The BEST Ab Workouts for Women: Target Your Core at Home with Minimal Equipment

The BEST Ab Workouts for Women Target Your Core at Home with Minimal Equipment

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When it comes to building a strong, toned core, the right exercises can make all the difference.

No matter if you’re looking to target your upper and lower abs, obliques, or lower back muscles, these workouts are designed to help you achieve amazing results from the comfort of your home.

Let’s dive into the best ab workouts for women that require minimal equipment but deliver maximum impact.

15. Kettlebell Ab Workout

Kettlebell Ab Workout

Kettlebells are fantastic for dynamic and functional movements that engage your core. This workout includes exercises like Russian twists, kettlebell swings, and Turkish get-ups, which not only work your abs but also improve overall strength and stability.

Why it’s great: Kettlebell workouts combine cardio and strength training, making them efficient for burning calories and building muscle.

Equipment needed: Kettlebell

Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at your chest.
  3. Lean back slightly to engage your core.
  4. Twist your torso to the right, bringing the kettlebell beside your hip.
  5. Return to the center and twist to the left. That’s one rep.
  6. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Kettlebell Swings

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Hinge at your hips, swinging the kettlebell back between your legs.
  3. Thrust your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell to chest height.
  4. Let the kettlebell swing back down and repeat.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Turkish Get-Ups

  1. Lie on your back, holding the kettlebell in your right hand, arm extended.
  2. Bend your right knee, keeping your left leg straight.
  3. Push up onto your left elbow, then hand, keeping the kettlebell overhead.
  4. Lift your hips and bring your left leg back into a kneeling position.
  5. Stand up, still holding the kettlebell overhead.
  6. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  7. Perform 3 reps on each side.

14. Stability Ball Ab Workout

Stability Ball Ab Workout

Stability balls are excellent for challenging your core muscles through instability. This workout features moves like stability ball rollouts, pikes, and crunches, which engage your abs deeply and help improve balance.

Why it’s great: The instability of the ball forces your core muscles to work harder, enhancing muscle activation and improving coordination.

Equipment needed: Stability ball

Stability Ball Rollouts

  1. Kneel on the floor with the stability ball in front of you.
  2. Place your forearms on the ball.
  3. Roll the ball forward, extending your body into a plank position.
  4. Roll the ball back to the starting position.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

Stability Ball Pikes

  1. Start in a plank position with your feet on the stability ball.
  2. Engage your core and lift your hips towards the ceiling, bringing the ball towards your hands.
  3. Lower back to plank position.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Stability Ball Crunches

  1. Sit on the stability ball and walk your feet forward until your lower back is supported by the ball.
  2. Place your hands behind your head.
  3. Perform a crunch by lifting your upper body towards your knees.
  4. Lower back down and repeat.

13. Arms & Abs Circuit Workout

Arms & Abs Circuit Workout

Combining arm and ab exercises, this circuit keeps your heart rate up while sculpting your upper body and core. Exercises include plank shoulder taps, dumbbell overhead presses, and Russian twists.

Why it’s great: This workout efficiently targets multiple muscle groups, saving you time and maximizing results.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells

Plank Shoulder Taps

  1. Start in a plank position.
  2. Tap your right shoulder with your left hand, keeping your core stable.
  3. Return to plank and tap your left shoulder with your right hand.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 20 taps.

Dumbbell Overhead Presses

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at shoulder height.
  2. Press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, holding a dumbbell at your chest.
  2. Lean back slightly and twist your torso to the right, then to the left.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 15 twists each side.

12. Absolutely Awesome Abs!

Absolutely Awesome Abs!

This workout focuses solely on your abdominal muscles with a variety of crunches, leg raises, and bicycle kicks. It’s a no-fuss routine that delivers a serious burn.

Why it’s great: It’s straightforward and highly effective, perfect for when you need a quick, intense ab session.

Equipment needed: None

Basic Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head.
  3. Lift your upper body towards your knees.
  4. Lower back down and repeat.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Lift your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight.
  3. Lower your legs back down without touching the floor.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Bicycle Kicks

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head.
  2. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg.
  3. Switch sides, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

11. Melt the Muffin Top Workout!

Melt the Muffin Top Workout!

This workout zeroes in on your obliques and lower abs to help trim and tone your waistline. Think side planks, hip dips, and mountain climbers.

