Login
Sign Up  |  

Lower Ab Exercises

If you’re looking for the secret to the body of your dreams having tight and defined lower abs is the key to success. The lower abs are one of the toughest areas of the body to target, and because of this there are more ways to do it wrong than there is to do it right.

Lower ab exercises often involve raising your legs to put strain on your lower abs. The leg raise is one of the best lower ab exercises that will get you lower abs but if you perform this exercise without proper form you could end up with lower back pain, hip pain, and no results.

Ab Exercises

 : All | Lower Abs | Upper Abs | Obliques

Ab Muscles

Ab Exercise Muscles
Ab Exercise Muscles

See Also » Ab Workouts

Bent Knee Hip Raise

Beginner
Bent Knee Hip Raise
The Bent Knee Hip Raise is an effective exercise for strengthening and developing the abdominal muscles. This is a great ab exercise to use if you're looking to really tone up the lower portion of the stomach.  
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Leg Raises, Lying

Beginner
Leg Raises, Lying
The lying leg raise works all the major abdominal muscles, obliques, hip flexors and also the front of the thighs. It helps to develop a strong midsection along with balance and coordination.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Bicycle Crunch

Intermediate
Bicycle Crunch
The bicycle crunch develops strong abdominal muscles along with balance and coordination. A very challenging exercise which requires a reasonable level of core strength and balance.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Leg Raises, Bent Knee

Intermediate
Leg Raises, Bent Knee
Using a Roman Chair to perform bent knee leg raises increases the load on the lower abdominals and hip flexors. It also hits the obliques and the front and outer thighs. A less challenging option to this exerci 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Leg Raises, Roman Chair

Intermediate
Leg Raises, Roman Chair
If you really want an intense exercise for the lower abdominals then straight leg raises in a roman chair are the ones to do. They will work the lower abs really hard along with the upper abs and oblique's and  
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Mountain Climbers

Intermediate
Mountain Climbers
The mountain climber is an effective exercise for developing the legs and core, and is performed by switching the position of the legs while in a plank pose. The prone mountain climber exercise is a classic mov 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Sit Up, Bench, Declined

Intermediate
Sit Up, Bench, Declined
The declined sit up works the abdominals hard because you have the added challenge of overcoming gravity. It targets the whole abdominal region but focuses mainly on the lower abdominals.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

V Sit Ups

Intermediate
V Sit Ups
The v sit up is an effective exercise for developing the abs, and is performed by extending the arms and legs, then crunching up to bring them all together. It can be quite challenging for beginners as it requ 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Bicycle Crunch, Bosu

Advanced
Bicycle Crunch, Bosu
The bicycle crunch develops strong abdominal muscles along with balance and coordination. A very tough exercise and one that should be practiced on a flat gym mat before progressing to the bosu ball.
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Decline Crunch with Press, Barbell

Advanced
Decline Crunch with Press, Barbell
The Decline Crunch with a Barbell Press is an effective exercise for strengthening and developing the abdominal and shoulder muscles. Make sure to watch your form, as you will be performing simultaneous movemen 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Leg Raises, Hanging

Advanced
Leg Raises, Hanging
Hanging leg raises require a considerable amount of strength in the arms, shoulders and core abdominals. However if you can master the technique of this exercise you will experience considerable strength gains  
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Leg Raises, Weighted, Lying

Advanced
Leg Raises, Weighted, Lying
The lying cable leg raise targets the abdominals and obliques and also the hip flexors. The added weight will increase strength and the use of the cable helps to develop core stability, strength and coordinatio 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

Stability Ball, Jack Knife with Push Up

Advanced
Stability Ball, Jack Knife with Push Up
The stability ball jack knife with push up is not for beginners. It’s an exercise that incorporates multiple joint movements and requires great skill and balance to perform correctly. It targets the core abdomi 
more...
Targets : Lower Abs View Exercise

FEATURE ARTICLE

Minimize

Lower Ab Exercises

Working out your lower abs can seem like an elusive Holy Grail, especially if you’re new to this whole fitness thing. On the one hand, working out your lower abs region and getting them to show seems like the ultimate fitness goal – to tone and tighten them would mean that you’ve made it. You could then flaunt those washboard abs all you want, and it would be all abs, no flab. On the other hand, targeting the lower abs with your workouts is difficult: the area is small, relatively underused in daily life and also very easy to strain and injure. In fact, working out your lower abs could get you into more trouble than exercising other parts of the body. You could end up with lower back pain, like from a bulging spine disc, knee and/or hip injuries – and absolutely zero toning and fitness results.

