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How to Get Nice Abs for Women

author image Becky Miller
Becky Miller, an ACE-certified personal trainer, has designed strength training programs for people of all ages and fitness levels since 2001. She specializes in empowering women of the baby-boomer generation. Her writing career began in 2004, authoring weekly fitness columns and feature articles for the "Navarre Press" in Florida. She earned her B.S. in business from the University of Colorado.
How to Get Nice Abs for Women
Exercise consistently if you want attractive abs. Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Women can get nice abs that are sleek and toned if they use a balanced and sensible approach. Just performing crunches doesn't work because you can't spot reduce your stomach fat. “Without making changes to your diet and engaging in total-body workouts that promote fat loss, no amount of ab training will miraculously melt away that spare tire," says James Villepigue in his book “The Body Sculpting Bible for Abs: Women’s Edition." Focus on workouts for your entire body to burn fat, tone muscle and reveal a trimmer tummy.

Step 1

Know your abs. The rectus abdominis is the most well known of the ab muscles because it gives the six-pack appearance. There's no such thing as upper and lower abs because your rectus abdominis muscle runs the entire length of your torso. Your obliques, both external and internal, are located on your sides; these muscles are involved when you twist and turn. Your transverse abdominis, or TVA, lies deep beneath your surface ab muscles and functions like a corset, pulling your abdominal wall inward toward your spine.

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Step 2

How to Get Nice Abs for Women
Raspberries are high in fiber. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Nourish your abs. Starving yourself will not produce nice abs. Nourish them -- and the rest of your body -- with nutrient-dense foods. Use an online source to determine your caloric requirements and stick with that number on a consistent basis. Balance your nutrients between lean protein, complex carbs and whole grains, and healthy fats. Get at least 25 grams of fiber every day and limit your sodium intake.

Step 3

How to Get Nice Abs for Women
Work your abs. Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Work your abs. Perform a variety of exercises and keep your reps in the eight-to-15 range. Don't perform hundreds of reps of the same exercise -- this can be counterproductive. Focus on your three ab muscle groups. Work your rectus abdominis, obliques and the often-overlooked TVA muscle. Use your body weight and an exercise mat to perform ab exercises if you don't have access to a medicine ball, Swiss ball or weight machines.

Step 4

How to Get Nice Abs for Women
Strength train your entire body. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Strength train your entire body -- arms, legs, upper body and lower body, in addition to your abs -- for the best results in your search for nice abs. Increase your total body muscle mass to accelerate your metabolism and burn more fat. This lets your toned, tight ab muscles shine through, rather than being hidden under a layer of fat. Strength train your body at least twice a week.

Step 5

How to Get Nice Abs for Women
Perform such cardio exercises as running, swimming and skating for 30 to 90 minutes, three to five times a week. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Incorporate cardio exercises into your routine for another way to burn fat and expose your abs. Perform such cardio exercises as running, swimming and skating for 30 to 90 minutes, three to five times a week. If you exercise for 30 minutes, it should be at a high intensity in which you can't talk. For longer workouts, your intensity should be lower where you can talk but can't sing.

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