10 Lower Ab Workouts That Will Get You The Summer-Ready Core!
Everyone wants killer washboard abs to bust out this summer, but those lower abs seem impossible to hit. Standard sit-ups, obliques and crunches can do a real number on your upper abs, but the lower abs are a little tricky to isolate.
With the help of these 10 lower ab workouts and a healthy diet, you can effectively turn your four-pack into a six-pack this summer!
Our Favorite 10 Lower Ab Exercises!
1. Boat Crunches
Keep your arms and legs stiff, and lift your heels slightly off of the ground. This is your starting position. Push your shoulders off of the ground like a traditional crunch, knees bent up to your chest (your body will resemble a boat!).
Balance is essential with this movement, so be sure to take it nice and slow and be sure that your core muscles are sucked in against your spine.
2. Mountain Climbers
I love a good mountain climber! Not only is this movement great for your lower abdominal muscles and the gunk around your hips, but it’s also an excellent cardio workout. Hold your body in a slightly raised plank position, and kick your right knee up to touch your right elbow.
Mountain climbers are more of an explosive movement, so try and keep a tempo in your head to keep the reps coming at a steady pace.
3. A Proper Plank
For more engagement in your lower abs, try and scoop your butt under and drive the tops of your quads to the floor.
4. Flutter Kicks
Leave your upper body flat on the floor and move your legs in an alternating fashion at a 45-degree angle. The bread and butter of flutter kicks are the isometric holds at the bottom of the exercise.
Be sure never to let your legs rest! Your lower body should be under tension through the entire movement.
5. Double Crunch
The double crunch is an advanced movement, so don’t be discouraged if you fail before you get to 10! A double crunch works like your standard crunch but involves keeping your arms and feet straight as an arrow.
Lift your shoulders and your butt off of the floor at the same time in an attempt to touch the laces of your sneakers.
6. Lateral Lunge with Bonus Knee Drive
This killer compound movement doesn’t just stop with your lower abs. To engage in this compound movement, move one foot out and lean into a side lunge. Instead of moving your foot back into position, pull your knee up to your chest.
The lunge engages all of those stability muscles in your hips and glutes, and the knee drive hits those lower abs!
7. Rolling Plank
Thought we were done with planks? Think again! Engage in a standard plank, and then roll your body to one side (side plank) to reach one arm up to the sky. Place that arm back down into position, and shift your weight to the other side to reach the other arm to the sky.
This movement is tricky, so it’s best to go nice and slow. Keep your movement controlled and your abs sucked tightly against your lower back.
8. Glute Bridge
Don’t be fooled by the name – this exercise is another excellent way to target those lower abs. While the majority of the movement hits your hamstrings and your glutes, it’s that slight pause at the top that fires up your lower abdominals.
I like to take a three-second pause at the top to push through with my abs and never let my rear end rest on the ground to ensure that my muscles are always under tension.
9. Heel/Leg Raises
This isometric movement is super easy and works similarly to a plank. Lay on the ground, bend your knees and lift your heels a few inches off the ground.
Hold this position until you wish you were never born! It may seem pretty simple at first, but the longer you hold this position, the more your lower abs will engage to keep your feet off of the ground.
10. Scissor Kicks
What I love most about scissor kicks is that it engages your lower ab muscles as well as the outside of your hips.
Lift your legs at a 45-degree angle off the floor, cross your leg ankle over your right, and then alternate.
3 Practical Tips to Get the Lower Abdominals Right!
1. Don’t cheat! Lower abs are notoriously hard to hit because it’s super easy to cheat and dump the tension to other parts of your body. While higher reps are ideal, you aren’t don’t yourself any favors by knocking out a set of 20 sloppy reps. Keep the movements slow and deliberate.
Eight solid reps are much better than 20 sloppy ones!
2. Modify as needed. There’s nothing wrong with modifying a difficult exercise. For instance, if you are struggling with Boat Crunches, you can opt to rest your heels on the ground between reps.
While it’s better to keep your heels elevated, slightly modifying this lift is better than falling out after only a few reps.
3. Support your lower back. You don’t want to experience any lower back pain with engaging in any of these lifts. If you feel any strain in your low back, your can modify many of the exercises to give your back a little support.
With core-strength exercises that require you to lay on your back, slide your palms under your glutes for a little extra lower back support. It’ll make the movement a little easier but helps to support your lower back.
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