What’s more, the lower abs region is also heavily influenced by what you eat. While with most other parts of the body, it’s important to get moving first and think about dieting later, this is not the case with the lower abs. It’s true that exercise lowers cholesterol, which, in turn, can help do away with belly fat. However, most muscular groups in the abdominal region are mainly influenced by what you eat. Your diet is the main thing you need to take into account, when trying to get rid of stomach flab, the tummy pouch, or the jelly belly. Another point to consider is that men and women should approach toning this area in different ways. Since female bodies carry a higher percentage of adipose tissue and the abdominal region tends to conceal quite an important amount of fat, they need to slightly adjust their workout routine. Finally, if you want to work on toning your lower abs right at home, you should know you can totally do this, with a minimum of equipment, even.

We cover all this and loads more in the following. Check out our tips, tricks, advice, and strategies below, test them out, and feel free to let us know how your lower abs toning journey is unfolding.

Best lower abs dieting tips

The trouble with dieting specifically for your lower abs is that it’s impossible. In plain English, the lower abs is not a muscle group in and of themselves, but an extension of your abdominals. Bear that in mind, when you start adjusting your eating habits, for flatter lower abs. A diet alone cannot help you definitively eliminate lower ab flab and flatten your tummy, but it can certainly help.

What you need to remember and understand, throughout this process, is that there’s no such thing as ‘spot dieting’. Often enough, fad diets and so-called dieting aides will be marketed with the above concept attached. As any self-respecting nutritionist and dietician will tell, you the only way in which you can reduce fat in a very specific (and small) area is bariatric surgery. Indeed, liposuction will help you eliminate fat in any particular area of the body – but this is not the point here. The point is how to eat for a more toned, healthier, fitter body on the whole. As such, use the advice below in combination with aerobic exercise, like running, cycling, or swimming, as well as strength workouts, which will help you get the toned look and defined muscles you’re vying for.

Another essential point to bear in mind, throughout the process of redefining your lower abs, is that you need a strategy that combines both a new, improved eating regimen, as well as increased physical activity. You can’t have one without the other for very simple physiological reasons. Dieting without exercising will mess with the two hormones that regulate the sensations of hunger and satiety, ghrelin and leptin. Generally speaking, people who rely solely on calorie restriction to slim down will make the grave mistake of cutting too many calories at once. Without getting too scientific about it, this will make your metabolism slow down to a grinding halt, by excessively reducing the amount of leptin your body produces. In other words, your brain will have a harder time understanding that it needs to burn more fat, in order to keep the body active. At the same time, solely relying on excercise doesn’t work either. Think about it: it takes about 2 hours of walking to burn off a measly snack like a sugary milkshake – how many hours does your day have? The key to getting rid of all that unwanted flab on your lower abs is to optimize the amount your weight loss hormones produces, while also toning your muscles. And the only way to do lose weight and tone your body is by eating better and being active in all the right ways.

Without further ado, here are seven ‘super foods’ you should probably check out, in your quest for a better defined lower abs region, as well as some tips and tricks for smoother sailing through the often tempestuous waters of your new lifestyle.

7 super foods for your lower abs

First things first: there is no such thing as a ‘super food’ that will help you shed those pounds off in the blink of an eye. So, if you’ve arrived at this page looking for a fad crash diet of the cabbage soup variety, move along – or, better yet, read on, to find out about seven foods that will actually benefit you greatly in the long run. While they won’t make your belly bulge disappear overnight, they will reduce belly bloating, improve the effectiveness of your lower abs workout routine, and enhance your metabolism. As for the diet don’ts, there’s one thing you will need to remember: avoid foods with added sugar – it is the single worst enemy of your ab training regimen.

1. Almonds

They’re one of those genuine super-foods gifted to us by Mother Nature, with their impressive content of protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium (pro tip: without magnesium, your body can’t produce energy, nor build and maintain muscle tissue, nor regulate insulin). They are great for people with blood pressure issues, butthe most amazing fact about almonds is that they might be able to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs, by effectively blocking it. It’s tough to find a leaner source of protein for your abs than this.

