Most of us admire a nice firm tummy, and hope to achieve one for ourselves. There are abdominal exercises for women that can help you attain this goal without injuring yourself. The exercises described here are not only safe, but they are very effective in achieving a toned up abdomen.
To begin, you need to know just a little bit about the abdominal muscles. The rectus abdominis, or “six-pack" muscles are only the icing on the cake. They won't lie flat unless the underlying layers of obliques and transversus abdominis muscles are toned. In fact, unless that transverse layer is toned, no matter what your tummy will tend to bulge a bit.
The transverse muscle layer is the innermost muscle layer in the abdomen, and if you tone this layer correctly, you will also be toning your pelvic floor muscles that hold up all the internal organs. You've probably heard of Kegel exercises. . . most of these are done incorrectly and are not as effective as they could be. By toning your transverse muscles you'll be helping to strengthen your pelvic floor at the same time, which is great news for anyone, but especially for women who are or have been pregnant.
Here are four exercises that will safely and effectively build up your abdominal core muscles
Sitting upright, take a normal deep breath. If your shoulders are rising when you breathe, you need to learn to breathe correctly. Your pelvic floor and your diaphragm work together, so when you take a breath, your diaphragm should expand outward into your belly while your shoulders remain relaxed. To make a belly breath into an effective exercise, take a nice deep belly breath and let it out, squeezing out every last bit of air with your abdominal muscles. Do this exercise every day at your desk or whenever you think about it.
Belly Breaths: Connecting your Belly Button to your Spine
This is the next level of the above exercise. Lie down on the floor. Hold the back of your legs with your hands, keeping your elbows pointed outwards. Now do your belly breaths, imagining your belly button touching your spine when you exhale.
In the same position as the Belly Button to Spine exercise, do a gentle crunch. Don't be afraid to curl your back. . . your spine is meant to move. Don't try to pull forward with your head. Repeat. If you feel pain, stop. If you see your belly pulling up into a triangle (point in the middle, sloping sides down to your hips), you are doing too much. You want these muscles to look flat while you do these exercises. Go back to doing Belly Breaths until you gain more muscle tone.
Side lifts help your oblique muscles, which are the middle layer of abdominal muscles. They are a little challenging at first, but with practice you'll get better at them. They are also safe for pregnant women up until their bellies are too heavy to balance. Lie on your side on the floor, and position your arm beneath you so you are supported up on your elbow with your forearm lying flat on the floor. Make sure your body is straight. Lift up, keeping your body straight, and hold for ten to fifteen seconds. Repeat on the other side.
You don't need to do thousand of sit-ups to achieve a nice firm stomach. These 4 abdominal exercises for women, when done consistently, will help you accomplish your goals.
To learn more about exercises for women visit http://www.abdominal-and-thigh-exercises.com , a popular website devoted to helping women look and feel their best. You'll also learn about the different types of exercise equipment that can help you achieve your fitness goals.