I’m often surprised at how for women, ab workouts seem to be a bit of a great mystery. The simple fact of the matter is that women ab workouts are not really all that complicated. And the path to results is pretty straightforward. If you have solid, proven exercises designed for women, ab workouts will produce results.

Here’s a popular misconception I’ve seen repeatedly with women. Ab workouts are avoided, or postponed, because they think that they have to first lose belly fat in the torso before the ab exercises will generate results. In truth, however, working your abs will often give you a bit of a full body workout by default. The generalized exercises you’re doing will have spillover effects.

Taken from the other angle, sometimes you can get results in the mid-section by virtue of having done basic full-body workouts. In other words, for some women, ab workouts aren’t even necessary. Working the whole body will burn calories and build muscle. A generalized workout regimen aimed at getting you in shape could flatten your stomach over time and produce satisfactory results as is.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for specific women ab workouts, I would recommend pilates. Pilates are a prime example of an exercise that can strengthen your whole body, even though you may be focused on the torso. A similar thing happens with workouts focused on cardio. Some women will engage in steady, though low intensity cardio exercises. Even something as simple as brisk walking can have increasing results, so long as you are upping the intensity of the workout. So, for some women, ab workouts in particular aren’t necessary due to the ancillary effects of other programs.

Then, there are other exercises that will deliver more deliberate results. Leg crunches is a primary example. If you are flat on your back with your hands behind your head, you want to bend your legs 90 degrees to the ground. As you pull both knees up together, you create the crunch. Next, just reverse and return your legs back to the starting position. This exercise totally targets the ab muscles. Yet, it also works the legs as well. Make an effort to hold in the “crunched” position for half a minute or so to really feel the effects.

As another option for women, ab workouts have evolved to give us the “super crunch.” This version gets at not only the ab muscles, but also the upper and lower leg muscles as a whole. This is related to the regular raised leg crunch, in that you also begin lying on your back on the floor. Your legs are bent, again in a 90 degree fashion, and parallel relative to the ceiling off the floor. Your knees will lift towards your head and you contract your torso. Be aware that you are, indeed, tightening your core. This is the only way to ensure you are exerting your abs. As for breathing, make a point to inhale as you take your knees back out. Like before, an effort to hold the crunch position for a good 30 seconds will yield best results.

As you can see women, ab workouts can be found in both the direct and indirect varieties. You can start working your abs immediately. Yet, you can also target more broad exercises, knowing that there will be a spillover effect. This will all converge as you not only lose fat, but also increase your metabolism to further the cycle. You’ll burn calories, add muscles, and see marked improvements.