2. Eggs

Super-food number 2 on our list comes as a conglomerate of protein and ‘good’ fat. Research has proven that a breakfast containing eggs and complex carbs (like good old bread, for instance) will keep you feeling fuller throughout the day and help curb your cravings. This hypothesis hasn’t been fully tested or explained, but it’s believed that the combination of fat and protein might effectively contribute to the feeling of satiety we derive from eating eggs. And, no, don’t believe the hype: eggs are not bad for your cholesterol at all – in fact, they’re great for lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol levels!

3. Soy

Love it or hate it, soy does work wonders for flatter lower abs. Some people get bloated from soy and researchers theorize this might have something to do with gluten intolerance. However, if you can eat soy, you definitely should – both for its content of fiber, protein, and antioxidants, as well as for the fact that it makes a great meal replacement, when consumed in liquid form. Yes, it’s actually more effective in this sense than dairy-based products.

4. Apples

That old saying, about an apple a day keeping the doctor away, does have quite a lot of truth to it. Not only do apples contain quercetin – a substance that’s been prove effective against some types of cancer – but they also help with weight loss and belly muscle toning. A study has proven that women who consumed three apples or pears per day for three months lost more weight than women who consumed similar amounts of oat cookies. This might have something to do with the apples’ high water content, which helps build the feeling of satiety.

5. Salad greens

Think arugula, baby spinach, and anything else you’d toss together into a hearty salad. They’re incredibly low calorie: a cup of spinach has no more than 40 calories, while a cup of broccoli contains a mere 50 calories. To boot, you’re also getting in 20 per cent of your daily recommended dose of fiber. Added perks: carotenoids, which help prevent cancer, calcium, which helps the muscles contract efficiently, and ample variety, which will help keep your diet interesting.

6. Fatty fish

Wait, what? So, fatty foods will help whittle down your waist line? Yes, it can be done, if the food in question lives underwater and comes in the form of fish, such as mackerel, tuna, or salmon. These species of fish, with a high fat percentage, contain omega-3 acids, which actually help burn down fat. Research has proven that people who regularly consume fatty fish will, in time, come to improve the way in which their metabolism regulates their glucose-insulin response. This means fewer cravings, a slower digestion, and a more efficient metabolism. To boot, these species of fish also contain a lot of protein, which is great for maintaining a trimmed down waistline.

7. Yogurt

When it comes to dairy products, they’re all good for one thing: the amount of calcium they contain. However, yogurt seems to be better for your belly, says a recent study on weight loss. The research in question proved that people who get their calcium from yogurt may have an easier time keeping their waistline supple. To boot, yogurt contains probiotic bacteria, i.e. the type of digestion-friendly bacteria which helps fight gas, bloating, constipation, and all sorts of other issues with your digestive tract that make for an unflattering belly bulge.

5 dieting tips for the lower abs region

As explained above, there’s no such thing as dieting for a particular area of the body. The key to building a toned lower abs region is to approach your lifestyle change holistically. In other words, see everything as part of a long-term shift in attitudes and behaviors – both the exercising, as well as the nutrition. Here are some tips and tricks you might find helpful:

#1 You are what you eat

Your goal, in any diet, but especially in one through which you seek to reduce abdominal flabbiness, is to keep the number of calories you eat in check, while also getting proper amounts of the ‘good’ nutrients and having enough energy to get through the day and work out. As the list of ten recommended foods above shows, you should strive for a balance of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean protein (be it animal or non-animal), whole grain and natural fats.

#2 Don’t eat these foods for toned abs!

Does the sentence below look familiar, from ads you’ve seen online and IRL? Ever clicked on such an ad? Save yourself the trouble, time, and spam. When dieting for flatter, more toned lower abs, the only foods you actually need to avoid are the highly processed ones – but you already knew that, right? Steer clear of anything battered, deep fried, over-processed, and rich in sugar and sodium. Fat is good for you, in moderate amounts, but liquid calories (the kind you get from alcohol and soft drinks) are not. Simple, right?

