All the excess fat in your body parties together in your lower belly. Stopping this party is a task but you need not worry. I’m here to tone your lower rectus abdominis muscles and I’m doing that with the best lower ab exercises. You can dedicate a whole routine to your lower abs or you may also simply incorporate these in your daily regime.
Stretches and warm-ups are crucial before you begin these to avoid muscle injuries.
11 Best Lower Ab Exercises:
1. Mountain Climbers
Let’s get rolling with these climbers. Although they work almost every muscle of your body, mountain climbers primarily sculpt your abs. We begin by getting into a plank position. Your body should be in a straight line, keep checking your form and keep your core engaged.
Now crunch your right knee towards your chest. Swiftly take it back to its starting point and crunch the left leg inwards. Keep pulling in both legs alternatively so it seems like you’re running on the spot.
Throughout the exercise, make sure that your butt doesn’t sag and that your head is up.
Mountain Climbers are a great warmup exercise as they speed up your heart rate and activate your core. You can also add them to your daily session as one or two sets of 30-60 seconds.
2. Dead Bug
Here’s one core exercise where you don’t have to stress about straining your back. Phew!
Appearances are deceiving and if you’re thinking that the dead bug is easy peasy, I just have one thing to say- lol.
Roll out an exercise mat and lay down on your back, legs outstretched. Lift your hands up straight. Now lift your legs, bent at the knees. Your shins should be directly above your hips. Now lower your right arm and right leg but make sure that they don’t touch the ground. Breathe in and bring them back to the dead bug pose. Do this movement slowly and keep your core tight throughout. Repeat the same with your left hand and leg. This is one repetition (rep). 1 set of 10 reps or 2 sets of 12 reps (as per your fitness level) are ideal.
3. Sliding Pike
While people slide into DMs, you’ll slide into a fitter lifestyle.
Find a hard smooth surface where there isn’t any scope of friction. Then find your slides. A hardwood floor and a towel, a carpeted floor and dinner plates are combinations. Start on a high plank position with your feet resting on the towel/plate. Check your form. Brave your core.
Then raise your butt and slide in your legs towards your hands. You should look like an inverted V or a bell. Feel the strain on your thighs and abs. Hold it for 3 seconds and return to the high plank.
Your target should be 10 smooth reps.
4. Jack Knife
The most muscle wrenching exercises begin with lying down on the floor. Lie down on your back (without it arching) with your legs outstretched and your hands extended behind. Lift your legs up 40° relative to the floor and simultaneously raise your torso from the waist (so your hands are parallel to the legs). Keep your core tight and you’ll feel the burn. Hold your pose, exhale and lower your body to go back to where you started. That’s one rep.
Try and keep your limbs as straight as possible and keep breathing evenly (exhale-up, inhale-down). 2 sets of 10 reps are not an easy target. This is a toughie and it’s okay if you take some time before you do a good job.
5. Rolling Plank
Side plank + High plank = Rolling Plank.
Start with a high plank and check your form. Are your hands directly under your shoulders? Is your head lifted and not drooping? Are you balanced on your toes? Great.
Now slowly roll to your right side into a side plank. Your left arm should be straight in the air and your left leg should be stacked on your right. Keep your core tight. Balance carefully, any haste will result in a disgraceful fall or an injury.
Hold this ‘T’ pose for a few seconds and then return to the high plank. Repeat the same rolling and balancing on your left side now. This is one rep. 1 set of 5 reps is good for a beginner whereas 2 sets of 10 reps go for those at an advanced fitness level.
6. Bicycle Crunch
Bye regular crunches, hi bicycle crunches. Also, hi abs.
The American Council of Exercise is a fan of these and there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t be too.
Lie down on the floor on your back. Bend your knees and place your hands behind your head. Now crunch your right knee to your chest while extending your left leg straight. Lift your shoulders off the floor, your left elbow should touch the right knee as you twist your torso slightly. Don’t try and touch the elbow to the knee forcibly.
Repeat this process with the left knee and right elbow.
2-3 sets of 15-20 reps are a good target.
7. Plank Hop
The reason most ab workouts mention planks or their variations is that planks work almost all the core muscles.
The plank hop is a variation that specifically targets your lower abs. We begin in a high plank position. The extended legs should be together. Brace your core. Now jump your feet into your hands. You’ll look like a frog. Then jump back out. In, out, in, out. Simple, right?
Keep hopping for those abs you want. 10-15 reps will make up one set. 1-3 sets should go in your routine as per your fitness level.
8. Leg Lifts
Lifting your legs works your lower abs like crazy. Roll out an exercise mat and lie down on your back. Your arms will be by your side.
Raise your legs, point your toes and bend your knees so your calves are parallel to the floor. Now straighten your legs so you look like an ‘L’. Then lower your legs as low as possible without them touching the ground.
Then lift them up straight again (but don’t just plop them down. Be in control). Make sure you’re breathing and that your back isn’t arching off the floor.
Start with 2 sets of 20 reps and work your way up.
9. Flutter Kicks
Sounds pretty? Wait till you get down to doing them.
Flutter kicks are here to shape your waist and increase your core strength. Swimmers use this motion and they have superb, toned lower bodies.
Lie down on your back and lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Lift your legs, keep your toes pointed at 35-45° relative to the floor. Now raise one leg while lowering the other without touching the ground. Then raise the lowered leg while bringing the other down. Keep repeating this motion. Use your core to flutter your legs.
20 to 30 seconds of flutter kicks will torch your lower abs.
10. Reverse Crunch
A fitter, safer cousin of the regular crunch.
Lie down on your back with your knees bent 90° to the floor. Your arms should be by your side. Now lift your head and shoulder blades off the floor, using your core (keep it rock solid).
Bring your knees to your chest as your hips lift off the floor slightly. Feel the burn. Then lower your legs and hips back to the floor. Inhale and exhale evenly. Kudos! You’ve completed one rep.
2-3 sets of 10 reps will tone your lower abs considerably. Reverse crunches even improve posture.
11. Down Dog Abs
Start off by becoming a bell or an inverted V.
A downward dog pose is where your tailbone is in the air and your weight is divided into your hands and heels. Lift your right leg up, then bend the right knee towards your chest. Squeeze your abs, rounding the spine. Then breathe in and return the right leg to the starting point. This is one rep. Replicate the same on your left side
5-10 reps per side will give you sore abs.
While doing all of these, make sure your form is correct. The last thing you need is an injury. Don’t hold your breath or try too hard. Take it easy. 5 reps done properly are better than 20 done in a haste. Focus on the quality, not quantity.
These exercises will require dedication, hard work, and patience. Wow, these will make sure that your abdominal muscles hurt when you laugh. That’s a good sign. Keep laughing, keep hurting, keep working those abs!