There are so many great exercises out there that can help sculpt you abs, including your obliques, but the hardest part of your abdominal section to workout is your lower abdomen area. In order to fully sculpt your abs, you need to be sure that you are targeting each section. Kira Stokes, a certified personal trainer was kind enough to show us the ropes on her favorite lower ab workouts. (1)
“The first thing to understand is how our lower abs are used. When we use our legs, we are automatically using our lower abdomen”, says Stokes. “The important part is making sure we are doing the exercises correctly, and if we are we will feel the burn in our lower abdomen if we are paying attention to our exact movements.”
In order to do the majority of the lower ab workouts correctly, we must first make sure that we are doing a plank move correctly. (2) The basic plank is often incorporated in many lower ab workouts. In order to do this you will need to hoist yourself and balance on your feet and forearms. The key is to make sure that the torso is completely straight and not arched. Squeeze your butt and tighten your abs to help stabilize the position. Now that we have the basic move down, here are eight great lower ab workouts to help get your abs in bikini-body shape.
Lower Abs Workouts
1. Plank Row
In order to do the plank row you must be on a surface where you can slide such as a wood floor. (3) Hoist yourself into a plank with your feet on gliders. If you don’t have specialty gliders for these exercises you can use towels or even paper plates to help the gliding motion. Once you are in the plank position, push your feet back while extending your arms. Then pull yourself back into the plank position.
“In order to get the full workout on your lower abs you need to really push down hard on the gliders. If you simply let the gliding motion slide your feet, then you will not receive an ab workout. All you’ll be working out is your hip flexors.” Do 10-15 reps over 30 seconds.
The first step to the Bear is to start in the plank position, then push yourself up on your hands. This move is called an extended arm plank. As you press down on the gliders, slowly bring your knees to your elbows where you’re almost in the fetal position. Be sure to maintain your arms at shoulder width apart and your feet at hip width apart. Again, maintain tightness in your core throughout the process to get the best lower ab workout possible. Do 10-15 reps.
3. One-Legged Mountain Climber
The One-Legged Mountain Climber is very similar to the Bear move. Start in the extended arm plank. Then pull your right knee towards your chest and maintain your right leg in that position. Using your ab muscles, pull your left leg towards your chest. You end up in virtually the same fetal-like position as you did in the Bear. Then extend your left leg back out while maintaining your right leg at your chest. Repeat this 10-15 times, then switch legs and repeat 10-15 times again.
“This move really targets your oblique’s and lower abs at the same time. Because of the difficulty of this move, I always tell my students that quality of the moves and doing them correctly is far more important than how many times you complete the move,” asserts Stokes.
4. Army Crawl
This move is very similar to what you’ve seen in the movies. However, in the movies you are generally on your stomach, and for this move you maintain a plank position. Once in the plank position use your forearms to crawl forward one arm at a time. Keep your legs together while doing this. If you use your legs in the same motion as your arms then you will not target your lower abs. Crawl forward and then back about 5 times each. Repeat this full move 5 times.
The C-Curve is often done in conjunction with the glide moves because it takes pressure off of the lower back. “Most ab workouts put so much pressure on the lower back that it’s important to do moves like this to help relieve that pressure.”
First, sit on the floor with your weight shifted on your tailbone. Place a ball (or t-shirt/pillow/anything with a little give) between your thighs and squeeze lightly. Arch your back slightly as though you are halfway to a sit-up. “Just this position alone will have your abs getting a workout,” says Stoke. “But take it one step further and grab a set of light weights. Extend your arms out by your side keeping them parallel to your body. Then slowly lower and raise your arms as though you are flapping them in slow motion.” Do this for 60 seconds before you rest.
6. Hip Tips
To start this position lay on your back and extend your legs into the air, forming a 90-degree angle. Put your hands behind your head and ball between your thighs. Then slowly raise your hips up, and then lower them. (4) “Think of Hip Tips as a reverse crunch. Instead of slightly raising your shoulders and chest you are raising your hips and legs.” 15-20 reps will get you feeling the burn.
In this position you will literally start in an “X” shape. Lay flat on your back with your arms and legs outstretched so you look like an X. Raise your right leg in the air and extend your left arm to touch your right leg. Then repeat with the opposite sides. It’s important to remember controlled slow movements. Focus your energy on your abs and make sure you are feeling the burn in your lower abs. Do 10-15 full reps.
8. Six Pack Scissor
This lower ab workout is one of the quickest ways to achieve your six-pack abs, Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders off your mat. Then lift your legs together in the air with your hips slightly off the ground. (5) Slowly extend your right leg down and hold it about two inches off the ground. Bring your right leg back up and at the same time lower your left leg, as though mimicking a scissor. Never let your heal touch the ground. By maintaining that distance you are forcing your abs into working overtime to holder both of your legs off the ground the entire time. Do about 30 total reps in this position.