#3 Stress-check yourself

Are you one of those people who just gains weight when they’re feeling particularly stressed out? That’s you and everybody else, actually. The reason why this happens is an excess of the hormone called cortisol, which is in charge of regulating your fight-or-flight response, as well as the way in which your body metabolizes calories. When you’re stressed out, the body does not regulate cortisol properly, which, in turn, leads to accumulating fat. And, for most people, this means excess ab flab, since the abs are the main region where subcutaneous fat gets stored. Try to relax, if possible – if not, try some activities that will induce a sense of relaxation, such as yoga or meditation. Your abs will thank you and your diet will feel that much easier to manage.

#4 Work out your calories

Losing weight and getting toned is largely a question of math: you want to get more calories out than you are calories in. Essentially, most people start losing weight when they’re eating about 13 calories per pound of body weight. This applies to the initial stages of your new nutritional regimen, so if you’ve been sticking to a plan for a while now and find that you’re plateauing, you might want to adjust downward, to 9-10 calories per pound. However, you don’t want to over-exert yourself, under-eat, or go mental counting calories all day long. In fact, none of the above is recommended, since it could drive you headfirst into an eating disorder. What’s more, it can also slow down your metabolism. So follow the numbers as much as you can, but remember to throw in a day of higher calorie counts every other week or so. It will keep your metabolism from crashing and your regimen from becoming boring.

#5 Protein, protein, protein

As any pro body builder will tell you, there’s no way in which you can work on increasing your muscle mass and keep from crashing out of exhaustion. This is especially true for a demanding muscle group like your abs. if you’re trying to achieve the ever-elusive goal of the six-pack abs, remember to stock up on protein. It’s up to you how you ingest it: you can opt for powdered protein or shakes, if you’re all right with the taste; alternatively, you can also go for actual high-protein foods, such as lean meats or legumes. You will undoubtedly feel more energized and your body will literally feel thankful for the energy resources you’re feeding it.

Lower abs workout don’ts

As with most exercise routines, the trick to making the most of your workout for lower abs is to know what to do. It’s also important to know what not to do, which is why we’ve compiled this handy list of lower abs workout don’ts. Steer clear of them and you’ll be on your way to that desired (and desirable) V-shape lower mid-section.

DON’T… wing it

First off, you’re in for quite some effort. Toning your lower abs is no easy feat: it takes a lot of commitment and dedication, since you don’t get to see results straight away. Secondly, it’s important to make sure you’re performing the exercises correctly. Not only will performing them wrong waste your time, but it can also result in some serious injuries. When you work out your lower abs, you’re also relying heavily on your core muscles, as well as on your knees, feet, and arm muscles, including the bicep and tricep. Your glutes are also often involved, as are your traps and pectoral muscles. One wrong move could see any of these body parts sprained or injured. And perhaps the worst effect of a poorly executed lower abs workout consists of lower back (i.e. lumbar) pain. Ouch!

DON’T… just go through the motions

This tip might seem a bit too commonsensical, almost redundant, even. However, it’s a scientifically proven fact that people who apply mental focus to their muscles and the way in which they move manage to increase their activity like this. A recent study from Hull University revealed this, which, in turn, has led scientists to determine that people who mentally focus on the muscle groups they’re exercising might actually benefit from improved strength and more efficient toning results. As such, don’t stop at thinking that the way in which you perform your excercises is enough to make the most of your lower abs workouts. Sure, this is important, but so is actually thinking about what you’re doing. Aside from these benefits, focusing on the muscle groups you’re exercising will also help you flex the right muscles – the lower abs, instead of, say, your thigh, traps, inner pecs, or buttock muscles.

DON’T… ignore thecore

If you’ve done a round of Pilates in your life, then you’re probably well accustomed to the importance of your muscular core. However, if you’re new to this whole exercising thing, you might not be aware of its role. The core, which roughly translates as the muscle group located right behind your abdominal wall, is very important for controlling the accuracy with which you execute your lower abs workout. Beginners might find it wise to throw in a couple of core strengthening exercises into their lower abs workout routine.

DON’T… forget to breathe

Breathing is essential for a truly effective lower abs workout routine, since timing the way you inhale and exhale will also render your movements more efficient. As a good rule of thumb, you want to inhale as you prepare for the effort and tighten up the muscles and exhale as you release them and actually put in the effort. Pilates and yoga practice will prove very useful in this sense, as will an awareness of your core. In order to make sure you’re breathing properly, as well as engaging your core the way it ought to be engaged so as to strengthen it, visualize your belly button pressing into your spine at all times – both when you inhale, as well as when you exhale.

