It is because our bodies begin to accumulate more subcutaneous fat once we reach our 30s. Fortunately, it is never too late to learn how to eat for optimal health or incorporate the best exercises for female abs into our weekly exercise routines.
Let’s begin by looking at the structure of the abdominal muscles. There are three components:
1. the transversus abdominus, which provides us with support and stability;
2. the rectus abdominus, which enables us to flex the spine;
3.and the internal and external oblique muscles, which we use to turn, rotate and perform lateral movements.
These critical muscles join the back muscles in forming what is often called the “core”. Together, they form our center of gravity.
You might be wondering how female abs differ from male abs. The primary difference lies in the ability of women to bear children. Our bodies store more fat than men’s bodies in order to support fetal development.
Although it is possible for highly athletic women to achieve the near-mythical eight-pack, there are some medical professionals who advise against it. They warn that the extreme amount of fat loss required for women to achieve washboard female abs often results in the loss or suspension of one’s menstrual cycle and decreases fertility.
But you don’t have to have a completely ripped abdomen to have firm, well-toned female abs. Decide for yourself what type of abs you’d like to have, then take the following steps to reach that goal:
1. eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and lean protein, with lots of raw fruit, leafy vegetables, nuts and legumes;
2. burn fat with regular cardiovascular activity, including running, swimming and cycling;
3. and, finally, target all three abdominal muscle groups with efficient exercises like the curl up, pelvic tilt and cable crunches.
The benefits of firm abs are the same for both women and men: better posture, reduced risk of back pain or injury, improved balance and stability and, of course, a strong, lean physique.
There are, however, some special considerations for women.
1. Because men typically accumulate less fat, they will see noticeable results more quickly than women. If you are exercising with your husband or brother, don’t be discouraged!
2. If you are pregnant, avoid performing any exercises while lying flat on your back. To give female abs a workout, rest on all fours. Contract abdominal muscles as you inhale. Hold for five seconds. Exhale slowly.
3. After pregnancy, don’t begin an exercise routine until you’ve been given the okay by your doctor. In particular, check your abdominal muscles for separation before resuming exercises for female abs. If they have separated, ask a fitness trainer for tips on how to modify exercises. For example, you can modify crunches by crossing your arms across your abs and squeezing the muscles together as you inhale. Lift only your head, not the shoulders.
4. Finally, be aware that post-menopausal women are predisposed to accumulate trans-abdominal fat, which has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Although it is difficult to determine trans-abdominal obesity—the diagnosis usually requires a CT or MRI—the National Cancer Institute has found that routine exercise significantly reduces trans-abdominal fat.Similar Articles