Being a teenage girl isn’t easy, and between classes, extracurricular activities and homework, trying to stay in shape is challenging. Keeping a healthy core is essential for teen girls as well as for adults. There are several exercises teen girls can do to work out their abs without having to spend extra money or take time away from their studies. Including a healthy diet of fruits, lean meats, vegetables and low-fat dairy will also aid in getting those toned abs.
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When working your abs, it’s important to include exercises that engage all the core muscles. Core muscles include the lower back muscles, the obliques and the upper and lower abdominal muscles; strengthening these muscles is vital for both upper- and lower-body strength and for posture. Some exercises that work the muscles of the core include crunches, bicycle crunches, planks, reverse crunches, bird dog and seated trunk rotations, according to the American Council on Exercise.
Abdominal exercises can become monotonous, and as you develop and strengthen your abs, you may find exercises less challenging. Add variety to your regular workouts by incorporating crunches and side crunches on an exercise ball. Intensify your ab workouts by adding weights during your exercises, such as seated medicine ball trunk rotations and weighted-plate crunches.
Incline Ab Exercises
Try incline crunches for variety. Hook your feet around a foot brace on an incline board and lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your hands behind your neck for support. Raise your upper torso from the bench, flexing from the waist. Make sure your lower back stays on the bench. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Turn around on the bench, holding the foot brace with your hands above your head, lying on your back with knees bent at 90 degrees, to perform an incline reverse crunch. Contract your abs and lift the hips up and forward toward your head. Hold for two seconds and return to start position.
Teenagers need to follow an active lifestyle to remain healthy. If you want your toned abs to show through, you can’t just focus on ab exercises once a month. Teens should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Muscle-strengthening ab exercises need to be performed at least three times per week. Try for two or three sets of each exercise, with 10 to 12 repetitions per set. Include some type of cardiovascular exercise, such as running, swimming or biking, three times per week for added health benefits.