DON’T… go on and on

The trick to working out efficiently is to alternate muscle groups or to at least take a break day in between work-outs. Of course, this all depends on your goals and tailored routine. However, as any fitness instructor can tell you, your muscles will get used to your workout regimen rather quickly. In such a scenario, you have a few viable alternatives: ramp up the difficulty by doing longer sets of repetitions or adding weights, or you can mix things up. In fact, you’d be best advised to do both, as you work toward a more defined lower abs section. The point is to avoid performing the same routine for days on end. Give your muscles a seeming break, then start again, to feel the burn – and see the results.

Lower ab workouts for pain relief

Lower ab workouts can work wonders, as far as lower back pain relief is concerned. You won’t exactly be doing crunches or sit ups, but there are plenty of PT workouts out there, which encourage strengthening the core as part of the treatment for various conditions. Some of the main causes of lower back pain, which lower ab physical therapy can help with, include:

·         Recent pregnancy;

·         Arthritis;

·         Spinal stenosis of the lower back;

·         A pinched nerve in the lower back;

·         Sciatica;

·         Degenerative disk disease;

·         Herniated discs;

·         Spinal injury.

Relatively simple back pain issues, such as occasional spasms, can be addressed by daily stretching exercises, performed with the aid of a foam roller. You can also relieve yourself of the unpleasant sensation of a sore back, with the same stretching routine. However, chronic pain will require some serious PT rehab for your back, which might include McKenzie workouts, or other types of therapy conducted under the supervision of a professional. Whatever the case may be for you, remember to always check with a doctor before you start out any kind of physical therapy; otherwise, you might end up in more pain than the one you were trying to ease.

Top lower abs workouts for men

The essential aspect to remember, when working toward a toned lower abs region, is that you need to be consistent with your workout. As established before, this area is difficult to exercise and maintain, so if you’re sporting a bit of a bulge at first, hang in there. It will be gone, provided you perform the exercises below correctly – but it might take you some time to see results.It might be a good idea to incorporate the exercises below into an intense, complete workout for the whole body. Also, if proper form for any of the exercises below has you baffled, remember to check out YouTube videos or .pdf cheat sheets for tutorials. Make sure to increase the level of difficulty as you progress: we recommend checking out the football lower body workout, resistance band training, lower body plyometric workouts, or even Crossfit, as the next possible steps. But until you get to that point, check out these exercises and get cracking!

The V-up

This type of exercise for the lower abs will fully engage your lower rectus abdominus muscles, which is precisely the group of muscles you want performing at full power. That’s mostly because they require you to lift your legs off the floor, while lying on your back. As an added perk, it also engages your outer lats and your trap muscles. To perform it, lie down on your mat, with your legs extended and your feet glued together. Support yourself on your elbows and lift your legs to a 15 to 20 degree angle off the ground. Lift your feet as high up as possible and pump up your core – don’t lift your bodyweight with the support of your pectorals or lat muscles! At the top of the movement, you’ll be positioned in the shape of the letter V – hold the pose for at least 1 second, then lower your upper body back onto your elbows and your legs back down to the ground.

The reverse crunch

While lying down on the floor, lift your legs straight up above your hips. Then bend those legs at the knees, to create a 90-degree angle. Support your lower back with your hands, which ought to be stretched out, palms facing downward. Contract your core muscle, including your abs – feel the burn as you bend your knees into your chest and hold still for at least 3 seconds. Slowly unfold to your starting position and then repeat this movement ten times, for three sets of 10 reps. For added difficulty and a bodybuilding-level training experience, try adding weights to this exercise, such as a kettlebell, or a pair of dumbbells.

The leg circle

As you lie on your back, propped up on your elbows for support, position your palms to face downward toward the floor. Raise your legs off the floor, slightly above hip level. Glue your hips to the ground and your knees together. Then, as you hold this position, draw a circle in the air with your feet. Make the circle as large as you can – your goal is to raise those feet as high up from the ground as you can, only to then bring them down as close to the ground as you can. If you want to get even more out of this exercise, feel free to switch directions and mix up the clockwise and counterclockwise movements.

The leg lift

As simple as they may seem, leg lifts are a great way to tone both your oblique muscles, as well as your lower abs. Lie down on the ground, then lift your legs straight up into the air, towering right above your hips. Then contract your core and raise your hips off the ground, into your ribs. Adjust your position, by turning your hips as much to the right as possible, then hold for five seconds. Revert to the initial position, then turn your hips to the left. Hold for another five seconds, then resume the initial position.

