These five exercises will push you to feel the burn in the lower portion of your abs as you work hard to keep your hips rotated posteriorly and your core engaged. While I’m showing you some advanced exercises, you can always modify any of the movements by bending your knees or keeping one foot on the floor to stabilize your lower back. On the flip side, I also explain ways to step each move up if you’re looking to up the ante with this at-home workout rotation. Learn the five moves to help get rid of stubborn lower stomach fat below.
Bicycle Cross with Leg Lower
Bench Jack Knives
Bench Crunch with Extension
Complete three rounds of 20 reps for each exercise.
The Move: Leg Circles
How to: Lie flat on your back with your hands under your glutes. Start the movement by lifting your legs up over your hips and pulling your belly button to the floor. Lower your legs to an angle in which you can maintain control of your core as your legs move. Everyone’s angle will be different here; the lower your legs go, the bigger the challenge. Flex your toes toward your knees to make sure your legs stay flexed as you start your outward circles. I did my circles starting with adduction, or moving my legs away from each other and then circling down, together, and back to the top together.
To make this move tougher, reach your hands up over your head. To modify this move, bend your legs or opt for a single leg circle and repeat for 20 circles per leg.
The Move: 45-Degree Flutter
How to: This is another supinated-position lower-belly exercise that really pushes you at any fitness level. Start by lying flat on your back, reaching your arms and your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your arms and your legs away from each other, keeping your lower back in contact with the floor. If you feel your lower back arch, you’ve gone too low. Flex your toes toward your knees and lower each leg one at a time, alternating for 20 reps per side. Make sure your ribs stay pulled in toward your spine and your hips stay rotated posteriorly for optimal ab engagement.
To modify this move, keep your legs stacked over your hips and slowly lower one leg to 45 degrees, return it back to the top, and then repeat with the other leg for a total of 20 reps per leg.
The Move: Bicycle Cross with Leg Lower
How to: This ab move is going to really torch your entire core. Start by lying flat on your back, reaching your legs straight up toward the ceiling and placing your hands behind your ears. Slowly lower your legs halfway to the floor while keeping your lower back in contact with the floor. Crunch your shoulder blades off the ground and cross your right elbow to your left knee as it drives in toward your chest. As you perform this cross, you can also lower your left leg to add in more of a lower ab burn.
Take this move nice and slow to really make sure you hit your rectus abdominis, your transverse abdominis, and your obliques to get the most out of this exercise.
The Move: Bench Jack Knives
How to: This move can be done on the floor, but I thought I would show you how to do it on a bench if you want to up the ante. Sit on the edge of a bench, coffee table, or chair and rotate your weight back onto the top part of your glutes as you hold on to the edge of the bench. Bring your knees up toward your chest and then straighten your legs while flexing your toes toward your knees. Lower your legs and lean your torso back at the same speed and bring them both back up top together at the same speed. The key to this move is to always be thinking about posterior hip rotation and squeezing your core tight at the top when your legs come back up to meet your upper body. This will ensure control so that your lower back doesn’t arch too much and help you maintain proper technique throughout the eccentric and concentric parts of this exercise.
For an advanced option, hold a stability ball, dumbbell, pillow, or rolled-up towel between your legs. For a modification, bend your legs and keep your chest upright, lowering one bent leg at a time and keeping your hips rolled back and core engaged.
The Move: Bench Crunch with Extension
How to: This move can also be done on the floor, but I want to show you that you can also use a coffee table, your bed, or a chair to really add an extra level to your ab work. Start seated on a bench and extend your legs out straight with your heels on the ground. Place your hands behind your ears to open up your torso and lean back just a bit. Crunch back up to the top and bring your knees to your chest, then extend your legs back out diagonally toward the ground and lean back with your upper body to open up your torso again. I suggest adding a brief pause at the top of each crunch to make sure you maintain control in the movement and you get a great challenge throughout the eccentric and concentric portions.
To add intensity to this move on the bench, you can hold a pillow, a dumbbell, or a towel between your legs so there is a stronger demand on your core to control your lower body. To modify this move, keep one heel on the ground as you crunch one knee up to your chest and continue alternating legs for 20 reps per leg.
I hope you enjoy these core moves and always remember how important your nutrition is to show off your beautiful, strong abs. Abs are made in the workout, but displayed with what you eat in the kitchen. Always encourage yourself and believe in your strength both in and outside of the workout.
A former Division 1 high jumper and record holder at West Virginia University, Sydney is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Sydney and her fiancé Dustin created the Royal Change digital media company and post a new, completely free workout every day. They have a quickly growing audience with over 53,000,000 views since they started their YouTube channel. Royal Change’s mission is to always provide high-quality fitness to everyone, everywhere, at any time.
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