The 6 best core strengthening exercises for women

Ladies, no body part holds more importance and functionality than your core. That’s not only because it gives you a sculpted, slim waistline – although that’s a nice bonus – but also because it helps in practically every area of ​​life. From athletic performance to injury prevention to supporting daily activities, strong abdominal, oblique and pelvic floor muscles go a very long way. In this article, I’m going to share six of the best core exercises for women.

These moves are perfect to add to your routine no matter your training age, fitness level, or current strength. As you improve it will be very easy to increase the intensity so you can keep challenging your muscles to build more and more strength. (Just don’t be mad at me if you’re sore in the morning!)

Read on to learn more about the 6 best ab exercises for women and next, don’t miss 6 tips for women to lose belly fat and keep it off.

illustration of dead bug exercise

First up in the best core training exercises for women is the dead bug. This is an incredible move that works a lot of the muscles in your core. It also positions your pelvis correctly, allowing you to maintain good lower back posture while getting a great workout.

Start by lying on your back with your arms and knees in the air (like a dead bug), pressing your lower back into the floor and lifting your glutes. Extend with your right and left leg simultaneously while keeping your lower back flat on the floor, hips off the floor, and exhaling all of your air. Switch sides and repeat.

Middle aged woman doing plank exercise for flat stomach on mat at dock

Nothing beats the basics: A great plank will do wonders for your abs and help train your body to maintain good posture while breathing in and out through your nose.

Get into a plank position, resting on your forearms and keeping your body straight. Press your forearms into the floor to round your upper back and arch your hips to keep your lower back flat.

RELATED: 7 best exercises for women to build muscle without equipment

Woman doing side forearm plank

The great thing about a side plank is that it targets your transverse abdomen, the deepest muscle in your core that acts as your natural “weight belt” and is crucial in protecting your lower back during daily activities and intense training.

For the side planks, lie on your side and place your forearm on the floor perpendicular to your body. Keep your body straight, your glutes tight, and your shoulders pulled back. Don’t let your hips sag.

Exercise balls add instability to your movements, allowing you to skyrocket the stress on your core muscles. By doing a “body saw,” you increase lever length, which takes your workout to a whole new dimension.

Get into a plank position with your forearms on an exercise ball. Squeeze your glutes and tighten your core. Then use your forearms to push the ball forward as far as you can while maintaining good form. Return to the starting position and repeat the exercise.

RELATED: 5 most important strength exercises for women to stay lean after 40

Stability ball plank, stir the pot

Next, with the best core strengthening exercises for women, it’s time to stir the pot. With this move, you use the exercise ball to create instability from all angles, allowing you to strengthen your core in many different ways with the same exercise. It also teaches you to move your arms while engaging your core, which carries over to countless daily activities.

Get into a plank position on a stability ball. While keeping your upper body still, move your forearms in a circle. Then change direction. Squeeze your shoulder blades and don’t let your lower back sag.

reverse crunches

Traditional crunches have several problems: They put a lot of strain on your neck as you crane your head forward to complete each rep. People also round their shoulders and worsen their posture. Instead, use the reverse crunch, which targets your external obliques and teaches you to “pull in” your pelvis for better posture.

To begin, lie on the floor with thighs perpendicular to the floor, knees bent as much as possible, and feet off the floor. Feel free to grab a weight or stable object above your head – this way you can hold and pull while bending your knees. Draw your knees to your head and slowly bring them back. Keep your knees fully bent throughout the exercise and don’t let your thighs protrude vertically off the floor.

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