Why it’s great: It specifically targets the stubborn areas around your midsection, helping you achieve a more defined waist.

Equipment needed: None

Side Planks

  1. Lie on your side with your elbow directly under your shoulder.
  2. Lift your hips to form a straight line from head to feet.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  4. Perform 3 sets each side.

Hip Dips

  1. Start in a side plank position.
  2. Lower your hips towards the floor, then lift them back up.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps each side.

Mountain Climbers

  1. Start in a plank position.
  2. Bring your right knee towards your chest, then switch legs quickly.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

10. Love Your Arms & Abs!

Love Your Arms & Abs!

A fusion of arm and ab exercises that ensures you don’t neglect your upper body while working your core. This workout includes moves like renegade rows, plank jacks, and tricep dips.

Why it’s great: Perfect for a balanced workout that tones both your arms and abs, promoting overall muscle balance and strength.

Equipment needed: Dumbbells

Renegade Rows

  1. Start in a plank position with dumbbells in each hand.
  2. Row one dumbbell towards your hip, keeping your core stable.
  3. Lower the dumbbell and switch sides.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps each side.

Plank Jacks

  1. Start in a plank position.
  2. Jump your feet apart and back together.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

Tricep Dips

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your hands beside your hips.
  2. Lift your hips off the chair and lower your body, bending your elbows.
  3. Push back up to the starting position.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

9. Pilates for Posture

Pilates for Posture

Pilates is excellent for strengthening your core and improving posture. This workout features exercises like the hundred, roll-ups, and spine stretches.

Why it’s great: It enhances core strength and flexibility, which can lead to better posture and reduced back pain.

Equipment needed: None

The Hundred

  1. Lie on your back with your legs raised to a 90-degree angle.
  2. Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
  3. Pump your arms up and down while inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts.
  4. Continue for 100 pumps.

Roll-Ups

  1. Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Slowly roll up, reaching towards your toes.
  3. Roll back down with control.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Spine Stretches

  1. Sit with your legs extended and feet flexed.
  2. Reach forward, rounding your spine.
  3. Return to the starting position.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

8. Sizzling Summer Abs Workout

Sizzling Summer Abs Workout

Get your abs ready for summer with this high-intensity workout. It combines cardio and ab exercises like flutter kicks, bicycle crunches, and burpees.

Why it’s great: The blend of cardio and strength exercises helps burn fat while sculpting your abs, perfect for getting beach-ready.

Equipment needed: None

Flutter Kicks

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Lift your legs slightly off the floor and alternate kicking them up and down.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 20 kicks each leg.

Bicycle Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head.
  2. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg.
  3. Switch sides and repeat.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

Burpees

  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Drop into a squat and place your hands on the floor.
  3. Jump your feet back into a plank position.
  4. Perform a push-up, then jump your feet back to your hands.
  5. Jump up, reaching your arms overhead.
  6. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

7. How to Do a Plank

How to Do a Plank

The plank is a fundamental exercise for core strength. This guide walks you through proper plank form and variations to target different areas of your abs and back.

Why it’s great: Planks are highly effective for building core stability and strength, with numerous variations to keep your routine fresh.

Equipment needed: None

Basic Plank

  1. Start in a forearm plank position, elbows directly under shoulders.
  2. Engage your core and hold your body in a straight line from head to heels.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  4. Perform 3 sets.

Side Plank

  1. Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder.
  2. Lift your hips to form a straight line from head to feet.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  4. Perform 3 sets each side.

Plank with Leg Lift

  1. Start in a basic plank position.
  2. Lift one leg towards the ceiling, keeping your hips stable.
  3. Lower and switch legs.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps each leg.

6. The BEST Exercises to Tone Your Abs

The BEST Exercises to Tone Your Abs

This collection of exercises includes the most effective moves for targeting your entire core, such as leg raises, crunches, and Russian twists.

Why it’s great: These are tried-and-true exercises that consistently deliver results, perfect for any fitness level.

Equipment needed: None

Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Lift your legs towards the ceiling.
  3. Lower your legs back down without touching the floor.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Place your hands behind your head.
  3. Lift your upper body towards your knees.
  4. Lower back down and repeat.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Hold a weight or medicine ball at your chest.
  3. Lean back slightly and twist your torso to the right, then to the left.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps each side.

