Exercising Upper Abs: The Best Exercises for a Toned Abs!

Flat stomach, slim legs and firm thighs – who doesn’t want that? A visible and defined six-pack has always been considered the epitome of fit and healthy and is sought after by men and women alike. A strong core not only looks good, it also has many health benefits. Regular ab training strengthens the back and thus prevents back and neck pain and improves our posture, which relieves the joints and spine in everyday life. Unfortunately, along with the buttocks and thighs, the stomach is one of the biggest problem areas for women, where we are most likely to attach fat deposits. So if you want to tighten your stomach, there is no way around a regular workout and for this we have to train the upper abdominal muscles in addition to the lower abdomen. So that it works with the longed-for dream body, we have put together the best exercises for the lower abdominal muscles for you. What are we waiting for? Get to the training!

upper abs workout crunches exercise variants

Have you ever heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Well that’s true, because no matter how hard and how often we train – without a healthy and balanced diet, a flat stomach will probably not work. In order to finally melt the love handles, a low percentage of body fat also plays a decisive role – the lower this is, the more clearly the abdominal muscles stand out. Even if every body is different, it can roughly be said that this is only possible for women with a body fat percentage between 16 and 18 percent and for men the value is between 11 and 13 percent. And now comes the bad news – it is not possible to lose weight in just one part of the body, and to tone the abdomen we need to exercise the entire body. This works best with a combination of endurance training, a healthy diet and training sessions for the different muscle groups. If you want to train the upper abdominal muscles, you do not need expensive equipment or a fitness membership – it works wonderfully even without equipment and in your own four walls.

Exercising Upper Abs: What To Look For When Exercising Your Abdominals?

Upper abs workout the best abdominal exercises women

Doing 100 crunches a day and getting a firm stomach – sounds okay, doesn’t it? Unfortunately we have to disappoint you. No matter how many crunches and sit-ups you do, these will shape the belly a little, but won’t melt the underlying subcutaneous fat. Since women usually have a slightly higher body fat percentage than men, we have to work extra hard and train the upper abdominal muscles regularly. Regular means doing abdominal training at least three times and a maximum of five times a week. However, in order to avoid injuries and to make the workout really effective, there are a few basic rules that you should follow.

  • Avoid hollow back – The exact execution and the correct posture are the alpha and omega of the training and this is particularly important for the abdominal exercises. If the muscles are too weak, many tend to fall into the hollow back. To avoid this, try pulling in your belly button and pushing your hips forward. When you do sit-ups, your lower back should be firmly on the floor.
  • Pay attention to your breathing – To prevent the abdominal muscles from cramping, you should not hold your breath during the exercises. The basic rule is – breathe out when standing up and breathe in again when lowering.
  • Provide variety in training – The body quickly gets used to stress and doing the same exercises over and over becomes quite boring in the long run. As a result, the training effect no longer sets in. It is therefore important to vary the exercises and to train as many muscle groups as possible at the same time.
  • Don’t exercise every day – Those who train regularly will logically achieve the greatest and fastest successes. However, the muscles need between 48 and 72 hours to regenerate. Something that very few people know is that the muscles actually grow when you are resting and not when you are exercising.
  • Listen to your body – If you experience pain or discomfort while exercising, stop exercising immediately!

The Best Lower Abs Exercises to Add to Your Exercise Routine

Crunches variants train upper abdominal muscles

Are you ready to work your lower abs and achieve your dream body? The following exercises are effective, can be performed perfectly with your own weight and are ideally suited for both beginners and professionals. Most of these are compound exercises that simultaneously work the upper and lower abdominal muscles at the same time. For quicker and more visible results, pick out 4 to 6 abdominal exercises and try to do the workout 4 to 5 times a week.

