15 Best Ab Exercises for Women for Toning and Core Strength

Hey there, Bombshell beauties! We know you're all about embracing your strength, power, and femininity — and what's a better way to flaunt it than by rocking a toned, strong midsection? But achieving sculpted abs is not just about the sexy aesthetics. 

Having a strong core goes beyond bikini season and is essential for your overall fitness, balance, and posture. So, get ready as we dive into the best ab exercises for women for toning and core strength.

What Is the Core?

But first, let's have a quick anatomy catch-up (don't worry, this won't be like high school biology!). 

When we say "core," we're talking about more than just those six-pack abs. Your core consists of several muscle groups, including the "rectus abdominis" (that's where your six-pack lives), the "obliques" (those muscles on your sides that help you twist and turn), and the "transverse abdominis" (a deep muscle that wraps around your midsection like a corset).

These muscles are the superheroes of your body, involved in everything you do, from your morning run to your late-night dance-offs. They help maintain balance, protect your back, and even play a significant role in breathing

So, keeping them strong and toned adds to your Bombshell allure and enhances your day-to-day activities and workouts.


15 Best Ab Exercises for Women

Ready to bring the heat, Bombshells? Here are 15 ab-defining at-home workouts that will have your core screaming (in a good way) and leave you feeling stronger and sexier than ever.

1. Plank


Start in a high push-up position with your palms flat on the ground and your hands directly under your shoulders. Your feet should be hip-width apart. Engage your core and maintain a straight line from your head to your heels, making sure not to let your hips sag. 

This is the ultimate core builder, and you only need your body weight! Aim for 30-60 seconds per set.

2. Side Plank

Side Plank

Lie on your right side and support your upper body on your right forearm. Your feet should be stacked. Raise your hips off the floor, creating a straight line from head to feet.

Hold this position for 30 seconds, then switch to the left side, working your obliques.

3. Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle Crunch

Lie flat on your back, hands gently cradling your head. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg. Switch sides in a bicycle pedaling motion.

Keep your ab muscles engaged, and keep the pace slow and controlled. Aim for 12-15 reps on each side.

4. Dead Bug

Dead Bug

Lay on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your legs at a 90-degree angle. Lower your right arm and left leg until they're just above the floor.

Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side, challenging your coordination while working your abs.

5. Reverse Crunch

Reverse Crunch

Lie on your back with your legs in the air and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Contract your abs to pull your knees toward your chest while lifting your hips off the floor. 

Slowly lower your hips and legs back to the starting position for one rep, really focusing on the lower abs.

6. Dumbbell Side Bend

Dumbbell Side Bend

Stand tall, feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Keeping your back straight, bend at the waist as far as right as possible, then to the left.

Switch the dumbbell to your left hand and repeat, working those obliques.

7. Kettlebell Windmill

Kettlebell Windmill

Start by holding a kettlebell in your right hand, and extending your arm overhead. Bend at your waist, rotate your body to the left, and reach down towards your left foot with your left hand. 

Keep your right arm extended and the kettlebell always above you. This move targets your entire core and even works your shoulders.

8. Pilates Scissors

Pilates Scissors

Start by lying on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground, and bring your right leg towards your face as you reach your right elbow to the knee.

Switch legs and elbows for a total core workout.

9. Lower Ab Taps

Lower Ab Taps

Start by laying on your back and lift your legs in the air, knees bent at 90 degrees. Slowly lower your feet towards the ground without touching it, then lift them back up.

This is a gentle but effective move for the lower abs.

10. Oblique Crunch

Oblique Crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your right hand behind your head, left arm out. Crunch up and try to touch your right elbow to your left knee.

Repeat on the opposite side. This is great for toning those side muscles.

11. V-Up


Start by laying flat on your back, with your arms extended above your head and legs straight. In one swift move, lift your legs and torso up at the same time, reaching your hands towards your feet. 

Slowly lower back down for a challenging, full-ab crunch.

12. Full Body Roll-Up

Full Body Roll-Up

Start by laying flat on your back, arms overhead. As you exhale, slowly roll up one vertebra at a time, reaching your hands towards your toes. Inhale, then as you exhale, slowly roll back down. 

This pilates-inspired move works your entire core.

13. Mountain Climber

Mountain Climber

Start in a high plank position, hands directly under your shoulders. Bring your right knee towards your chest, then quickly switch, bringing your left knee towards your chest.

Keep alternating, ensuring your core is engaged the entire time for a full 30 seconds.

14. Russian Twist

Russian Twist

Sit on the ground with your knees bent. Lean back a few inches, keep your back straight, and hold your hands before you. Twist your torso to the right, then to the left to complete one rep. 