The hip thrust

As you lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, spread your legs so that your knees are aligned with your shoulders. Contract your core muscles as to lift your torso partly off the ground. At this point, your knees and your shoulders should still be aligned, but in a diagonal – at an angle with the floor. Support the weight of your upper body on your upper arms, with your palms facing the floor. Hold the position for at least three seconds, then return to the initial position.

The pulse-up

Lie on your back on the floor, with your hands placed underneath your buttocks for support. Contract your core muscles and feel your lower abs contracting as well, then raise your legs straight above your hips. At this point, your legs should be forming a 90-degree angle to the ground. Then, without bending your legs, pulse your legs straight up in an explosive movement, with a simple tightening of your butt and lower abs muscles. Hold the uppermost point of this position for about a second. Then slowly lower yourself back to the ground until your buttocks lightly touch it. Instantly repeat the upward pulsing movement.

The ultimate lower abs trifecta

Essentially, this advanced compound exercise for the lower abs involves performing a rapid succession of three exercises described above: the pulse-up, the reverse crunch, and the V-hold (this is a variant of the V-up, in which, of course, you hold the V position). What you need to do is 14 pulse-ups (with a dumbbell between your feet, for added difficulty), immediately followed by 12 reverse crunches (you can also add the dumbbell between your feet to this one), with a 60-second abs V-hold. Take about a minute or 90 seconds to rest once you’re done, then repeat twice.

Best lower abs exercises for women

Women tend to be even more sensitive than men, when it comes to that pouch of flab in their lower abs section. Women who have been pregnant at least once will tell you that it’s much more difficult to get rid of the fat in that area. And while no exercise can specifically target that area alone, since it’s part of the larger complex of abdominal muscles, there are some exercises that will enhance the tone and overall look of the rectus abdominus muscle – known in plain English as the abdominal muscle wall. So read on, ladies, and get to work on toning those lower abs with these simple exercises. You can also check out instructions on how to perform them in pictures, or search for an instructional DVD or video, to get you started on the right foot. All the following exercises can be performed at home, with nothing but your own bodyweight as props for a killer workout.

The static press

You might want to begin your lower abs workout with the static press, since it’s a great way to warm up your core. It’s also one of the best ways to improve your overall flexibility fast. Now, most lower abs workout routines rely heavily on the strength of your core. As such, if you don’t feel entirely confident in that area, do the following: lie on your back, with your hips off the ground, your feet perpendicular to the ground, and your knees bent in a 90-degree angle. Reach out in front with your arms, so that your palms are pressed on the top part of your thighs. Inhale, then exhale, while slowly tightening up your abdominals. Hold your legs still, but push your thighs into your palms and your lower back against the floor or the mat you’re lying on. Push your thighs back with your hands. Hold this position for one count, then release, then repeat. You can use this exercise as warm-up, or as a stand-alone exercise, with some added difficulty – as your palms are pressing into your thighs and vice versa, lift your head and shoulders off the ground.

The single leg stretch-and-press

Pilates practitioners might recognize this move, or at least parts of it, which can also be used as standalone stretches, or as part of a stretching routine. They would be right in comparing it to a similar Pilates move, since that’s where it draws its inspiration from; at the same time, it’s similar to dance moves you may have seen in ballet. In order to do it, you need to be lying flat on your back, with both knees bent into your chest and your feet flexed upward. Grab your right thigh with your entwined legs, then stretch out your left leg. You should hold it perfectly parallel to the ground. Then, raise your head and shoulders off the ground, and bend over slightly, so that you can see your legs. Press into your right thigh with your palms and, at the same time, draw your right knee into your chest, toward your pec muscles. Switch legs and perform the same movements, for a full rep, all the while remembering to tighten your abdomen muscles. This is also a great exercise for women who want to naturally tone their glute muscles, plus a good exercise to include in an upper lower body split circuit workout.

