These exercises target the lower abs (rectus abdominus) in different ways. Best of all, there’s no equipment needed. Combined with proper diet and regular cardio, lower ab exercises can help you get that coveted flat belly. Over time, your strengthened core will allow you greater control as you perform the exercises. When beginning with these workouts bending your knees can be helpful if you notice that your form is weakening. Most importantly, keep your lower back on the floor as this will prevent injury. The benefits? Improved balance and a strengthened core.
Focus on your lower abs with this move. (a) Lie on your back with your arms extended behind you and your legs straight out. (b) Keep your abs engaged while you pull your arms forward and lift your shoulders off the ground. At the same time, raise your legs upward as you reach for them with your arms. Pause and then return to the starting position, keeping knees bent if it becomes too hard. Repeat 10 times.
This seemingly simple exercise is great for your abs. (a) Lie faceup with your feet together and your legs extended. Keep your palms down on the floor and ensure your lower back is on the ground throughout the exercise. (b) Lift your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Engage your core as you slowly lower your feet to the floor. Repeat 15 times.
Tone your abs and give your thighs a workout at the same time. (a) Begin by laying on the ground with your hands interlocked behind your head. Raise your shoulders and upper body off the ground as you keep your lower back on the floor. Bring your right elbow to your left knee, as you engage your core. (b) Straighten your left leg off the ground while you bring the right knee up toward the left elbow in a cycling motion. Repeat 10 times.
This original article first appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.