Abs Workout For Women: 8 Weeks To A Flatter Stomach

Women: looking for that elusive flat stomach? Combine this abs workout with a smart diet and weekly cardio, and you'll reach your goals in no time!

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
Single Muscle Group

Workout Description

Woman performing a plankIt's time to get that flat stomach! Combine this 8 week abs workout plan with the included dieting and cardio advice, and you will help your body build and firm your abdominals while stripping away excess stomach fat.

Workout Frequency

Perform this abs workout 2-3x a week after your resistance training sessions. It can also be performed on off training days, or with your cardio workouts.


Perform 3-4 cardio workouts per week for 20 to 30 minutes per session. Choose whichever form of cardio you prefer, from walking to sprinting to swimming to biking. The important thing to remember is that cardio should be enjoyable. If you dread performing cardio, you are more likely to miss sessions. It doesn't really matter what you are doing because you are burning calories. A flat stomach is made in the kitchen, and your diet is doing most of the work.

You may perform cardio first thing in the morning, on off days, or after your resistance training sessions.

Maximizing Your Diet Plan

Simply eating less food isn't good enough. To look fit and healthy you also need to make sure you are eating the right types of food, and not undereating. Many women undereat protein and healthy fats, and tend to end up skinny but still flabby after a period of dieting.

Here are some tips that can help you maximize your diet plan, so you can look your best:

Calories - If you're looking to lose fat, start by eating around 1800 calories per day. Your goal is to lose about 1.5 to 2 pounds of fat per week. If you lose weight more quickly than this, you also tend to lose muscle mass. The result is a skinny, but flabby body. So don't lose weight too quickly!

If you're not losing weight at this calorie level, drop your calorie intake down to 1650 for a period of no less than 2 weeks and reassess your progress.

Protein - Make sure you're eating at least 100 grams of protein per day. Protein helps you retain, repair and build muscle tissue. Many women underestimate how much protein that take in per day, so it's good to monitor this vital macronutrient.

If you have a hard time reaching a minimum of 100 grams of protein per day, consider supplementing with a protein supplement such as IsoFuel.

Women performing abs exercises

Helpful dieting tips - There is more to a healthy diet than just calories and protein. Follow these tips to maximize your eating plan:

  • Healthy Fats - Make sure at least 20% of your calories come from healthy fats. Healthy fats are essential for proper hormone function, brain function, fat loss and much more.
  • Carbohydrates - Try to avoid the white poisons - white sugar and white flour. Instead, choose nutritious carbohydrate sources such as oatmeal, rice, quinoa, fruits and veggies.
Abs Workout
Weeks 1-4
Exercise Sets Reps or Time
Cable Crunch 2-3 15-25
Plank 2-3 30-60 Seconds
Hanging Knee Raise 2-3 10-20
Dumbbell Side Bends 2-3 10-20
Abs Workout
Weeks 5-8
Exercise Sets Reps or Time
Twisting Bench Crunch (Reps are per side) 3-4 20-30
Plank With Feet On Bench 3-4 60 Seconds
Weighted Sit Up (with dumbbell on chest) 3-4 20-30
Wood Chop (Reps are per side) 3-4 10-20


About The Author
Scott Trumbley is a spin bike instructor, personal trainer and local strength coach. His areas of specialty include kinesiology and functional strength.

