3 Great Ab-Toning Workouts for Women

By Katie Bolin , last updated December 16, 2011

Get those abs in rock-solid shape with these three great ab-toning workouts for women! Try out awesome moves like the side crunch, the hundred and the arm pullover straight leg crunch to get your tummy looking fabulous.




Side Crunch



The side crunch is a great ab-toning workout because it works hip and oblique muscles in a way that traditional sit-ups or crunches can't.



First you need to kneel on the ground. Lean to the right and place your right hand on the floor. Make sure you balance yourself on your right knee and your right hand. Lift your left leg off the floor, extend and straighten your leg out on the floor and make sure to point your toes. Take your left hand and place it behind your head with your elbow pointed toward the ceiling. Begin to lift your left leg up to hip height as you straighten your left arm to be parallel with your left leg. Your left palm should face forward. Now, pull your left leg in to the left side of your rib cage while you keep your gaze at your extended left palm. Return your leg to the beginning position. For great results, try two sets of six to eight moves on each side of your body.



The Hundred



Lovers of pilates will be very familiar with the hundred. This move is free of any machines or accessories, yet delivers stunning results for your abdominals. A combination of arm movements, breathing, and holding your abs in place will get you well on your way to great abs.



Begin by lying on your back with bent knees and your arms by your side with your palms facing the ground. Exhale deeply and bring your head and shoulders off the floor. With your arms still extended by your sides with your palms facing down, begin to rapidly pump your arms six inches up and down. You'll want to inhale for five breathes and exhale for the next five breaths. Repeat the breathing and arm movements until you reach 100 pumps, or go through a cycle of ten full breaths.



Optional: 

For a more difficult hundred, left your legs off the floor before you bring your head and shoulders off the floor. Keeping your legs straight and abdominals activated, lift your legs about three feet off the floor and follow arm-pumping directions.



Arm Pullover Straight-Leg Crunch



This move is an updated version of a crunch that uses your arms and legs to render even greater results.



Get a pair of dumbbells ranging from five to 12 pounds. Begin lying on your back with your arms lying overhead holding the dumbbells. With your legs extended out on the floor, lift them up so they are at a 45-degree angle. Lift your arms and shoulders off the floor, swinging the dumbbells over your head and above your chest. Simultaneously lift your straight legs from a 45-degree angle to being perpendicular to the floor. Return your legs to the 45-degree angle with your arms above your head. Try doing three sets of 15 repetitions.

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