At first glance it might seem that ab exercises for women would be exactly the same as those for men.
After all the six pack muscles (the rectus abdominis and outer obliques) for men and women share the same physiology and therefore the same stomach muscle exercises should produce the same results.
Up to a point this is true except for one crucial difference and that is bodyweight strength. Despite what many people think the abdominal muscles have to be trained just like all the other muscle groups of the body and therefore to build muscle and strength you need to train them with sets of 10 repetitions.
The problem for women wanting to move onto these exercises is that they simply don't have the bodyweight strength to do them. That is not to say that some women can't master such intense exercises because many do and some such as female gymnasts have more than enough bodyweight strength to do these and far harder exercises. The co founder of this site Natalie is a prime example of how some women do build such strength as can be seen in the video of her demonstrating the full ab roller. However, generally speaking the average women does not have the bodyweight strength to move onto the really hardcore stomach exercises.
Therefore the question remains, how can the average women keep to the 10 repetitions per set range needed for premium ab development if they don't have the bodyweight strength to move onto the most advanced ab exercises?
Until you reach the really advanced level of training the answer is straight forward and the best ab exercises for women is to simply progress through all of the basic and then intermediate ab workouts that we recommend.
Once you reach the point were even intense intermediate exercises such as the complete sit up, spiderman press up, pike sit up and advanced plank are to easy the best way to make further progress is to either incorporate a program of bodyweight exercises such as press ups and pull ups into your training to build up your strength to tackle the advanced ab exercises or develop further abdominal muscle by including weight training or kettlebell ab exercises in your training.
The type of weight training exercises you should include in your six pack program should be compound (many muscles involved) exercises using free weights such as the dead lift, standing military press, and clean and press.
Although these weight training exercises are not specifically for the abdominal muscles the abs are still heavily involved in stabilising the body while the lift is being executed and as a result the stomach muscles get an intense workout. The nature of these lifts also allows very heavy weights to be used and the prime benefit is that more weight can be added as needed and so you can always keep to the six pack rule of 10 repetitions per set.
This principle is why you will see most power lifters, weight lifters and sprinters possessing fantastic abdominal muscle development The same benefit can also be obtained from kettle bar training and there are many great exercises that can be done with this piece of equipment.
Ultimately the best ab exercises for women depends on the goals of the individual woman. For anyone who wants only a flat stomach or reasonably ripped abs the right diet and our intermediate ab workouts will get you where you want to be.
However, for anyone who wants to go the whole hog and build awesome abdominal muscle size and strength the best ab exercises for women are any that allow to you to keep to the 10 repetitions per set rule.If you can not manage our advanced ab exercises you can either build up your strength to do so or still achieve your goal with the right weight training or kettle bell exercises.
However, please remember that the exercises need to be compound (many muscles involved) free weight ones and therefore do not use weight training machines for this job as they do not require the stomach muscles to stabilise the body during the lift and so will not work.
Try these simple but effective stability ball ab exercises to add a new dimension to your six pack quest.