If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that lower belly fat is the worst. Sadly, getting the six-pack you’ve always wanted isn’t as easy as performing tons of crunches. For one thing, seeing such definition means you can’t be carrying around excess weight. That means you need to do some cardio. Even then, you’ll also need to train your lower abdominal muscles. HuffPost says the best way to sculpt those lower abs is by doing exercises that move your legs, hip flexors, and lower abdomen. Get started with these six exercises.
1. Mountain climber
Begin in a plank position, palms on the ground and arms straight out in front of you, right underneath your shoulders. Your legs should be extended in a straight line. Keeping your back flat and your arms in the same position throughout, quickly tuck your right knee toward your chest, then jump it back to the ground as you simultaneously pull your left leg toward your chest. Repeat quickly as many times as possible.
2. Lying leg raise
Bodybuilding.com says to start this exercise by lying flat on your back with your hands underneath your glutes, palms down, and legs extended straight out in front of you. Lift your legs slowly off the floor until they’re perpendicular to the ground. Hold for a second, then bring them back down to the floor. To increase the challenge, don’t let your feet touch the ground in between reps.
Just be a little wary if you have a bad back. If that’s the case, these moves might be better options.
This move is similar to the lying leg raise, except you’ll be lifting one leg at a time. Real Simple says to lie on your back with both of your legs lifted so they’re perpendicular to the ground. With both your head and shoulder blades lifted off the ground, bring your right leg down until it’s about six inches from the floor as you gently pull your left leg toward your body. Switch sides for one rep and repeat 10 times.
4. Dead bug
Men’s Health explains one reason this exercise is so effective is because it works your abs while stabilizing your spine. This prevents you from flexing your lower back, which ensures proper form.
Muscle & Fitness says to start this move on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs off the ground and bend your knees so they create a 90-degree angle. Then, extend your right leg forward until it’s a few inches from the floor while extending your left arm straight behind you. Bring them back to starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
5. Reverse crunch
More effective for your lower abs than just the average crunch, reverse crunches deserve to become part of your routine. Men’s Health has a great tutorial that shows you’ll start by lying on your back, legs raised with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Then, lift your lower back off the floor as you tuck your pelvis toward your belly button. Instead of relying on momentum by kicking your legs, keep it controlled so your abs do the work. Bring your body back down to the floor with the same control and repeat 10 times.
6. Bird dog crunch
This move not only works your lower abs, but is also a great arm workout. To begin, Self says to start on all fours in tabletop position. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders and your knees should be below your hips. Next, extend your right arm forward and your left leg back until they’re both parallel to the ground. Now, tighten your core and bring both your arm and leg in toward your body until your elbow and knee just about touch. Extend back out for one rep and repeat until you’ve completed a full set. After one set, switch sides.