Strengthen and define the core with the best lower ab exercises. Seven of the most effective exercises targeting the lower abs and deep core muscles. No equipment needed for this bodyweight core burnout. Modifications are offered to scale this lower ab workout from beginner to advanced.
Variations of planks, dead bugs, crunches and scissor kicks are some of the best exercises to tone the lower abs. These exercises target the transverse abdominis (the deep core muscles) and the lower abdominal muscles.
How Do I Target My Lower Abs?
This lower abs workout includes beginner and advanced modifications, making it great for anyone. Start with the beginner variations of these lower abs exercises and advance to the progressions as you build core strength.
Which Ab Workout Is Best For Lower Belly Fat?
Targeted lower ab exercises like those in today’s workout, as well as those in this lower ab workout are a great place to start. That said, in my opinion (as a certified personal trainer), it isn’t effective to focus on spot reduction. These exercises are part of a well-rounded health and fitness routine, but eating in a calorie deficit, and increasing your resting metabolic rate are also important for fat loss.
7 Best Lower Ab Exercises
Seven bodyweight exercises that target the lower abs. Strengthen your core, improve posture and reduce low back pain.
Add this lower abs workout to your weekly workout routine 1-2 times a week to build muscle and improve endurance. I recommend alternating this workout with our other ab workouts to avoid workout boredom.
Note: if you start to feel any of these core exercises in your hips, take the beginner-friendly modifications or cool down with these hip mobility exercises.
No equipment needed, just your bodyweight.
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Targets: Transverse abdominals, upper abs, lower abs and shoulders.
How To Do A Forearm Plank and Alternating Knee Drop
Start in a table top position with shoulders stacked over wrists (soft bend in the elbows) and hips over knees. Drop down to your forearms, shoulders stacked over elbows and hands in front of you.
Then step both feet back and extend the legs straight, balancing on your toes. Pull up on your kneecaps and push back on your heels to keep your core engaged as you find a forearm plank position. Body forms a straight line from your head through your heels.
Hold this low plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Then, drop the right knee to the ground, aiming to touch the mat.
Straighten the right leg before alternating the knee drop, this time dropping the left knee to the ground.
Modification: Hold a modified plank for the duration of the exercise, popping one knee up at a time while keeping the other knee on the ground.
Targets: Transverse abdomen (deep core muscles below your rectus abdomen or six pack ab muscles), lower abs and hip flexors.
How To Do A Dead Bug
Lie flat on the mat, performing a slight pelvic tilt to press your lower back into the mat and drawing your belly button towards your spine. Think about wrapping your abdominal wall around your torso.
Then bring your legs up, knees bent at 90 degrees, shins parallel to the floor. Extend your arms straight overhead, wrists stacked over shoulders. Option to hold a set of dumbbells in your hands to make this more challenging.
Contract your ab muscles to engage your core as you extend your right arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your left leg. Return to the starting position.
Then extend your left arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your right leg. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Modification: Reduce range of motion to reduce the intensity. You can keep bends in both knees rather than kicking straight out to scale this exercise as well.
Targets: Deep transverse abs, lower abs, pelvic floor and inner thighs.
How To Do A Butterfly Crunch
Lie on your back, placing your hands behind your head, legs bent at a 90-degree angle (knees above hips). Bring the soles of your feet to touch, knees wide.
Keeping your low back pressed into the floor (pelvic tilt), brace your core and exhale as you perform a crunch, lifting the head, neck and shoulders off the mat as you pull your legs in towards your chest. Aim to tap your elbows to knees (keeping the knees wide).
With control, inhale as you slowly lower your head, neck and shoulders back to the mat, simultaneously lowering the heels towards the mat.
Modification: Leave the head, neck and shoulders on the mat throughout the movement, bringing just the knees in towards the chest, then tapping the toes back to the ground.
Alternating Leg Lower and Hip Lift
Targets: Rectus abdominis, transverse abs and lower abs.
How To Do Alternating Leg Lowers and Hip Lifts (Reverse Crunch)
Lie on your back. Press your low back firmly into the mat and think about “wrapping” your abdominal wall around your core.
Straighten your legs and extend them over your hips, the bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling.
Perform a hip lift by pressing your palms into the mat as you lift the hips and butt as high off the ground as you can.
Lower the hips and glutes back down to the mat with control.
Then slowly lower one leg towards the ground, keeping both legs as straight as possible. Focus on keeping your lower back pressed into the mat.
Hover your heel above the mat, then pull it back up to starting position.
Repeat the hip lift, then perform a leg lower on the opposite leg.
Modification: Bend both knees, shortening the distance each leg travels. Option to omit the hip lift and instead pull the knees in towards the chest.
Leg Lowers and Scissor Kicks
Targets: Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, hip flexors and erector spinae.
How To Do Leg Lowers and Scissor Kicks
Start lying on your back, flat on the floor. Press your low back firmly into the mat and think about “wrapping” your abdominal wall around your core.
Straighten and lift your legs to extend them over your hips. The bottom of your feet are facing the ceiling.
Kick your feet in a scissor motion, pulling the left foot just over the right foot, then reversing the movement to kick the right foot just over the left foot.
As you perform scissor kicks, slowly lower the legs down towards the ground on a four-count. Keep the core engaged and low back pressed firmly into the mat as you move your legs towards the ground.
Then reverse the movement to return the legs back to the starting position, pulling the legs back up until the feet are directly over the hips. Continue to kick the feet in a scissor motion throughout the movement.
Modification: Option to omit the leg lowers and perform scissor kicks with the feet directly overhead.
Targets: Rectus abdominis, transverse abdominal muscles, obliques and hips.
How To Do A Bicycle Crunch
Start lying flat on your back, lower back pressing firmly into the mat. Bring your legs to a raised 90 degree bend.
Lift your head, neck and shoulder blades off the ground (avoid straining your neck). Place your hands behind your head and think about pressing your head into your fingertips.
Lift your right elbow towards your left knee as you extend your right leg long. Aim to touch the left elbow to the mat.
Slowly return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Pulling your left elbow towards your right knee as you extend your left leg long, right elbow touches the mat.
Continue to repeat this ‘bicycling’ movement, alternating knee to elbow crunches.
Modification: Option to perform seated bicycle crunches. Rather than lying back on the mat, maintain a seated position as you pull opposite knee to chest, tapping the knee with your opposite hand.
Seated Ab Tucks
Targets: Rectus abdominis, transverse abs, hips and hip flexors.
How To Do Seated Ab Tucks
Start sitting on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lean back slightly, sitting on your sit bones (two sitting bones and tailbone), keeping a nice long spine, shoulders down and back.
Place your hands just behind your butt for support.
Slowly pull the left knee in towards the chest as you sit forward slightly to meet the knee.
With control, lean back as you straighten the left leg out in front of you. Then alternate, this time pulling the right knee in towards the chest.
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