If you are a woman over 50 and want to keep your abdominal muscles toned and firm then you must work your abs frequently. I work my abdomen every day for a few minutes. When I am at the gym I see women skipping the ab routine after body pump and I wonder if they are working their abs at another time that day. I have put together some great workouts to tone abs aimed at women over 50 but can benefit anyone.
If you are serious about getting and keeping your abs flat, firm and toned then these workouts are for you. Your form is key so its best when first starting to look at yourself in the mirror.
There are many good ab workout routines. I personally think these are the best to get your abs toned in the least amount of time. It is really important to work the abdominal muscles everyday. Other muscles you work usually every other day but abs you can and should work every day.
To have an effective ab workout target the muscles you are working.Lets take a look at the muscles of the abdomen.
This is the most superficial abdominal muscle. The Rectus Abdominis runs down the front of the abdomen. Its role is for flexing
our body forward. This is the muscle that when it shows (when you don’t have any fat covering it) it looks like a “six-pack”. Sometimes this muscle even though it is strong, can have a bulky look because when you work it it grows thick. If you have any fat on top of it then it will look thicker.
To exercise the Rectus Abdominis do movements that flex the body forward.
full sit ups
External Abdominal Oblique
The external abdominal Oblique muscles are a pair of muscles that have muscle fibers that run in an oblique pattern. These muscles are superficial muscles and lye on the sides of the rectus abdomonis. If you suck in your abdominal area you are contracting these muscles. Contracting these together also can result in flexion of the body. When you do crunches you are also using these muscles. Contracting only one external abdominal oblique muscle results in lateral flexion and rotation of the trunk of the body to one side or the other. When you bend to the right you are using the right external oblique muscle and visa versa.
To work the external abdominal oblique muscles do exercises that flex the body forward and flex and rotate to the sides of the body.
Internal Abdominal Oblique
The internal abdominal oblique muscle lies under the external oblique. It is broad, thin and irregularly four sided and lines the walls of the abdomen stretching around to the front. The action of these muscles can pull the pubis area up toward the breastbone. They also work individually working the body from side and rotating. These muscles aid in digestion by compressing the abdominal contents and in forced expiration. (pushing air from the lungs).
To work the internal abdominal oblique muscles do exercises that flex and rotate to the sides of the body. You are working both internal and external oblique muscles when you preform crunches and side crunches.
How to target the lower abs
The lower abs are the lower part of the abdominal muscles discussed above. To strengthen these muscles in particular we need to concentrate on specific types of exercises that target them.
The Plank (The bomb!)
the plank is getting on the elbows and toes on the floor with the back held straight. Hold this position for as long as you can. Each time you do it hold it a little longer than the time before.
Sliding mountain climbers
adding on the plank you can get on the hands and toes. Then bring each knee toward the opposite shoulder. Continue this movement for at least 10 to 15 reps. Keep abdominal muscles contracted. Make sure to breathe. Do
not hold your breath! The muscles need oxygen to preform.
Get in plank position on elbows and toes then turn to side raising your arm toward the ceiling. Continue turning on one side for 6 to 8 reps then turn to other side for 6 to 8 reps. Your options are to be on knee if you cant do side of foot.
After doing several reps, then turn to side and reach to ceiling.
Sounds easy? try it for a length of time. Lye on your back and raise legs and begin to make bicycle movements. Keep abdominal muscles tightened. bicycle for as long as you can.
Lying on your back press small of back to floor. Raise legs in a straight line then lower. Do 8 10 10 reps keeping your lower back pressed to the floor. If you cannot keep your lower back from raising up, don’t lower your legs all the way down to the floor.
Lye on back and bring legs up to make a right angle. Raise hips off floor straight up to ceiling. Try to make the movement come from the hips only straight up not toward your head. Do as many as you can.
Crunch upper and lower together into a C form. Lye on back. place hands to support neck. Never pull on your neck. Bring shoulders off of floor at the same time lift legs with knees bending toward shoulders as you crunch.
Lye flat, tighten abdomen as you sit straight up. Try to keep legs straight if you can. As you sit up reach for your toes.. Do 6 – 10 reps
Lye on side with knees bent. Place fingers to temple on side facing up. Place hand on floor on side facing down. Raise upper torso toward hip facing up. Do 8 – 10 reps on each side.
These workouts to tone abs should be done at least every other day at the very least. I recommend them every day. The abdominal muscles are the only muscles that benefit from working them out every day. They tone up the abdominal muscles within just a short time. If you do these every day for just a few days you will be able to see and feel the difference.
These exercises will help you firm and tone but if you need to lose fat from your abdomen they cannot help very much. To do that you will still need to eat healthy and clean.
Please let me know if you have tried these workouts to tone abs and if you have any questions or if you have any workouts to tone abs you would like to share. I would love to hear any comments you have.