Staying fit and healthy becomes more and more important the older we get, especially when it comes to retirement and you find you have much more time on your hands.
Making conscious decisions when eating is one thing, but you also need to make sure that you are making the time to fit in daily exercises to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
In this article, I will cover a super easy 10 minute ab workout for women over 50. So, next time you’re feeling uninspired to do your ab exercises, you have this workout in your back pocket to help you get started!
Keep reading to find out more.
Strengthening your abdominal muscles and developing a solid core is crucial to remaining fit and healthy as you get older.
However, it’s a well known fact that you cannot pick and choose where you lose fat. So, you shouldn’t feel disheartened if you don’t see results straight away.
When it comes to training your core, completing a high number of reps in each movement can easily burn you out. Training your abdominal muscles is no different from training other body parts, and you wouldn’t exclusively train your legs everyday of the week, so your abs are no different.
Bearing this in mind, this workout is designed for women over 50 to work your core, but is actually realistic. This workout takes just 10 minutes, includes 5 exercises, and can be modified to fit your fitness level.
I have also included a warm up and a few warm down exercises for your convenience to help combat and minimize the delayed onset muscle soreness following this workout.
Try to do each exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds. If you need a longer rest time in the morning, it’s absolutely fine to just work your way up to 40 seconds!
It’s also important to add in a caveat that you know your body better than anyone else. That being said, it’s important not to push yourself too hard too soon and risk putting yourself off this workout or even worse, injuring yourself.
As this workout will mostly be on the ground, before you begin you will want to find a yoga mat or a blanket to lie on the ground to protect your back. After all, comfort is key!
Warming up before you try this workout is important. To warm up for this workout:
- Begin by lying on your back and hugging your knees, bringing them to center.
- Gently roll backwards and forwards clockwise for 20 seconds.
- Following this, roll backwards and forwards counter clockwise for another 20 seconds.
- Once you’ve done this, return to the center position and hug your knees into your chest. Hold for another 20 seconds.
You’re now ready to work out!
10 minute ab workout for women over 50
Before you begin, make sure that you set the stopwatch on your phone for 10 minutes. You will also want to have the stopwatch close to you, so that you know when a minute has passed and you need to move onto the next exercise.
Exercise one – Leg scissors
- Lie on the ground, bringing both legs up with toes pointing to the sky.
- Cross your left leg in front of your right leg and then cross your right leg in front of your left leg like a pair of scissors.
- Repeat the motion, making sure that you keep your core tight as you complete this movement to take the strain off your lower back.
Top tip: The closer you lower your legs to the ground, the harder the exercise. If you’re struggling, try to raise your legs a little higher and see how you go.
Exercise two – Toe taps
- Lie down on the yoga mat with your knees bent and arms at your sides.
- Bring your legs up to tabletop one leg at a time, knees bent, thighs perpendicular to the floor. Always make sure that you are maintaining a neutral spine and avoid arching your back into the floor.
- Begin by lowering the right foot and tapping it on the floor while the left leg remains in tabletop position.
- Return the right leg to the tabletop and repeat with the left leg.
- Repeat for 10 taps on each side. Start with 1 set and progress to 2 sets of 10 taps on each leg.
Top tip: If this exercise feels too easy, then you aren’t engaging your core enough. Make sure that you are concentrating on keeping your core tight and tensed as your toes touch the floor.
Exercise three – Leg raises
- Lie on your back, legs straight and together. Take a breath.
- Keep your legs straight, exhale and lift them all the way up to the ceiling until your butt comes off the floor.
- Inhale, slowly lower your legs back down till they’re just above the floor. Hold for a moment.
- Raise your legs back up. Repeat for as many as you can fit into the time.
Top tip: Controlling your breathing and lowering your legs slowly is the key to nailing a good set of leg raises. It may take practice, but you’ll get there in the end!
Exercise four – Lying leg hold
- Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your arms by your sides and legs together.
- Lift your legs off the ground, bending at the knee at a 45-degree angle.
- Tense your abs and engage your core, then lift your feet 20cm off the floor, keeping your legs straight.
- Hold for as long as you can, then gently lower your legs to the starting position.
Top tip: If you struggle to hold this exercise for 40 seconds, then allow yourself to work up to that point. Depending on your fitness level, you will figure out what works best for you.
Exercise five – Plank
- Begin by getting into the push-up position – hands and feet shoulder width apart, back and legs straight.
- Lower your body until you’re resting on your forearms with your elbows below your shoulders and your hands pointing forward.
- Engage your core and hold this position for as long as possible. You need to make sure that you have a steady breathing pattern and have the correct form to work your entire body.
If this is your first time doing the plank, you might not make the full allotted time for this exercise to begin with – which is totally fine! If you find yourself getting weak, slowly lower your knees to the ground.
You can rest here in this position for a few seconds and then get back into plank position until the time runs out. You can also take multiple breaks if you need to.
Top tip: One of the most common mistakes people make when performing a plank is not achieving the right form. Ask someone to watch your form or watch yourself in the mirror to make sure you have a flat back.
Well done for finishing the workout, you made it! Complete this set of exercises 2-3 times a week as part of a regular workout regimen for optimal results.
Before you hop in the shower, I recommend you keep reading for some warm down exercises to minimize the delayed onset muscle soreness in the next coming days.
Warm down exercises
Stretching after an ab workout is important. Muscles can cramp after an intense abdominal workout, and stretching can help prevent future injuries from occurring.
The Cat-cow stretch is a great warm down exercise to stretch your abdominal muscles.
- Begin this exercise by getting on your hands and knees. Tuck your head downward as you arch your back, similar to how a cat does it.
- Extend the neck all the way upwards, and drop your belly all the way downwards, stretching the abdominal muscles.
- Hold for 20 seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times.
Another one of my favorite stretches is the Cobra pose. This movement opens up your hips and gives your abdominal muscles a gentle, but thorough stretch before you workout.
- Start off by laying face down on the floor or an exercise mat. This is your starting position.
- Now, with your hips flat on the ground, push your upper body upward, while looking straight ahead. This will stretch the abdominal muscles.
- Hold the position for 20 seconds, then return to the starting position.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times.
When it comes to working out your abdominal muscles, it’s important to be realistic. If you’re someone that hasn’t worked your abs for a long time, then there’s no shame in going easy on yourself the first few times you attempt this workout.
You will soon pick your strength back up, but it’s important to not go too hard, too soon. You don’t want to end up injuring yourself and risk not being able to exercise. Take it slow and most importantly, have fun.
Good luck and happy exercising!