57 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 07/27/2012 - 15:04
Amanda Clifton
Is there something else I can do at home instead of a cable crunch please?
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Posted Sun, 07/29/2012 - 23:46
Of course. Weighted crunch, weighted sit-ups, weighted toe reach, weighted yoga ball situps and plenty others. Look in the video section for many different ab exercises.
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Posted Wed, 08/01/2012 - 16:51
Amanda Clifton
Thanks Matt :-)
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Posted Thu, 08/09/2012 - 12:02
Hi I'm not really looking to lose pounds just to loose my belly fat I have a pouch that looks like a baby bulge but I have never been pregnant nor am I pregnant and all my fat goes to my stomache I have started taking green tea pills and jumping on a mini trampoline for a min then switching to an ab lounger for a min and doing this back and forth for about 10 to 15 mins do you think this will be effective and if not is there any other tips you could give me to loosing my belly
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Posted Mon, 09/03/2012 - 22:13
Hi Lyne. As far as I know, it's close to impossible to lose the stubborn belly fat by focusing on the abs themselves. You will get stronger in your core that way, but you'll need to do more of a full body workout because your body doesn't eat fat in one place, it usually does it overall. Leg workouts with cardio (such as your jumping on the trampoline) will do a lot, but you'll have to slowly push your body more and more and change it up every now and then so it doesn't get too used to one thing. Also a healthy diet is key: not many fast or bad fat-foods. For example, I've had love handles basically forever, it's just part of my body structure, even whenever I'm in at least decent shape. However, when I started eating vegetarian (particularly while i went to India this summer) my love handles went away a ton, although it started accumulating in more of a gut bc of all the oils they cook in their food, and I wasn't exercising. P.S. don't forget to do lower back exercises as well. Strengthening your front and not your back can have the effect to make you more prone to hunch forward, have bad posture, and bc of the forwardness, possibly make your tummy seem to hang more. If you do your back exercises, you can stand up straighter more easily, avoid back problems down the line, and it'll help make your stomach look tighter. Hope this helped some. I wish you the best of luck, and don't get discouraged! It's great you're working at staying in shape!
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Posted Tue, 11/26/2013 - 16:05
well lets see I lift a lot and play football that's about all
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Posted Sat, 05/24/2014 - 15:41
Lyne it isn't possible to loose that buldge by simple doing an an routine. Make sure to continue what your doing with all the other routines you hopefully have as well, but here's the answer MANY hear, read and KNOW, Abs are sculpted in the kitchen. Maintaining a clean diet by removing all processed foods and avoiding complex carbs especially in the evening will help. Drink more water and you should see far greater results then you would but just doing what you mentioned. GOOD LUCK, You can do it! Cassandra NASM CPT, CES, YES, FNS.
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Posted Tue, 08/21/2012 - 01:36
Amanda Long
I really want too tighten my little pouch over my c section mark. It seems like no matter what I do nothing works for me...Ive done every diet and work out routine. Please I need help...
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Posted Tue, 08/28/2012 - 10:37
Hi!Thanks for the great workout and tips. My name is Sandra, I am 43, 5ft tall and a very discliplined person, 4 years ago I lost 41 lbs, and never gor it back, however my body went to a plateau that I am not getting out of! I have a doubt, since this is more directed to women, 1800 calories seems too much for someone wanting to loose weight. I tried to go down to 1600 and I am stuck anyway. Should I try 1400? Thank you! Sandra
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Posted Mon, 09/03/2012 - 22:23
Hi Sandra. First of all, congratulations on your achievement on getting healthier! I'm not a nutritionist, but I would advise to not go down further than 1600 a day. Calories are your body's energy. If you don't have enough healthy fats, proteins, and carbs to keep your body going, sure you might be able to lose some weight but it'll be in an unhealthy way, literally eating away at your body and health as compared to just the fat. Eating a healthy diet is essential, google around or maybe visit a nutritionist for specifics, but use some common sense: don't eat too many high-saturated fats, esp in fast food and the likes, dont overindulge often on desserts (but i wouldn't deprive yourself unless you are in a dire situation, as it'll make it easier for you to gorge when you do have it again). Also changing your routine every now and then keeps your body from plateauing as much. Mixing cardio and resistance training is the optimal way to help your body overall, as it both strengthens your muscles and well and increases your stamina. Also, I don't know your weight (nor am I going to ask), but just in case, remember that being super skinny doesn't mean someone is healthy. I wish you the best of luck for your success!
