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Woman performing basic crunch exercise

Five Best Ab Exercises for Women over 50

pinching waist fat

These five best ab exercises for women over 50 will help you deal with one of the most unwelcome side effects of perimenopause and menopause – belly fat. According to, when estrogen levels drop, our body fat leaves our hips, thighs and butt and heads for our bellies. Seemingly overnight, the muffin top appears, and we go from wearing tight jeans to stretch pants. But we don’t have to live with belly fat just because we’re in perimenopause or menopause. We just need a better fitness strategy.

These five best ab exercises for women over 50 work all aspects of your abdominal muscles – upper, lower, and side. And the entire workout is only 15 minutes! Do these exercises daily, along with regular cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet, and you will be on your way to a flatter tummy in no time!

The Workout

1. Russian Twist

woman performing Russian twist exercise

This exercise works your side abdominals. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet lifted. Lean back slightly, and make sure to keep your back straight so that your head, back, and tailbone are all aligned. With your palms together, turn side-to-side for 30 seconds, then rest for 30-60 seconds. Repeat for three sets.

2. Basic Crunch

Woman performing basic crunch exercise

Lie flat on your back with knees bent and rest your hands behind your head with elbows out to your sides. Contract your lower abdominal muscles to lift your upper body a few inches off the floor. Make sure you keep your face toward the ceiling and your elbows out to the sides. This ensures that you won’t tug on your neck and leaves all the work to your abdominal muscles. Do as many crunches as you can for 30 seconds and rest for 30-60 seconds in between sets. Repeat for three sets. To challenge your core even more, consider performing these crunches on top of an exercise ball.

3. Plank

Woman performing plank exercise

Lie flat facing the floor. Lift your body up to your forearms with your palms flat on the floor. Make sure you keep your abdominals tight and hold this position for as long as you can. For beginners, 30 seconds is plenty. You can work your way up from there. Perform this exercise two to three times, resting 30-60 seconds in between sets.

4. Side Plank

Woman performing side plank exercise

Get on all fours with your elbows on the floor and extend your legs out as if you were going to do a regular plank.  Turn both feet to one side and extend your arm toward the sky. If your feet are pointing left, raise your left arm. Tighten your core and hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side and rest for 60 seconds once you’ve completed both sides. Perform this exercise two to three times on each side, resting 30-60 seconds in between sets.

5. Bird Dog Crunch

Two women exercising together
Photo by Cliff Booth from Pexels

Get on all fours and extend your right arm forward and your left leg backward, as if you are going to perform an arm and leg reach. Next, bring your right elbow and left leg in toward your chest and squeeze your abdominal muscles tightly. Release and repeat 12 times on each side. Perform two to three sets on each side, resting 30-60 seconds in between sets.

More Tummy Tips

silver dumbbells, measuring tape, and vegetables

There, you’ve done it! Now, remember, these five best ab exercises for women over 50 should be just one piece of a more comprehensive fitness strategy. Losing belly fat requires regular cardiovascular exercise, weight-bearing exercise for the rest of your body, and a portion-controlled diet rich in lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low in refined carbs. There is no magic pill when it comes to fitness! But you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym to see great results!

Remember to consult with your doctor before beginning any new workout program. 

For a full-body workout to go along with your abdominal workout, check out Get Fit After 50: 25 Minutes is All You Need!

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