The U-up

Watching someone perform this move may not seem like much but, trust us, it works wonders on the lower abs section. It’s similar to an exercise included in the Denise Austin lower body workout, actually. To perform it, sit down on the ground, with the weight of your upper body propped up on your elbows. Your back should be lifted off the ground, while your palms should be facing downward. Tighten up your abb muscles and raise your legs, with your knees bent into a 90-degree angle and your toes pointing ahead. Hold your hips firmly fixed to the ground, then slowly tilt them to the left. Imagine you’re drawing a U shape with your knees to bring them back up to the initial position, then tilt them to the right. A full U is one rep – strive for twenty reps in one set.

The reverse plank hover

Ever done a plank? Remember how it all seemed so easy, when seen from outside, but how engaging it actually is? This exercise is, in fact, even more difficult than a regular plank and it’s actually great for just about all the muscles in your body, not just for your abs. To get into the initial position, sit up on the ground, extend your legs and flex your feet. Place your arms beside your hips and hold your hands on the ground, with the fingers pointed in front. Engage your core, then lift yourself as much as you can off the ground. Support yourself with the ball of your heels and try to bend your knees as much as you can. Then inhale, press your abs into your spine and exhale as you extend your legs forward, with your hips pushing to reach behind the line of your shoulders. Hold this position, then bend your knees again, and return your hips to the initial position, in which they were aligned with your shoulders. Lower yourself down to the ground as softly as you can. For added strength points, try not to lower your hips back down at all, for the duration of 3 sets of 10 full repetitions.

The full elbow plank

More planking for ladies who want toned lower abs – and don’t think this move is as easy as it may seem. Get into the initial position by clasping your hands in front of you and setting your legs at a slightly wider angle than hip-width apart. Then start raising your hips up in the air ever so slowly, as you take a tiny step forward with your right foot. Continue this motion and take another step with the left one. Take another left step as you raise your hips up in the air, until you’ve reached pike position. Once you’ve peaked, with your hips as high up the air as they go, inch back down, in a reverse movement to your initial position – that of the elbow plank. That’s one full rep – you can put in 3 sets of 5 reps, or even 3 sets of 10 reps, if you want to make more of an effort.

Great gym workout equipment for lower abs

As you may have gathered up to this point, the only way to efficiently get rid of that spare tire and tone your lower abs up to a sleek V-shape is to reduce your overall percentage of body fat. Thus far, we’ve covered some great home workouts for lower abs, both for men, as well as for women. But what about those of you who prefer working out at a gym? Obviously, there are some pieces of gym equipment that will help you create an efficient lower abs gym routine. Here are some of our favorites:

·         The Captain’s Chair. It may look a bit daunting at first, with its bulky steel frame and padding, but the Captain’s Chair is actually one of the easiest gym machines to use for your lower abs. That’s because it provides a great opportunity to do as many leg raises as you can – and leg raises are extremely efficient for your entire wall of abdominal muscle. According to the American Council on Exercise, the leg raise comes in second after the bicycle, in terms of abs toning efficiency.

·         The cable machine. If you’re looking to tone your lower abs, then it’s not the cables on the cable machine that will help with that goal, but the pull-up bar in the middle of the machine. For a great, simple, yet strenuous lower abs workout, hang on to the bar, lift your legs up, lower yourself down, and repeat. You can improve on this simple pull-up in any way you want, adjusting for your goals and fitness levels – you can do leg raises with your feet pointed straight down, or with your knees bent, and you can also add padded abs straps for some elbow comfort and support.

·         The crunch machine. This machine will help you get the most efficient overall abs workout possible in a seated position. Sit yourself down into the chair, then hook your feet underneath the lower lever and grab a hold of the handles by your side, up in the air. Your back should be ‘glued’ to the backrest, while your hands remain strapped on to the handle. Lift your legs in the air and bend the upper part of your body forward. Try to touch your elbows to your knees, then resume the initial position. Alternatively, you can use resistance bands for much of the same effect.

·         All cardio equipment. Finally, in your quest to lower your overall percentage of body fat, you can opt for just about any piece of machinery devised for cardio activities, like the treadmill, stationary bike, or elliptical. You can row, use the stepper, or the stair climber – all of them will yield the same result: lower overall body fat levels, plus a more toned, stronger core, which you use to maintain your balance on these machines.


Are you a great trainer?
Join hundreds of brilliant fitness trainers and build your brand - and make money - by creating your own interactive online fitness company on WorkoutBOX. It’s easy and FREE!
» Learn more
About Us  |  Trainers  |  Support  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy
© 2009-2014 WorkoutBOX.com