18 Best Ab Exercises For Women

Refresh your core routine with these 18 ab exercises; it will challenge the two dozen muscles between your hips and shoulders from every angle.

18 best ab exercises for women | refresh your core routine with these 18 ab exercises; it will challenge the two dozen muscles between your hips and shoulders from every angle. | www.nourishmovelove.com

Scoring toned abs is more thank cranking out crunches. To sculpt a stronger, more defined core, you need to functionally train the two dozen plus muscles between your hips and your shoulders.

Insert planks, down dog, torso-twisting obliques, and various other core-sculpting exercises to tone your mid-section. Yes, that’s right, you can designate and entire workout to just core exercises; I do at least once a week! In fact, I have a 20 minute core workout on my move second edition dvd series

That said, you don’t have to buy my workout videos to get a core workout {although you should}! Because today I’m sharing my 18 favorite ab exercises and how you can turn them into a full blown, 20 minute workout.

bicycle crunches

the workout: 18 best ab exercises

You can approach this workout three different ways:

  1. Make it a complete 20 minute core workout — complete 20 repetitions {or 20 second isometric hold} of each exercise x 4 sets, or as many sets as possible in 20 minutes.
  2. Make it an 8 minute pick me up {you know the one you do before you have to throw on a bikini} — complete 20 repetitions {or 20 second isometric hold} of each exercise x 1 set, or as many sets as possible in 8 minutes.
  3. Make it a 5 minute add on to your workout of the day — pick 9 of your favorite exercises from below. Complete 20 repetitions {or 20 second isometric hold} of each exercise x 1 set, or as many sets as possible in 5 minutes.

To ensure you’re working the deepest ab muscle {the transverse}, remember, the barre trick of pulling the belly button in tight {back towards your spine} during all exercises.

Note, this workout does incorporate several plank-based exercises; if you need assistance with your plank game check out these 12 Ways to Plank {plus 7 minute plank challenge}.

boat pose – 20 second hold

boat pose

As featured in the Barre 100 Ab Series

three-legged dog + knee pull – 20 reps per leg

3 leg down dog + knee pull

As featured in 12 Ways To Plank

oblique v-up – 20 reps per side

oblique v-up

As featured in the Barre 100 Ab Series

single leg toe touch – 20 reps per leg

single leg toe touch

As featured in the Butt + Abs Workout

low plank hip swivel – 20 reps 

low plank hip swivel

As featured in 12 Ways To Plank

rolling low plank – 20 reps 

rolling low plank

As featured in the 15 minute HIIT pyramid

double leg extensions – 20 reps

leg extentions

As featured in the lower abs exercises for flat stomach

straight leg scissor pulses – 20 reps per leg

straight leg scissor pulses

As featured in the Nourished 7-Day Refresh Ebook. 

side plank oblique crunch – 20 reps per side

side plank oblique crunch

As featured in the Butt + Abs Workout

side plank overhead reach – 20 reps per side

side plank overhead reach

As featured in the Nourished 7-Day Refresh Ebook. 

plank pike jack – 20 reps

Plank Pike and Jack

As featured in the 30 minute butt + abs tabata

low plank dolphin – 20 reps 

low plank dolphin

As featured in 12 Ways To Plank

reverse plank leg lifts – 20 reps per leg

reverse plank leg lifts

As featured in 12 Ways To Plank

double leg lowers – 20 reps 
double leg lowers

As featured in the Nourished 7-Day Refresh Ebook. 

bicycle crunch – 20 reps

bicycle crunch

As featured in the Nourished 7-Day Refresh Ebook. 

straight leg pull + stretch – 20 reps 

straight leg pull and stretch

As featured in the Barre 100 Ab Series

high plank + cross-body knee drives – 20 reps

high plank cross body knee pulls

As featured in the 30 minute butt + abs tabata

high plank – 20 second hold

high plank

As featured in 12 Ways To Plank

18 best ab exercises for women + nutrition 

I love these 18 ab exercises and I’m all about building a strong core, but nutrition is the name of the game when it comes to revealing your hard work. Combining these exercises with regular HIIT training and clean eating.

If you’re looking to jumpstart your metabolism check out my Nourished 7-Day Refresh co-authored with registered dietitian stacie hassing

Nourished 7-Day Refresh

pin this workout

18 best ab exercises for women | refresh your core routine with these 18 ab exercises; it will challenge the two dozen muscles between your hips and shoulders from every angle. | www.nourishmovelove.com

8 comments
    • Thanks Jen! I’m always on the lookout for new core moves, so let me know if you have any suggestions! xo-Lindsey

    • Caity! Yes, it’s always fun to find some new core moves — excited for you to give these a try! I did this routine one time through this morning and it’s a burner! xo-Lindsey

  1. This is so AWESOME! I need some more CORE moves for myself and the class that I teach…I have already pinned and wrote them down to use on Thursday morning! I needed this inspiration to up the core game…thanks for sharing friend! XOXO

    • Hi Katie! Yay, so glad you love these core exercises as much as I do! I’m working on a new Core workout video myself so this was a little inspiration for me too! Thanks for pinning and sharing! Have a great day! xo-Lindsey