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Posted Tue, 09/04/2012 - 23:57
Hi Sandra!! My name is Cassidy and my career is to help people reach their fitness/nutritional goals. Make sure you are getting enough protein. The average woman needs about 100 grams per day for weight loss. Don't forget your water!! Drinking half your body weight (lbs) in ounces of water will help flush excess toxins and pounds. Also, make sure you are getting the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber per day. Clean carbs (no white foods) are essential as well. Hope this helps!!
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Posted Thu, 08/30/2012 - 20:18
Hi I was just wondering if there was a good alternative for the hanging knee crunch to do from home?
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Posted Sun, 09/09/2012 - 20:18
Hello, I'm really excited to start this new workout but, i'm doing it at home and am wondering if there is an alternative exercise to the wood chop. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Posted Thu, 05/09/2013 - 09:54
Tricia, I do the wood chops at home with a medicine ball. If you're unsure of the form, you can google it.
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Posted Mon, 09/17/2012 - 00:09
i had a baby 7 months ago and ever since i had my baby it seems im gaining weight instead of losing it. im gaining it everywhere! i need help!!
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Posted Mon, 02/03/2014 - 19:33
Hey hailey I see your problem but what I would suggest is you doing typical excersises in everyday things and if you don't work on the weekeneds wake up in the morning and walk around a nerby park like 4 laps and then wake on the beach or maybe go swimming in a nearby pool and join a gym with a personal trainor and yiu said you have far gaining everywhere well I wouldt really complain to much because if you gained in your bbutt and thigh area that would be the easiest part to shape and tone but the hardest one to loose but I would do soke sqauts lunges but for your stomach I wouod say jogging so some of it goes away and then try sit ups-kiara
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Posted Sun, 10/07/2012 - 19:34
hi, im wanting to lose the belly fat that i have hanging over my jeans. i read somewhere that you have to work out your whole body to lose fat, because it cant be targeted in just one place. i also read that lifting weights is the best way to do this. Is this true? If so could you recommend a routine for me?
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Posted Wed, 10/17/2012 - 16:56
I am doing the knee raises on the Captain's Chair instead of hanging. I find that my shoulders are raised as I grip the handles to support myself while I raise my knees. Is this right? My shoulders raise a great deal towards my ears.
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Posted Wed, 10/31/2012 - 23:53
Ashley Williams
I had my son about a year ago now and i gained weight like crazy and dont know why I was always the skinny itty bitty one in my family. I need a meal and exercise plan that will take off the unwanted weight and fat and keep it off.... Help Please
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Posted Thu, 11/01/2012 - 17:08
is there an alternative to the hanging knee raise?
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Posted Wed, 11/14/2012 - 09:30
Hi I am looking at toning up my body I don't need to loose any weight as I am a little under weight but still 'flabby' I would like to know which foods are best to eat when attempting to tone and which workouts at the gym would be best, also I'm often hungry so would appreciate some snack ideas to that I can munch on but won't effect me toning. Thank you
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Posted Thu, 01/03/2013 - 17:01
Hi i am looking to get rid of my stomach fat and my leg fat. what do you suggest the best way to get rid of leg fat is? or to make that into muscle.
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Posted Sun, 01/06/2013 - 11:46
I had a baby eight months ago and i have not lost no weight. I'm starting my workout Wednesday I'm a pretty lean person. My weight accumulates around my stomach are. I'm 5"7 in weigh about 187, what so you think would be the best workout for a flatter stomach for me?
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Posted Thu, 01/10/2013 - 00:42
Is there an alternative to the wood chop?
Joey's picture
Posted Thu, 01/10/2013 - 16:46
You might continue doing side bends.
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Posted Sun, 01/13/2013 - 18:27
