If you’re like me, there’s probably one area you feel like you can’t work enough: your abs. More specifically, your lower abs. For most women, it can seem like no matter how much training they do, their lower abs just remain flabby. Well, there’s a reason for that.
In order to lose weight and show muscle definition, you need to train the whole body. You need to expend calories—and pair that with a well-balanced diet. The saying that the best abs are made in the kitchen is really very accurate.
But that’s not a pass to skip those crunches and planks. It is important to train the core because that is your center for balance and, a strong core can help reduce back pain.
If you’re not sure exactly how to hit those lower belly muscles? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Here are 6 most effective exercises that will get you sculpting your lower abs in no time. Remember, your diet is just as important as completing these exercises.
How this workout works: Perform each exercise one after the other for 30 seconds each. Rest for only 30 seconds between circuits. Complete 3 to 5 circuits 3 times a week on non-consecutive days.
1. Heel Reach
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Inhale and tuck your chin to your chest. Exhale and slowly curl just your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor as you lift your arms and reach toward your heel. Pause and breathe in. Slowly return to the starting position, breathing out as you go.
2. Ab Roll-Up
(A) Lying on your back, stretch your arms and extend your legs so you form a straight line. Inhale, bring your arms overhead, and begin to curl your upper body off the floor. (B) Exhale when halfway up and continue rolling forward to reach your toes. Inhale and reverse the move, exhaling halfway down, to return to start.
3. Leg Raises
(A) Raise both legs toward the ceiling. Breathe in and tighten your abs. (B) Exhale and slowly lower your legs until they’re about four inches above the floor (or as low as you can go without lifting the small of your back). Pause and breathe in. Breathe out as you raise your legs to the starting position.
Raise both legs toward the ceiling. Keeping them straight, lower your left leg until it’s about six inches off the floor. Lift your head and shoulders off the floor and grasp the back of your right leg, gently pulling it toward you. Switch legs and repeat on other side.
5. Hip Raises
Raise both legs toward the ceiling and extend your arms on the floor at your sides, palms down. Inhale and tighten your core muscles. Curl your hips toward your ribs as you exhale, lifting your hips off the floor and reaching your feet straight up. Breathe in as you slowly lower.
6. Oblique Twist
(A) Sit cross-legged and stretch your arms out in front of you, with your fingertips touching. Breathe in. (B) With your hips square and abs tight, breathe out as you slowly rotate your upper body about 45 degrees to the right. Return to the center and repeat on your left side. Complete 10 reps.