These online core exercises for women in easy to follow, video format will help develop your core muscle groups. Whether you're a beginner, looking for more advanced core exercises, or need core exercises you can do at home, you'll find plenty of information in the resources and tutorials on this page.
Photo by: jwra / CC BY 2.0
I'm 45 years old and the mother of three. I'm not likely to have the flattest stomach in the world again without surgery which, frankly, becomes a more attractive idea as the years go by. However, core exercises are important for reasons far more critical than a toned, flat stomach. They are the center of your mobility and flexibility. Core muscle groups are used routinely in every day activities - driving, walking, lifting children. Having strong core muscles will let you be more active, healthier, and able to accomplish more in your overall exercise routine and in your daily life.
A woman's core muscles involve all of the muscular structure in the abdomen. The core contributes to overall strength and flexibility. A strong core can be enhanced by exercising your back, hips and pelvic muscles, as well. The core muscle group is often referred to as your "trunk" and involves all of the muscles surrounding that trunk area.
A weak core can contribute to lower back pain, poor posture, and loss of balance. You can improve how you feel in a number of areas by strengthening your core muscles.
If you are suffering from lower back pain, it's important you refer to your doctor before taking on any new exercise routine.
Good core exercises for women depend on doing the exercise using the proper form.
If you do an exercise incorrectly, you won't reap the full benefits and you could do some damage to your core muscles.
Regular crunches are good core exercises, just follow the instructions carefully in the video below. DO NOT pull on your neck. This can cause you to pull a neck muscle and develop a stiff neck.
Good core exercises are gentle on your spine and neck. You should feel them most significantly in your stomach muscles. It might sound funny, but it's a fact, that how you breath during crunches is an important part of the technique. Exhale during the contraction (on your way up) and inhale after the crunch (on your way down). This concentrates the action on your stomach muscles.
Don't forget cardio workouts, too. While core exercises focus on specific muscle groups, getting your heart rate up for 30 minutes with a fast-paced workout can help. I used to love running outdoors but I don't have the time these days and it gets so hot here in the summer that I'm miserable. We've added a few inside pieces to our home gym - some acquired from family and friends who were getting rid of theirs.
Photo by: Djrome / CC BY 2.0
I think this is the coolest, new core workout equipment! Remember years ago when we first heard that we could replace an office chair with an exercise ball and be working our abs while sitting at our desks? (OK, tell me I'm not the only one who did that?!) Well, there's a trick to going that route. First, they don't tell you to get the large ball. I tried doing it with the ball I used at home and it was way too short to act as a chair. Second, the darn thing kept rolling away from me every time I got up from my desk.
This Isokinetics Balance Ball Chair does the same job as does sitting on a regular exercise ball but won't roll away. It helps improve your posture by forcing you to use your core muscles for balance while you sit. And - you don't have to go chasing after it!
(When I took my son to the orthodontist the other day, all the dental assistants used THESE chairs!)
A Bosu Ball is a stabilized exercise ball. It can be used for more advanced core exercises for women. The advantage of this exercise ball is that you can stand on it and work on additional balance routines.
A few of the core exercises for women shown above use a Bosu Ball and you may have seen exercise routines that require you stand on a Bosu Ball in order to work on core muscles and improve your balance.
Very handy piece of core exercise equipment. Just don't let the kids play with it. I have three boys. All of my exercise equipment has intrigued them at one time or another. When the manufacturer says it's made out of sturdy plastic I'm pretty sure they didn't mean it would last if three boys tried to jump on it with their skateboards....
If you're like me, you need new exercises periodically to keep the routine interesting. After awhile, I start to get bored of the same old crunches and I need something different. Mixing in new exercises also keeps your muscles challenged.
Mixing up your exercise routine is also a great way to keep your muscles challenged and you'll see greater benefit from core building exercises by changing up your workouts. (My personal trainer was very big on introducing new exercises on a regular basis.) Your muscles start to adapt to the same old exercise after some length of time and then you're not building as much as you are maintaining.
I love to watch Biggest Loser and I've noticed they do a lot of core exercises in their routine. Certainly there's also a lot of cardio and weight lifting in the mix but they also do balancing exercises which seem to come in very handy during the weekly group and individual challenges.
Try some of the following core building exercises when you're ready for a change of pace. Also - while I've outlined these exercises for women, they work just as well for men who need to develop a stronger core. (A stronger set of core muscles is ideal for golfers!)
Photo by: Djrome / CC BY 2.0
If you've moved past the basic core exercises and are looking for a more advanced challenge, you can add some simple equipment to make the workouts more intense.
Some of the following core exercises for women use a medicine ball to up the resistance and make your muscles work harder. This 8lb ball from TKO can be found at Amazon.
Photo by: Djrome / CC BY 2.0
An exercise ball like the Valeo Body Ball is one of the best pieces of equipment for core exercises for women. They make a huge difference in helping you achieve the proper form but also make your muscles work harder by pushing you to balance while performing the exercise. The neat thing about an exercise ball is that it can be easily deflated and inflated with the small pump. If you travel, this is a piece of equipment you can easily fit in your suitcase.
Photo by: Adriarichards / CC BY-SA 2.0
These Valeo Body Balsl come in 3 sizes - 55cm, 65cm and 75cm. The ideal ball for your height should be one that allows your knees to be comfortably at 90 degrees when you sit on the ball. To find the best match, perform a wall squat where your knees stop at 90 degrees. Have a friend or family member mark the wall with pencil (so you can erase it...) at the base of your rear-end. Measure the height of that mark and add 2-3 inches to compensate for the ball sinking a bit when you sit. Buy a ball height that most closely matches that number. If you need to convert from inches to centimeters, measure in inches and use Google's search bar to do the conversion. For example, if your number came up to 24 inches, you'd put the following into Google's search bar:
24 inches in cm
Google will tell you that 24 inches equals 60.96 centimeters.
Photo by: Adriarichards / CC BY-SA 2.0
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If your goal is a flat, toned stomach and you've struggled to make that happen, the Truth About Six Pack Abs might be just the program for you.
It's more than just a set of core exercises for women. It's a complete package that explains WHY you might not have been able to see the results you wanted with previous core workouts and how to get the results you'd hoped for. It's a very popular program and covers the importance of healthy eating with a combination of core exercises to get the best results. Includes:
- Free DVD from Kim Lyon's, a trainer on Season 3 and 4 of The Biggest Loser
- Membership to a support network focused on building a strong, conditioned core and stomach
- Step by step instructions and photos of the most effective ab and core exercises
- Exercise sequencing to help get the most from your workout
- Nutritional tips for boosting metabolism
At the very least, for nothing more than joining their mailing list, you can get a FREE report, a personalized, online metabolic calculator and five workout routines. It's worth checking out.
When you get to their page, just scroll down to the section just for women.
Erica Stone is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.