How To Get Abs For Women and Girls

by Jeff on June 1, 2011

This post will be about how to get abs for women and girls; it’s a part of the slim, feminine and sexy physique. The approach I recommend is different from the conventional way of getting abs.

Most of the conventional advice on building better abs is for men who want ‘deep’ abs. IF this is what you want, check out the Shrink Wrap Effect. It is an advanced strategy that creates the look of having your skin is ‘shrink wrapped’ around your abs for crazy definition.

Most girls don’t want this, they want a sexy and flat stomach showing some ab definition, nothing extreme. If this what you’re after as well, read on.

I will talk about losing fat and increasing ab definition. Another thing I will talk about is how to avoid getting the ‘bloated look’ from doing too much ab work.

Did you know that doing too many ab exercises can potentially lead to a ‘bloated look’?

Working out the abs incorrectly can cause the layers of abdominal muscle to grow thicker. From the outside of the shirt, it will make you look ‘bloated’ or give the look of having a bigger stomach.

You actually don’t have to do a lot of work to build ab muscles. But in order to be able to see your abs, it is absolutely crucial that you have a low body fat percentage.

I recommend that you burn away the body fat first and then use certain ab exercises as finishing touches. In the next sections, I will talk about my favourite ways to burn fat and some of the most effective exercises to build abs.

How to Burn Fat to Increase Ab Definition

I believe the most important factor to fat loss is sustainability. To lose weight, you need to make some sort of lifestyle change; whether it’s adding more exercise and/or changing the way you eat. If the changes to your lifestyle are impossible to sustain, then you will lose the results when you go back to your old habits.

Diet

When it comes to dietary changes, I love using intermittent fasting to lose body fat. Instead of limiting your daily calorie intake, focus on creating a weekly calorie deficit. Here is what I mean:

When you’re counting calories on a daily basis, you need to worry about how much you eat every meal. The meals are smaller and less satisfying. I like to eat until I’m full.

Instead, I use intermittent fasting. I will fast once to twice a week for 24 hours and eat regularly on the other days. This lowers my weekly calorie intake by 10-20%. There are many health benefits to intermittent fasting and I find that it’s easy to maintain.

When intermittent fasting is performed correctly, your metabolism will speed up to burn even more fat. Check out my post on intermittent fasting to learn more about it.

Exercise

High Intensity Interval Training is the best exercise approach to building fat. It takes a fraction of the time of regular cardio and it burns more fat. I describe this in detail in my HIIT Workout: The Best Cardio For Weight Loss post.

Now, let’s talk about ab exercises. Hanging leg raises are one of the most effective exercises to build visible abs, start with this exercise. The plank is a great exercise to finish your workout. You don’t need many exercises, just the effective ones. Quality over quantity.

Exercises to Get Abs For Girls

Hanging Leg Raises

This is one of the best exercises to get abs because it creates the greatest range of motion. Sit ups and crunches are limited in range of motion compared to this exercise. Leg raises are also a bit better for your back.

The Plank

One thing I love about planks is that it helps you ‘even out’ your abs. If your upper abs are better developed, it will help you even it out and develop your lower abs. The same applies vice versa.

A Critical Factor To Getting Abs

Most guides on how to get abs don’t talk about this critical factor. Your entire body needs to be lean in order for the abs to show through. No one has fat arms/legs with great abs. As you lose body fat, you will notice that the fat will burn away from different body parts in a certain order.

At first, you might notice that your forearms are getting leaner, then your face, arms, and etc…Then you’ll notice that the top 2 ab muscles are starting to show through.

Unfortunately, fat around the stomach and thigh areas are the last to go. Any program that claims to be able to ‘spot reduce’ and help you lose the belly fat first is lying. It is impossible.

Biologically, there are more ‘A2′ receptors in the stomach and thigh area. The places with high ‘A2′ receptors are the first places to gain fat and the last place to lose the fat. But don’t worry,  if you can stick with it, you will lose the body fat to reveal your sexy and flat stomach.