Hi. My girlfriend had our baby boy a month ago and was wanting to loose weight she had gained during her pregnacy , we have been in the gym doing cardio as well as full body squats ! I personally am not an trainer nor a nutritionist ! But I've been working on my physical shape for 24 years now! I have learned burning calories is as simple as you wanna make it! She on the other hand has never worked out . Start off slow."walk for 5 minutes on a tread mill, then a stair stepper,illiptical or some kind of cardio machine for 20-30 min working your way up to what fills good. Then walking for another 5 min for a cool down! Breathing in deep and moving your core slow will burn belly fat and shape your abs! The more you work your body in different ways will allow for better results! Those looking for results will see them everyday if you work for them! Burn more calories then you put in! And when you have a set goal on your workout always push for more every work out , that little extra is what you are looking for ! It may be 1 or 2 more on a set or 3 - 5 min extra on cardio! I saw people looking for help, I know this works! I push my girlfriend everyday and can already see her body changing for the better!
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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 08:40
hi . i have a problem to tone my abdominal .. upper abd start to show up but not lower one . i wanna do it V look but i dont know what can i do more .. i do all exercise for that but small result of it . maybe u know some good routine ? thanx
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Posted Wed, 01/30/2013 - 19:14
When it comes to getting toned abs, it's all about body fat percentage. You need to lower your body fat percentage in order to show off your hard work. This is best obtained by a combination of proper diet and exercise.
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Posted Thu, 01/31/2013 - 13:36
thank u
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Posted Tue, 02/12/2013 - 12:41
I find that also doing squats strengthen the core. After doing squats, I work on my abdominals. Works for me...
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Posted Wed, 02/13/2013 - 13:00
mom of 7
I have 7 kids and after the first 3 i lost the weight with in a month or two after having the babies. The 4th pregnancy i had twins and had them by c-section and started losing the weight but i got to a point where i could not lose any more and then i had 2 more pregnancies and can not lose the weight from them. When i had my last son i weight 180 at the end and now i am at 158 to 160 and can not lose the belly fat that is around my c-section area. Please Help !! Mom of 7...
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Posted Tue, 03/19/2013 - 13:14
why are there so many thumbs down I think this site is great! and all the comments are helpful people are just haters and couch potatoes lol
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Posted Sat, 03/23/2013 - 04:12
Hi I decided recently I wanted to be healthy & toned, & not just thin & shapeless, so set about a new lifestyle. I'm 5ft7 & weight 11stone & was keen 2 get very toned & lean. I go to the gym for an hour every morning before work & rest @ weekends, & do a combination of weights & resistance training, & end with 10mins of interval sprints. I take protein shakes after every workout & eat quite well (no white carbs, lots if protein & fruit) However, 7 weeks later & I've put 4lbs on & look NO different & am SO frustrated. Any help or advice would be hugely appreciated
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Posted Sat, 05/11/2013 - 21:01
Hi Lucy, I too weigh far too much, I have a square bear figure, infact just broad, fat and square. I recently started weights with help from my family, and have just completed seven weeks of training. The first few weeks I was putting weight on..then my brother explained that muscle weighs more (sigh). So he explained to continue training but eat sensibly. I have recently controlled my Cals intake. I must stress, being Asian and walking away from curry's is really hard, and my big family get together 's where we feast on several occasions is hard, but hey ho, I need my body to get fit. I added more exercise , I started jogging, cross trainer, in fact every day I was either doing weights or cardio. I have not drank protein shakes at all yet. I have to say since I been eating sensibly, my weight has dropped and my big lump of lard shoulders are now looking like a trim ladies shoulder and I have lost over a stone. I have so much more to loose. I will have ups and downs, but I am committed to getting it right. Please don't loose heart, keep at it, increase your weights or sit and re-look at your exercise regime, may be tweak it a little, watch your cals intake and shake up the exercise so the body keeps getting shocked and not know what form of exercise you are going to do today. I'm new too to this, but this is what currently works for me, and if I can share my knowledge which may help you, then I am more than happy to do so. Were all in this together, lets keep motivated and keep trying, you will get there. All the best, Sammy.
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Posted Mon, 05/06/2013 - 05:15
Hi ı am fifteen years old ı want to kas.am ı help to me?please..
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Posted Fri, 05/10/2013 - 09:19