Enhance this move by holding a dumbbell for extra resistance.

15. Bird Dog

Bird Dog

Start on all fours, hands directly under shoulders, knees directly under hips. Extend your right arm forward and left leg back, holding this balanced position for a few seconds. 

Switch to the other side, extending your left arm and right leg for a great core stability exercise.

Tips for Effective Ab Workouts

Ready to squeeze the most out of every rep? Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Rock the Right Attire

When it comes to workout gear, your besties here at Bombshell Sportswear have your back (and abs!). Wearing comfortable and stylish activewear boosts your confidence and allows unrestricted movement during your ab exercises. 

Plus, who can resist feeling like a bombshell in our deliciously soft and perfectly snug Pocket Pop Leggings?

Spice It Up With Music

Create a sizzling playlist that gets you in the mood to crush your ab workout. Upbeat tunes will make the time fly by and add an extra dose of energy and motivation to your routine. So, put on your favorite tracks and let the music fuel your fire.

Mix it Up

Don't settle for the same old routine. Your core craves variety — switch up your ab exercises regularly to challenge different muscle groups and keep your workouts fresh and exciting. With 15 exercises to choose from, you'll never get bored, and your core will thank you.


Engage Your Mind-Muscle Connection

Mindfulness matters, even in ab workouts. Visualize your muscles working and actively engage your core throughout each exercise. This connection enhances muscle activation and helps you make the most of every rep, bringing you one step closer to your bombshell goals.

Add Resistance

As your core gets stronger, don't be afraid to add some resistance to your ab exercises. Grab a dumbbell or a resistance band to intensify the challenge and further sculpt your midsection. After all, a bombshell's core can handle a little extra weight!

Stay Hydrated

Water is essential for overall health and plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle function and recovery. Stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts to keep your core performing at its best. Sip that water and let your bombshell glow shine from within.

Fuel Up With the Right Pre-workout Snack

To power through your ab workouts with energy and stamina, choose a pre-workout snack that provides a combination of carbohydrates and protein. Opt for a banana with a tablespoon of nut butter or a Greek yogurt parfait with fresh berries. Your body will thank you for the extra fuel.

Embrace the Burn

When those abs start to scream, remember that it's a sign you're challenging yourself and pushing toward progress. Embrace the burn, embrace the challenge, and know that each rep is bringing you closer to your goals. You're a bombshell on a mission!

Incorporate Rest and Recovery

Just like any other muscle group, your abs need time to recover and rebuild. Make sure to include rest days in your workout schedule to allow your core to heal and grow stronger. Treat yourself to a bubble bath or a massage, and let your bombshell body rejuvenate.

Celebrate Your Progress

Remember to celebrate each milestone along the way. Whether it's completing a set of challenging exercises or noticing increased core strength, take a moment to acknowledge your achievements. You're on a journey to becoming a stronger, sexier bombshell, and every step counts!

Common Ab Exercise Mistakes to Avoid

Let's get real — we all want those toned abs and a strong core, but common mistakes can often steer us off the sexy path. 

Here's the low-down on what not to do during your ab workout.

  • Not Engaging Your Entire Core: When it comes to ab exercises, many of us focus solely on the rectus abdominis (hello, six-pack) and totally forget about our obliques, lower back, and even the deep, invisible transverse abdominis. Remember, a balanced workout for the entire core is key for that hourglass figure.
  • Pulling on Your Neck During Sit-ups: We've all been there — halfway through our reps, and suddenly, we're using our hands to yank our heads up. This not only strains your neck but also decreases the effectiveness of the exercise. Focus on using your core muscles to lift your upper body instead.
  • Rushing Through the Reps: It's not a race, babe! Slow, controlled movements really make those abs burn. Plus, rushing can often lead to poor form and less effective workouts.
  • Forgetting To Breathe: Holding your breath during a crunch? Big no-no! Remember to exhale on the effort and inhale on the release. Breathing helps activate your core muscles and keeps you going strong.
  • Skipping the Warm Up or Cool Down: Your body is a temple, and it deserves to be treated like one. Ensure you're warming up before your workout and cooling down afterward. This can prevent injuries and keep those muscles happy.

A Final Word

Alright, Bombshells, it's time to take your fitness game to the next level — now strut your stuff, and don't forget to rock your favorite Bombshell Sportswear

Let's get strong and sexy together!


Abdominal muscles | Better Health Channel

Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles | Mayo Clinic

ACE Insight | The Mind-Muscle Connection

Hydration for Athletes | family doctor

Rest and recovery are critical for an athlete's physiological and psychological well-being | UC Health