Ab Workouts for Women

No-Crunch Ab Routine

Tired of crunches? Bored with planks? This ballet- and Pilates-inspired workout will flatten, tighten and tone your core, while also working your glutes and legs.

Leg Beat


Set Up: Lie facedown with your legs together; make a pillow with your hands and rest your forehead on top of it.

Action: Lift both legs off the floor a few inches and quickly alternate opening your legs into a V-shape [A] and crossing one over top of the other [B]. Crossing and opening your legs once counts as a single rep. Remember that as you crisscross your legs, you must alternate the leg that is on top with each beat. As you move, keep your hips pressed firmly onto the mat, and be careful not to arch your lower back. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Double Leg Circle


Set Up: Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and extend your legs straight up toward the ceiling, toes pointed.

Action: From here, circle your legs simultaneously in opposite directions, drawing little circles on the ceiling with your toes. Keep your belly pulled in and your tummy flat throughout. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Side Lying Leg Lift


Set Up: Lie on your side with your legs extended and stacked, propping your torso up on your bottom bent arm [A].

Action: Lift your top leg a few inches above hip height [B], then lower back to the starting position. When your set is complete, repeat on your opposite side. Perform three sets of 12 to 15 reps.