If you’re looking for the best lower ab exercises then you come to the right place.
A lot of the time it can feel like many of your workouts aren’t hitting your lower abs a.k.a. the area below the belt.
Many people when they’re working their abs will feel it more in the upper portion. It can be hard to find the right exercises to work your lower abs and it’s also the most stubborn area.
Your lower abs will be one of the hardest parts on your body to get rid of and you’re really going to need to put some work in.
Many women tend to hold extra fat there because of hormones. It can be incredibly frustrating and embarrassing area of fat to have hanging onto your body.
Some so-called experts out there say there’s no such thing as “lower abs”.
Yes, it’s true the rectus abdominis is just one muscle. But it is possible to target different parts of the same muscle such as your upper and lower abs to a certain extent.
It can be hard to find the most effective lower ab exercises to tone up that stubborn area below your belly button.
The good news is you’ll be able to tone up that lower ab area despite your genetics and your current fitness level.
Here you’ll find the 10 best lower ab exercises you can use to finally tighten up the area below your belt.
How To Get Lower Abs
So what’s the difference between your lower abs and upper abs?
The 6-pack muscle is really just made up one muscle called the rectus abdominis. Even though it looks like there are multiple muscles in a 6-pack there’s really just one.
The reason it looks like they have a 6-pack is that there is connective tissue running across the muscle holding it in.
You’ll hear a lot of people out there telling you can’t isolate “just” your lower abs since it’s one muscle. Kinda like how you can’t work in your lower and upper hamstring.
But there is some truth you can use certain exercises to work your entire abs better. And it’s possible to place more tension to target the lower region of your abs so they can be more emphasized.
Using specific exercises can help you to emphasize and target your lower abs so you can better tone up the area.
The know-it-alls might say lower ab exercises are a complete myth. I’ll show you some evidence finding it’s at the very least quite plausible you can train and target your lower abs.
Although I’ll admit it may not be quite as drastic as you hope for. You’ll still be able to better target your lower abs with these exercises.
But you’re going to need to get rid of the layer of fat on top of your abs to see any real definition.
Getting a toned flat stomach or 6-pack abs is 90% about having low body fat and the rest is having some muscle there.
The keys to fat loss are your diet, intense cardio, and proper weight training. All are needed to get a lower body fat percentage.
Check out The Flat Belly Formula blueprint for a step-by-step system you can use to quickly burn fat and tone up your abs to get a 6-pack and a flat stomach.
Exercises To Engage Your Lower Abs
If you ask just about anybody who has worked out for a long time they’ll tell you in a heartbeat there are certain exercises you can do that you’ll feel more in your lower abs.
Many bodybuilders who spend day in and day out trying to achieve the perfect physique know you’re able to target your lower abdominals.
There are even some studies coming out proving you’re able to target certain regions of one muscle with certain exercises.
This study found some exercises had more activity in the upper abs versus the lower abdominals.
The researchers found that crunches activated more the upper abs while posterior pelvic tilts would activate more of the lower abs.
In this study by the University of Nebraska Medical Center researchers found support for the concept you can target different regions of the abdominal muscles with specific exercises.
The researchers in this study found this evidence to be in contradiction of what many so-called experts have been saying that you can’t target specific regions of a muscle group.
And in this study researchers found changes in body position exercise intensity would create different demands on different portions of the rectus abdominis muscle.
Here too is a more recent study from 2017 found exercises activated more in differing regions of the rectus abdominis.
So the science is starting to catch up proving it’s at the very least quite possible you can target your lower ab region.
If you need help getting rid of your belly fat naturally then take a look here.
How To Do This Lower Abs Workout
Next, I’ll show you how to put the lower ab exercises below together for a great workout to help tone up your lower pooch.
Try setting a timer for 30 seconds for each exercise before moving onto the next exercise with about 10 seconds of rest in between.
It’s a good idea not to rest long in between exercises since you really want to create a burn in your abs.
You can go through each exercise once before repeating again 2 to 3 times.
Although I wouldn’t recommend doing all these exercises at once. It’s better to pick 3 to 5 of your favorites and do those for the workout.
Then next time you can do the other 5 lower ab exercises to add variety to the workouts. Try mixing up the timings too. Go for 40 seconds and even 50 seconds per exercise if your body can handle it.
Be sure to keep mixing up your lower ab workouts as you don’t want your progress to stall and end up in a plateau.
A big tip I can give you when working out your lower abs is to have a posterior pelvic tilt.
This will help to increase the activation of your lower abdominals. All so you can better target them when exercising.
To do this all you have to do it while lying on your lower back is to push your pelvis upwards more pointing towards your nose.
A good way to practice this is to lay on your back with your knees bent. Then slowly tilt your pelvis up and down to help you get the mind-body connection going.
Lower Ab Exercises List
- Lay on your back with your hands underneath your hips and lift your chin up off the floor until it reaches your chest.
