Is your goal to tighten your stomach area or loose a little weight? Here are 5 perfect exercises to tone your lower abs. While the upper abs are relatively ‘easy’ to build, the lower abs can be more challenging. The lower abs mostly hide in a cozy layer of body fat which makes them hard to see and frustrating to develop. These 5 exercises are great to do at home or at the gym and don't take a lot of time. You only need a weight, such as a dumbbell, kettle bell or plate. Let's grow some abs!
The crunch is a well known exercise. Lots of people like to do this one because it’s easy to figure out. Just lay down on your back like with a normal sit-up. The difference with the sit-up is that you don’t come all the way up. With a crunch you only come halfway up and go back down again. This is where you keep your core tight and you don’t release that muscle tension when you sit up straight. Now get a dumbbell, plate or kettle bell. Keep it, with straight arms, above your chest and do a crunch again. You will immediately feel that there is more tension in your core. Take it easy because you don’t want the weight to crush down on you. Always look at the ceiling above you instead of trying to look over your knees as this will hurt your neck.
Start by laying flat on a mat and resting your arms parallel to the floor, palms down. Rest your hands on the floor lightly and do not use them to push off. Raise your legs off the floor in a bent knee position. In a slow, steady and controlled movement, use the strength of the lower abdominals to bring the knees close to the chest so that your butt lifts slightly off the ground. It's important to do this slowly, because toning occurs less from repetitions and more from consistent tension. Keep your muscles flexed. Slowly release to the starting position and repeat.
Start by laying flat on a mat with your legs straight and your hands (palms down) beneath your booty. Keeping your hands underneath there provides back support and balance for this exercise. Keeping your ab muscles contracted, slightly bend your knees as you slowly lift your legs into a nearly vertical position. Don't lock your knees, which cuts off the blood flood flow in your legs. Hold this position as you inhale. Lower your legs slowly until they almost touch the ground. Hold them there and breathe. Repeat this as many times as you can or try to make sets of 10 for example.
The plank is an allround and full body exercise which can make your core (abs and lower back) really strong. If you want to know more about planking, the do’s and the don’ts, go to my previous back to basics article about planking.
Eat healthy food
Wait, what? I know this isn’t an exercise but it is REALLY important to grow some decent abs. Stop eating so much crap and you will notice a difference real soon! Good ab foods include: salmon, almond, berries, yoghurts, quinoa, rice, turkey and natural peanut butter.
As you can see, the exercises aren't that hard. Unfortunately there isn't a lower ab fairy who is going to just bring you some. But, it's your determination that will decide if you can grow some pretty lower abs. With some sweat, equipment and a LOT of patience I'm sure you can get them!