Lower Ab Workouts for women
The distended belly, muffin top, baby pooch, mummy tummy…whatever you want to call it…can be eliminated! A lot of time this area is stubborn because we don’t exercise or we don’t do the proper exercises. A lower belly pooch can be the culprit of bad posture, muscle imbalances or an under recruited transverse abdominis.
It’s time for me to be Honest Abe about your core. As a mom it is the most sought after question and I hope to put your mind at ease – and your body to work here in a bit.
If you recently had a baby, please check out our postpartum exercise guidelines.
Are there specific lower ab exercises?
Your lower abs are not separate from your upper abs. They belong to the rectus abdominis, but they’re hard to target because they get a little bit more narrow as they get closer to the pelvis region.
So….you have to use your core muscles if you expect them to get back to their prior self – or even better self. You cannot expect yourself to just bounce back. Think of it this way, you don’t train for a Half Marathon by NOT running. So you cannot expect to train your core to flatten by NOT exercising it.
Let’s start with training it the correct way so you can maximize your time. 90% of us do a crunch the wrong way. Instead of engaging the inner core muscles and flattening the belly, we tend to “pooch” the belly out as we crunch up. Why? It is easier that way and by default our bodies take the easy route! You could do crunches until you are blue in the face, but until you initiate from the Inner Core you will not see a change.
Abs are made in the Kitchen
Have you heard this before? Well, it’s partly true. We all have overlying fat on our bellies. This fat lies on top of our muscles. To decrease this fat we have to be mindful with our nutrition.
Can I spot reduce my lower abs?
Oh I want to say yes! But the real scientific answer is nope, nada, you cannot. A full body training program with cardio is your best bet to getting a stronger, slimmer core.
I like to focus on the core here at Moms Into Fitness. I could go on and on about the importance of a strong foundation (your core) to help with pains, weaknesses, etc. But the main reason we focus on the core is because it is most affected by pregnancy & postpartum.
The Lower Ab workout
Here are eight of the best lower ab exercises. I have listed the eight exercises below, but I recommend watching the lower abs workout video at the top of this page. In the video you will find cues to initiate your transverse abdominis. This will help you get rid of the lower pooch or distended belly!
#1 Elongated Crunch
Lie in a crunch position with your legs full extended. Stack one foot on top of the other. Engage your transverse abodominis as you crunch up. To do this, cue your belly button towards your spine. Try to do this without tucking your hips to truly engage the transverse abodominis (this is your inner most core muscle).
#2 Stacked Leg Crunch
Lie in a crunch position with a foot stacked on the opposite knee. Perform a crunch, again activating from your transverse abdominis and pulling your belly button inward. Yowsers! If you do this move correctly, your lower ab region will be feeling it within a few reps.
#3 Scissor Crunch
Lie in a crunch position with your feet in the air at a 90 degree angle. Lower one leg as far as you can without letting your back arch. Hold your legs in this position, then pulse crunch.
#4 Butterfly Crunch and Pelvic Tilt
Lie in a crunch position with the bottoms of your feet touching. The knees fall open. Perform a pelvic tilt as you crunch. Be careful not to let your glutes activate – the move should come from your abs.
#5 Rope Climb
Lie in a crunch position with your feet in the air at a 90 degree angle. As you lift your chest off the ground, reach towards your toes, pulse crunch.
#6 Plank with Pelvic Tilt
Get into a plank position. Beginners hold this position for a count of 20. Veterans add a pelvic tilt while holding the plank position.
#7 Back Hyperextension
Lie on your stomach with your arms extended. Lift your arms, head and legs. This exercise works your lower, middle and upper back. Important for a strong core!
#8 Alternating Hyperextension
Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides. Lift your left arm while simultaneously bending your right knee. Reach your left hand towards your right foot. Switch.