Hello, my name is Jasmine . I'm 20 year old and overall, a very petite female but I'm "flabby" around the stomach area . My "hourglass" shape now looks like Im sitting in a Goodyear tire . I smoke weed and that's probably not gonna change . But I would like to have a weekly workout plan in order to lose access weight and tighten my abs and tone my stomach . I need some regimen that won't take years, but that I can do and see results in 2-3 weeks . I understand it'll be more of 8 weeks until I see full results . Please help .
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Posted Fri, 06/07/2013 - 16:37
kalli brand
um hi, i was serching the internet for a fast and safe workout to not loose a lot of weigt because i am fat but to loose a small amount of weight in my belly area so i ca have abs most of my friends do and i get picked on alot for my small amount of pudgeness if you have any tips or tricks to get in shape fast why sports are out please let me know my emailing me ASAP thankyou again if you have any tips it will mean a lot kalli brand ps: i a, 13 so i cant really take pills just watch my diet and exercise this is not a joke this is serious please take me serious!!!
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Posted Thu, 07/04/2013 - 13:16
Im a single mom of a two year old, just recently started working out. Here is my issue, i had a surgery in 2004 that left me with scar tissue in my lower abdomen. As hard as im working, my "pudge" wont budge! my tummy is starting to flatten out a bit. I work out 5 days a week, three days being core and jogging and two days being legs and and some core, and have put myself on a 1650 calorie diet. Im about to start taking protein. Only being 22 i want a beach body that i can be proud of and not want to hide. am i going about this the right way? Does anyone have any tips?
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Posted Tue, 07/09/2013 - 16:51
Ferne Harasimiw
But I don't know what to eat. What is protien in? I am overwieght with no computer, only a phone. And am finding body building for beginners on pintrest and youtube. But don't know what food to buy?
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Posted Wed, 07/24/2013 - 21:38
Hey I'm 13 I have a little belly pudge I just can't seem to get rid of I tried exercising but I'm not doing it right :/ I try to eat healthy and I drink water I lost 3-4 pounds already but I just want to lose this little bit of fat I'm thinking of joining track and weightlifting next year but I want to keep my slim hourglass...but I'm running out of options if I do that weightlifting will it slim me out or bulked me up.......?:(
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Posted Wed, 08/14/2013 - 19:18
Hi I'm 5.3 and I'm looking for an effective workout routine that would help me lose fat in every part of my body, and i don't really have time to go to the gym and lift weights and stuff so it would be awesome if you could give me home workout. please help me!!!!!
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Posted Wed, 08/14/2013 - 19:21
hi im 5.3 and i would like to ask for an effective home workout routine that would make me lose weight and fat
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Posted Mon, 08/19/2013 - 13:27
Is it okay for a 15 years old girl to do this training? I would love to start, but it works for 15 years old girls too, right? Thank you :)
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Posted Mon, 08/19/2013 - 13:27
Is it okay for a 15 years old girl to do this training? I would love to start, but it works for 15 years old girls too, right? Thank you :)
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Posted Sat, 09/14/2013 - 14:26
Thanks for the article! Two questions: 1) How much rest between sets? 2) Should we complete all the sets for each exercise at once before doing the next exercise, or finish one set of one exercise and then do one set of a new exercise, etc. Thank you.
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Posted Wed, 09/25/2013 - 20:28
Hi. I'm 5'2 and weight about 98 pounds. I walk the treadmill 4x a week and I have Zumba 3x a week. I would like to gain some muscle and tighten my stomach. Do you have any suggestions?
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Posted Fri, 10/11/2013 - 22:56
I do a triset of the following: Reverse Crunches (3 sets of 15-20), Cable Crunches (3 sets of 15-20) and 3-Point Toe Touch w/Mountain Climbers (3 sets of 10-12 on each side). This works perfect for me, and I got rid of my little muffin sides, which were not that bad, but needed to target those areas more. This combined with my Biceps & Triceps workout routine once a week, works for me!
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Posted Fri, 12/06/2013 - 12:12
i am 92 weight and my height 1.85 and i need to loss my weight and i have not any instrument how can i do weight loss?
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Posted Thu, 12/12/2013 - 12:02
I had my second baby 5months ago an I just keep eating..I really really wanna lose weight an get back to my old hot body I use to have.. someone please help I never worked out before or went on a diet please someone! !!!
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Posted Mon, 02/03/2014 - 19:36
Im 13 but I want to be fit in the stomach and butt I want my butt to be nice and toned with curves and packs with wider thighs and i need to kno wat excersise§ to eo and what food to ewt and stay way from thankYou