Tone Up That Tummy With Simple But Effective Core Exercises

Trim down and tone up your midsection quickly and easily with these simple but effective core exercises any woman can do!

Forget crunches and sit-ups; the best way to trim down and tone up your midsection is to use simple but effective core exercises. These target the muscles of your midsection and back for a firm look and a pleasing silhouette. The best core exercises for women are easy and can be done quickly with no fancy gym equipment, so you can have a great figure in no time.

Your core refers to your midsection, including your stomach, back, bum, and your upper thighs. Strengthening this area of the body is more important than many women realize as these muscles help to keep the body upright and supported. Toning this area can be done with some simple exercises that you perform without any expensive equipment, and in the privacy of your own home.

Core Exercises Are So Easy!

workout woman

If you want to strengthen your core, consider some simple exercises you might try. First start with a quick warm-up to get your muscles loose and warm, and to get the blood flowing. March in place for three minutes to get started.

Then, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and reach your right arm up and over your head while you lean slightly to the left. Hold for a count of ten. Repeat with your left arm in the other direction. Next, bend forward and touch your toes, and hold this position for a count of twenty. You’re now ready to work that core!

Start by lying on your back, on your exercise mat. Keep your feet together and lift your legs about three inches off the ground. You’ll notice your abdominal muscles tighten to hold this position. Keep your legs elevated for a count of fifty, then return them to the ground for a count of twenty, and then repeat.

Next, put your legs straight up in the air so that they’re at a 90-degree angle, feet together. Moving at the hips and keeping your feet together, draw a circle clockwise in the air with your feet, never letting the circle become more than six inches wide. The smaller the circle, the more your abdominals will work to control the movement. Repeat this movement for a count of 8, then move your feet in the other direction for another count of 8. Rest, then repeat this cycle.

Work Your Back for a Strong Core


To work your back, turn over and lie on your stomach. Put your arms out in front of you and keep your feet about shoulder-width apart. Put your head down so that your forehead is on your exercise mat. You’ll perform a move called the “swim,” which mimics the movement of swimming. Pick your legs up just a few inches off the mat and kick them up and down while moving your arms up and down at the same time, as if you’re slapping the surface of water.

Be sure you keep your legs straight and lift them only a few inches off the ground; you don’t want to bend your knees or bend at the hips. Perform this for a count of 100.

Next, slide back and get up on your hands and knees, your arms directly under your shoulders, your back straight. Keeping your knee bent, lift your right leg up so that your foot reaches toward the ceiling, and gently kick it up repeatedly for a count of eight. Repeat this with your left leg, and then repeat the set. This mule kick will tighten and tone your bum and upper thighs.

Get Serious With Core Exercises for Great Results

woman abs workout

Now you’re ready for some serious movements to work the core. Sit on your exercise mat and pull your knees up toward your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees and gently pick your feet up off the ground. Rock yourself back and forward just a few inches, keeping your feet off the mat. This move will work all your abdominals and back muscles as they keep you upright and move your body. Try this for a count of three, then put your feet down and rest for 20 seconds, then repeat.

For an advanced move, lie back down on your back and swing your legs up and over your head behind you. Use your hands on your bum to help push your legs back, and then put your arms out straight to hold the floor and keep your balance. Your toes should be on the floor behind your head.

If you’re already very advanced you can kick your legs back in front of you while you move your upper body forward, so that you get into a standing position; you may see this done in movies during fight scenes.

Work on this move little by little, using your arms on the floor for balance as you try to get into a quick standing position. As you strengthen your core, the movement will become easier over time and you may be able to actually flip yourself up off the floor in one smooth movement.

For even more core training, try a Pilates routine. Pilates was designed to use the body’s own weight as resistance and to concentrate on the midsection and back, along with the legs and bum. A good beginner’s Pilates DVD can walk you through a simple routine that any woman can follow, and all you typically need is a mat and some comfortable workout clothes. An advanced routine can give you a firm midsection and back.

Do you use core exercises every time you work out?  If so, do you find that they help to strengthen your abdominals and back?  What is the most challenging core exercise you’ve ever tried?  What other core exercises would you recommend for women?


About the author

Rachel G

Rachel is a health and fitness enthusiast with interests in world culture, psychology, and philosophy, she’s also a romantic with a passion for writing and for helping women live the best life possible.

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