5. The Ultimate Plank Workout

The Ultimate Plank Workout

Take your plank game to the next level with this challenging routine. It includes plank variations like side planks, plank jacks, and walking planks to keep your core engaged from all angles.

Why it’s great: It offers a comprehensive approach to core training, ensuring you hit every muscle group.

Equipment needed: None

Side Planks

  1. Lie on your side with your elbow under your shoulder.
  2. Lift your hips to form a straight line from head to feet.
  3. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
  4. Perform 3 sets each side.

Plank Jacks

  1. Start in a plank position.
  2. Jump your feet apart and back together.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

Walking Planks

  1. Start in a forearm plank position.
  2. Push up onto your hands one arm at a time.
  3. Lower back down to your forearms.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

4. Pilates Ring Ab Workout

Pilates Ring Ab Workout

The Pilates ring adds resistance to your workout, enhancing muscle engagement and control. This routine includes moves like ring squeezes and leg circles.

Why it’s great: The Pilates ring intensifies exercises, helping to build strength and endurance in your core.

Equipment needed: Pilates ring

Ring Squeezes

  1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Place the Pilates ring between your knees.
  3. Squeeze the ring as you lift your hips into a bridge position.
  4. Lower your hips and release the squeeze.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Leg Circles

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Place the Pilates ring around one foot.
  3. Lift your leg towards the ceiling and draw circles in the air.
  4. Switch directions after 10 reps.
  5. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps each leg.

3. Medicine Ball Ab Workout

Medicine Ball Ab Workout

Medicine balls are great for dynamic and powerful movements. This workout features exercises like Russian twists, slams, and V-ups.

Why it’s great: It combines strength and explosive power, enhancing both muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness.

Equipment needed: Medicine ball

Russian Twists

  1. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat.
  2. Hold the medicine ball at your chest.
  3. Lean back slightly and twist your torso to the right, then to the left.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps each side.

Ball Slams

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the medicine ball overhead.
  2. Slam the ball down on the floor with force.
  3. Pick up the ball and repeat.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

V-Ups

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms overhead.
  2. Lift your legs and upper body simultaneously, reaching for your toes.
  3. Lower back down and repeat.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

2. 7 Lower Ab Exercises Using a Booty Band

7 Lower Ab Exercises Using a Booty Band

Booty bands add resistance to your lower ab exercises, making them more challenging and effective. This workout includes leg raises, reverse crunches, and scissor kicks.

Why it’s great: Targeting the lower abs can be tricky, but the added resistance from the booty band helps intensify the workout for better results.

Equipment needed: Booty band

Leg Raises

  1. Lie on your back with a booty band around your thighs.
  2. Lift your legs towards the ceiling.
  3. Lower your legs back down without touching the floor.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Reverse Crunches

  1. Lie on your back with the booty band around your thighs.
  2. Lift your legs and hips off the floor, curling your knees towards your chest.
  3. Lower back down and repeat.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

Scissor Kicks

  1. Lie on your back with the booty band around your thighs.
  2. Lift your legs slightly off the floor and alternate crossing them over and under each other.
  3. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps each leg.

1. 15 Minute Pilates Core Workout

15 Minute Pilates Core Workout

This quick yet effective Pilates routine targets your entire core with exercises like the hundred, roll-ups, and leg circles. It’s perfect for those short on time but looking for a thorough core workout.

Why it’s great: Pilates exercises focus on controlled movements and breathing, enhancing core strength and stability without high impact.

Equipment needed: None

The Hundred

  1. Lie on your back with your legs raised to a 90-degree angle.
  2. Lift your head and shoulders off the mat.
  3. Pump your arms up and down while inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts.
  4. Continue for 100 pumps.

Roll-Ups

  1. Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead.
  2. Slowly roll up, reaching towards your toes.
  3. Roll back down with control.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

Leg Circles

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  2. Lift one leg towards the ceiling and draw circles in the air.
  3. Switch directions after 10 reps.
  4. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps each leg.
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Emelia Watson

Emelia Watson is a passionate writer and fitness enthusiast at The Live Fit Girls. With a background in nutrition and wellness coaching, she brings a wealth of knowledge and inspiration to her articles. Emelia is dedicated to empowering women to live healthier, happier lives through practical tips, engaging workouts, and delicious recipes. When she's not writing, you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or experimenting in the kitchen.
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