Indeed, most of us have a desire of having abs and that's what most women actually ask their trainer how to train abs. It is very important to have a strong core, but it is time to understand what this important muscle group actually really does, instead of placing its value rarely cosmetic. Start seeing the beyond-skin-deep benefits of working your core!
The core is your eintire support system
The core muscles play a huge role in daily activities, from walking down the street, bending over to grab toys/purse/shopping bags to getting out of bed. But far and foremost, they help you to stay upright. Your abs are not just one muscle; its consist of the transverse abdominis ("the corset" - to stabalize spine and pelvis), two layers of obliques (to contral lateral flexion, like side bends, rotation and other spinal movements) and the rectus abdominis (the "six-pack", flexes your torso like a crunch).
But when we talk about your "core" its not just these group of abs. In total it consist of 4 muscle groups, the abs, your pelvic floor muscles, back muscles and your diaphragm (the main muscle for breathing).
Having a strong core is very important in every movement you do
The core muscles are the first muscle group we use prior to doing any activity. If you don't have a good core stability to support any activity your are doing, you will be going to use other muscles to compensate. And that's the quickest route to an injury. A weak core is the number one risk for potential injuries. Back injuries are very common with a weak core, however injuries on other parts like shoulders, hips and knees are very common as well.
Build core strenght first before you can better or stronger at anything else
When exercising you will perhaps sometimes feel your lower back hurting, like when you are doing a deadlift or with a push-up you feel your hips sagging? It's bery likely that you will have weaker abs. You will not get any results from these exercises if you don't have strong core first. Building a proper base will not only help you to avoid injury, but it will also help you to perform better in any sport too.
Go to see a sport physiotherapist or join a functional training program like Mom in Balance where the focus is not on merely crunches (we strongly advise NEVER to do those!), but on your entire core system. Forget about the 100 crunches each day, you are more prone to injuries when you repeat these flexion patters and rotations. Instead focus on stabilization exercises like planks. But also squats, push-ups and lunges are great ways to improve your core strenght since it is the main stabilizer and must be actively engaged througout the exercise.