Just remember, exercises that target the abs should be done at the end as ‘finishing touches’; once most of the body fat has been burned away. If you have stomach fat and do a lot of ab exercises, the ab muscles will get bigger and your stomach will look bigger. This also results in a bloated look.

The Best Resource To Create The Slim, Sexy and Feminine Look

I think for the most part, the fitness industry has missed women completely. All of the women that I have come to know want to look feminine and sexy in their everyday lives. However, most of the the fitness advice for women have missed the mark completely.

Visual Impact For Women is the best program to create the slim, sexy and femine look with firm arms, legs and butt…an of course abs.

Check out my Visual Impact For Women Review to learn more about it.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam- Look Like An Athlete June 2, 2011 at 9:13 am

Excellent exercises for gettng abs. I threw out crunches or sit ups a while back and really found that planks and hanging leg raises did a better job overrall. Incline walking is something I will have to try myself. Something I just learned thanks to your blog.

-Sam

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Alykhan - Fitness Breakout June 3, 2011 at 1:10 am

Jeff,

I’m convinced that hanging leg raises and planks are the best ab exercises out there. Of course, in order to get visible abs, the first step is to get your body fat percentage low enough. This is the most difficult part, in my opinion.

Alykhan

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Jeff June 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

@Sam

I’m not a fan of regular sit ups and crunches either. Let us know how the incline walking goes!

@Alykhan

Agreed, it can be very difficult for some people to lose that last 10-20 pounds. Good thing there is Eat Stop Eat and Visual Impact, they can really help you blast past that final glass ceiling.

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Darren@moreprimetime.com June 14, 2011 at 4:59 pm

Great advice – I recently discovered planks and agree with you completely. And thanks for the Zuzana video!.

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Zack September 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I have been using an ab workout routine with 8 different types including things like crunches and sit ups. While I have seen some results, I am still not getting what I want. I love the ideas of the plank and hanging leg raises – I have used them both before and I plan to use them as a new ab workout. The thing I am struggling with is determining how often to do these workouts so that I am not doing too much and giving myself the bloated look as you explained. I have also been doing the HIIT training to lower my body fat percentage and I LOVE it compared to conventional cardio. It actually makes makes me not dread the treadmill anymore so I appreciate the tip. Anyway if you could help me out with the ab exercises, I would appreciate it.

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Jeff September 24, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Zack,

I always tell people to focus more on lowering body fat for getting abs. HIIT is great, to speed up HIIT, I recommend that you give intermittent fasting a try.

The quality of your exercises are way more important than the number of exercises. For the hanging leg raises, slow down your tempo and really focus on contracting your muscles for every repetition. Also, take short rests in between your sets, try to keep it under 15 seconds for a really good burn. Start off with working out your abs 3 times a week on non-consecutive days. A few months later, when your recovery slows down, you can try lowering your workout frequencies.

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Sarah October 6, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I have an average body fat percentage (which is around 26%) How much do you think I need to lower that to get some ab definition?

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Jeff October 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

It depends on the person and their body composition. But around 12%, you should begin to see abs.

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Nicole November 27, 2011 at 8:17 am

Hi. My name is Nicole and I was so glad to read about the bloated look, because I have it. Please can you tell me how to get rid of it and get “flatter”, tighter, more feminine abs instead.
Thank you.

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Jeff November 29, 2011 at 3:40 am

Hi Nicole,

In the article, I recommend that you focus on burning away the body fat first. The ab exercises are to be used as finishing touches. Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose body fat. If you wanted to speed things up, include high intensity cardio.

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Nicole November 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

thanks so much Jeff. Really hope that will get rid of my “bloated” abs.

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kokiea August 25, 2012 at 9:29 am

i want to maintain my weight but work on my abs…….but it seems like toning makes me thinner then i would like be. Is their a way around this issue?

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Jeff August 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Weight loss/gain is mostly from your diet. If you exercise more and don’t want to lose weight, you have to eat more food to compensate for the activity.

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