One particularly stubborn part of the body that many people struggle with, particularly women, is the lower abs. While you can’t spot-reduce any one area of the body, performing targeted exercises to tone the muscles in that area may help with body composition and definition. In this article, we’ll reveal the best lower ab exercises to lose that belly fat.
What Are the Causes of Lower Belly Pooch?
If you’re overweight, the chances are that you’re carrying some extra weight around the middle. Even for people who are within the healthy weight range for their size sometimes struggle with lower belly fat. If you have a lower belly pooch, it could be caused by one of the following three things:
- Belly Fat – The most common (and admittedly the most obvious) cause of lower belly pooch is an excess of belly fat. Unfortunately, you can’t target weight loss for a particular part of the body the way you can target certain muscles with specific exercises. When you lose weight, your body decides where that weight loss comes from, and belly fat is often the last to go.
- Poor Posture – Though poor posture doesn’t cause you to develop lower belly fat, it can make you look like you have more than you actually do. If you tend to hunch forward, you could have an arch in your lower back that tilts your pelvis too far forward, pushing out your lower abdomen – this can happen even if you have a low body fat percentage.
- Weak Ab Muscles – The transverse abdominis is the deep abdominal muscle that wraps around your torso. In addition to stabilizing your back, it also pulls in your waistline and makes you look slimmer. Crunches target your upper abs, so you’ll need to do some targeted lower ab exercises if you want to tone this muscle to reduce lower belly pooch.
You can’t crunch your way to washboard abs if your midsection is still covered in a layer of fat, but weight loss combined with targeted lower ab exercises can give you the six pack of your dreams. Just be prepared to work for it!
Ten Best Lower Ab Exercises to Lose Belly Fat
Wondering how to work your lower abs? Here are ten of the best lower ab exercises that will help to tone your midsection. You should remember to keep your core engaged at all times when performing these exercises for the best results.
1. Butterfly Sit-Ups | 6 reps
Lie on your back on a yoga mat, your knees bent out to the sides and the soles of your feet together. Extending your arms in front of you, lift your upper body off the floor and curl forward until you can tap the ground in front of your toes. Lower yourself slowly back down, keeping your core tight. Repeat for six reps.
2. Heel Touches | 6 reps
Lie down flat on your back with your hands behind your head. Place your elbows out to the sides. Lift your legs, bending the knees at a 90-degree angle. Lower one leg until your heel touches the floor, then return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Repeat for six reps.
3. Scissor Kicks | 10 reps
Lie flat on a yoga mat with your legs straight out in front of you. Lift your shoulder blades slightly off the ground and draw your left leg up toward the ceiling, hovering your right leg just an inch or two off the floor. Switch legs in a controlled motion. If necessary, you can use your hands to support your thighs for extra assistance. Repeat for ten reps.
4. Straight Leg Holds | 8 reps
Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat and place your hands together on the mat, palms down, tucking them just under your tailbone. Keeping your legs straight, flex your feet so your toes are pointed toward the ceiling. Then lift your feet at least 6 inches off the ground. Pause for a second or two at the top then slowly lower your feet until they just touch the floor. Keeping your core tight and controlling your motion, repeat for eight reps.
5. Plank Rocks | 8 reps
Begin in plank position by placing your hands directly beneath your shoulders, balancing on your toes. Lower yourself onto your forearms, keeping them at a 90-degree angle with your elbows right below your shoulders. Keeping your spine straight, rock forward on your toes a few inches then rock back. Repeat for eight reps.
6. Reverse Crunches | 10 reps
Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat and place your hands together, palms facing down, just under your tailbone. Lift your legs straight up into the air, forming a right angle with your upper body, then engage your lower abs to raise your tailbone a few inches off the ground. Lower back down then repeat in a controlled manner for 10 reps.
7. Ski Abs | 8 reps
Begin in plank position, placing your wrists directly below your shoulders and balancing on your toes. Keeping your hands planted firmly on the ground, contract your lower abs to lift your hips and jump your feet forward and to the right side of your body. Jump your feet back to plank position then repeat on the left side. Repeat for eight reps.
8. Mountain Climbers | 12 reps
Begin in plank position, keeping your wrists right below your shoulders. Draw your left knee into your chest while keeping your spine straight and your core engaged. Return to the starting position, then draw your right knee into your chest. Repeat as quickly as you can for 12 reps.
9. Ab Roll-Ups | 5 reps
Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat, your legs straight, and your arms extended overhead. Stretch your arms behind you then inhale while curling your body forward in a controlled motion. Keep curling forward, exhaling once your upper body is perpendicular to the floor, and keep rolling forward until you touch your toes. Inhale then perform the movement in reverse. Repeat for five reps.
10. V-Sits | 8 reps
Sit with your knees bent, your feet slightly off the ground. Place your hands together, palms down, on the floor near your tailbone and engage your core, feeling your belly button pull in toward your spine. Lean your upper body back (keeping it in a straight line) while extending both legs out in front of you. Lean as far back as you can while maintaining control then return to the original position. Repeat for eight reps.
Start Losing Lower Belly Fat Now
As simple as they may sound, these ten lower ab exercises will have your abs aching by the time you finish them. Don’t worry – that’s a good sign! Choose a few of these exercises (or all of them) to add to your weekly workout but make sure to give your muscles a day or two to rest between workouts. Over time, you’ll strengthen your lower abs, and you’ll find that the exercises become a little easier. When that happens, push yourself to perform more reps. Before you know it, you’ll have the picture-perfect six-pack of your dreams!
If you’re looking for a new way to burn calories and shed fat so you can show off your rock-hard abs, check out our article on tabata workouts.