  • Criss Cross / Beetle is one of the most effective exercises for training the abdominal muscles and trains not only the upper muscles, but also the oblique muscles – a real all-rounder! Lie on your back and stretch your legs straight forward. Bend your arms and position them at the back of your head with your elbows pointing right and left. Now lift your legs and shoulder blades slightly off the floor. Curve your upper body and bring your left chest towards your right knee while you bend your right leg and bring it towards your chest. Inhale and lower your body again and stretch your bent leg forward. Repeat the execution with the other leg and complete a total of 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions on each side.
  • Reverse crunches are a great variation of the classic and a must for anyone who wants to train their upper abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your legs straight out. Either place your hands on your side or bring your hands up to your head. Tense your stomach and pull your legs slightly bent towards your stomach. Hold for 2-3 seconds and slowly bring it back to the ground, but do not put it down. When doing this, make sure that your lower back remains firmly on the floor and that you do not make a hollow back. It becomes even more intense if you do the exercise with your legs straight. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions each.

Exercising the upper abs: Add variety to your workout

Home workout for women exercising upper abs

  • Jackknife is a more strenuous version of sit-ups and targets the upper abs. Lie on your back and position your arms outstretched along your body. Bend your legs, lift them up, and hold them at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Lean your upper body back and stretch your legs and arms completely forward. Then slowly lower your legs and torso again and return to the starting position. Do a total of 3 sets of 15 reps.
  • Crunches with arms outstretched may seem easy at first glance, but they put a strain on the entire abdominal muscles and are more suitable for advanced users. Lie on your back with your legs slightly bent and your hands outstretched. The upper arms should be immediately next to the ears and your eyes should be directed upwards. Now exhale and lift your chest off the floor and bring it towards your knees. Inhale and lower your upper body backwards again. In order to train the upper muscles, you should make sure that the upper body is not completely laid down when doing this.
  • Slow leg raises is the perfect addition to an effective abdominal, legs, buttocks workout at home. Lie on your back and place your arms next to your body. Keep your legs closed and stretch out towards the ceiling. Hold briefly and then slowly lower it again, but do not put it down completely. When doing this, it is important that your back remains firmly on the ground and that you do not work with momentum, but only with the pulling force from the abdominal muscles.

what exercises for the upper abdominal muscles abdominal training at home

  • scissors is another classic exercise for the upper abs and core muscles. Lie on your back and lift your legs, stretched out, off the floor. Place your hands on your sides and lift your head slightly. Tense your stomach and quickly cross your feet alternately. Make sure that your back stays straight and does not form a hollow back. Perform a total of 3 sets of 40 seconds each.
  • Russian twist with dumbbells – While this exercise particularly targets the oblique muscles, adding dumbbells makes it even more strenuous. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the floor. Bend your legs and raise them slightly in the air. Lean your upper body back and tense your stomach. Then bring your arms from one side to the other and make sure that the upper body remains straight. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions per side.
  • Standing crunch is a dynamic exercise that allows you to train the upper abs and increase your heart rate. To increase the level of difficulty, you can use a medicine ball or a 6-7 kilogram dumbbell. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and hold the dumbbell directly in front of your chest. Tense your stomach and crouch slightly. Now stand up as you exhale and bring your left leg to your right elbow and twist your upper body diagonally. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions per leg.

Stability ball exercises train upper abdominal muscles

  • Exercise Ball Crunches – The upper abdominal muscles can also be trained perfectly at home with an exercise ball. Position your feet on the ball and roll forward to the classic push-up position with your lower legs on the ball. Place your arms below your shoulders and tense your stomach. Exhale, bend your knees and bring the stability ball towards your elbows. Hold down briefly and, as you inhale, straighten your legs again to return to the starting position.
  • Plank to Toe Touch – And what would a stomach workout be without a great plank variant at the end? Start in the high plank position and activate the abdominal muscles. Raise your hips and bring your body into an upside-down V shape. Now touch your left foot with your right hand and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side and do a total of 3 sets of 15 repetitions on each side.

Exercise weight crunches for upper abdominal muscles