- Then lift your legs up off the floor and began to alternate them back and forth.
- Try to focus on keeping your legs lowered to the floor and put your pelvis up toward your nose.
- Lay on your back with your hands on your hips and try to tuck your chin to your chest.
- Lift your legs up off the floor so they’re pointing towards the ceiling.
- Then begin to lift your hips up off the ground towards the sky and slowly bring them back down towards the ground.
- As you’re bringing your legs down also lower your feet towards the ground as well.
- Stop before your feet reach the ground and repeat the exercise.
- For this exercise it’s a good idea to grab onto a strong base such as a chair or your bed frame. Hold the strong base behind your head and then lift your hips and legs off the ground while keeping them in a straight line.
- You should now be resting only on your upper shoulders as you begin to slowly bring your body back down towards the ground.
- Make sure you squeeze your glutes throughout this movement and maintain a straight body.
- Keep in mind this is an advanced exercise.
Scissor Kick Crunches
- Lay on your back with your hands behind your head and your feet up in the sky.
- Slowly lower one leg towards the floor as you begin to bring one elbow to the other knee that’s still up in the air.
- Then alternate your legs so one is going up and one is going down.
- As the other leg raises up bring your opposite elbow up to meet it.
Hanging Leg Raises
- For this exercise you’re need a pull-up bar or you can use some ab straps. Jump up and hold the bar so your body is hanging straight down.
- Tilt your pelvis up so its pointing up toward your nose.
- With your legs together slowly bring your feet up until you’re almost in a L position.
- Tighten your abs at the top and then slowly bring them back down to the starting position.
- Lay on your back with your arms and legs pointing straight up to the sky.
- Slowly begin to lower one leg towards the ground and at the same time lower your opposite arm to the ground as well.
- Keep your abs tight throughout this movement and make sure your pelvis is tilted upwards.
- Then slowly alternate to the other side as you bring the other leg down and your other leg arm at the same time as you bringing back up the other ones.
Reverse Slide Outs
- For this exercise you’re going to need a stability ball or something you can use to slide on like towels.
- Put your feet on top of the stability ball while holding your hands out in front of you so you are in the push-up position.
- Slowly begin to roll yourself backwards by pushing away from your hands.
- The ball will roll along your legs until it reaches right above your knees.
- Then slowly bring yourself back up into the starting position.
- Be sure to keep your abs tight and your pelvis tilted upwards throughout the movement.
Hollow Body Holds
- Lay on your back with your arms out straight in a 45° angle and your legs up with your knees bent. Make sure your chin is to your chest.
- Extend your legs out so they’re now straight and at a 45° angle from your body too.
- Slowly lower your legs down towards the floor until you really feel your abs tighten up.
- Hold this position with your pelvis tilted upwards throughout the required time. Make sure you keep breathing too.
- Lay on your back with your hands underneath your hips and your knees bent.
- Slowly bring your knees towards your shoulders by lifting your hips up off the ground.
- Once they get up closer towards your shoulders you can slowly bring them back down towards the floor but don’t allow them to touch the ground.
- Make sure you keep you abs tight your pelvis tilted upward throughout this movement.
Hanging Knee Raises
- Hold yourself up from a pull-up bar or you can put your arms into some ab straps.
- Keep your abs tight and your pelvis tilted upward throughout this movement with your knees together. Try to tuck your chin in to your chest for this movement too.
- Slowly begin to raise your knees up towards your shoulders as you tilt your pelvis up along with it.
- Squeeze your abs at the top before bringing them back down slowly to the starting position.
What is the best workout for lower abs?
If you’re try to get rid of your lower abs with a workout plan then it’s best to follow some of the methods above. But keep in mind that you’re also going to have to focus on your diet as it will be impossible to get rid of that lower belly fat if you’re overeating on the wrong foods. Essentially you’re going to be combining high intense cardio exercise with lower ab exercises that will specifically target the area. Both of these combined together will help to better target your lower belly fat.
How do you engage lower abs?
The best way to focus on engaging your lower abs while exercising is to imagine someone is about to punch you in your stomach. You’ll naturally tighten your abs especially at the lower section when you imagine somebody is going to knock the wind outta you by punching you in the stomach. This is a queue I like to use with my clients to get them to better engage their lower abs.
The Last Word
Hopefully you now know the best exercises for lower abs that you can use to tighten up that stubborn lower belly.
The lower abs can be the most frustrating to get rid of but it’ll be well worth it when they’re finally gone for good.
Many of the so-called experts will tell you that you can’t target your lower abs because they’re really only one muscle.
There are more studies coming out finding you can better target your lower abs with the proper exercise and queuing.
To get rid of that layer of fat on top of your abs take a look at The Flat Belly Formula system to rapidly melt away stomach fat.
Then add in these 10 best lower ab exercises to get the toned flat stomach and the 6-pack you’ve always wanted.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.