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A physique can’t be considered complete without shredded lower abs. Abs has evolved into an aesthetic standard that every fitness pro must adhere to. On stage, you will never see a bodybuilder without a six-pack. Lower abs are one of the most difficult muscular groups to decrease. If you desire shredded lower abs, crunches alone will not get you there. You must practice lower ab exercises that target your abdomen.
Get started with these 10 lower ab exercises that target the abdomen area while strengthening your entire core.
10 Lower Ab Exercises for a Stronger Core
- Reverse Crunches
- Pilates Scissors
- Bicycle Crunches
- Mountain Climbers
- Double Leg Lifts
- Dead Bugs
- Pilates Hundred
- Yoga Boat Pose
1. Reverse Crunches
The reverse crunch is one of the lower ab exercises that is similar to the classic abdominal crunch. Your upper body should remain on the mat during this action while you engage your abs and bring your legs toward your chest. This move encompasses the entire rectus abdominis muscle, concentrating on the difficult-to-reach lower abs. This exercise is entirely bodyweight-based, making it an excellent complement to any lower ab workout.
- Bring your legs to a tabletop posture by bending your knees and stacking them above your hips while lying face up. Bend your elbows out to the side, or lay them next to your body on the floor, with your hands behind your head. Abdominal muscles should be engaged to lift your shoulders off the floor. This will serve as your starting point.
- Bring your hips off the floor gradually while contracting your core and drawing your knees in toward your chest.
- Return your hips and legs to the beginning posture slowly.
- Perform two to three sets of eight to ten repetitions.
The V-sits lower ab exercises engage various core muscles, strengthening your abdominals while also testing your balance. To begin, form a V shape with your body by raising your chest and stretching your legs overhead. If you are a beginner, you can alter this technique by supporting yourself with your hands or by slightly bending your knees to perform a knee tuck.
- Begin in a seated position on the floor with your feet and hands.
- While clenching your core, slowly stretch your legs to a 45-degree angle with your body.
- Straighten your arms out in front of you or extend up toward your shins, as long as it feels natural to your body. Throughout the movement, maintain a strong core and a straight spine, and avoid rounding the shoulders. While it is normal to hold your breath, it is critical to remember to continue breathing.
- Hold this position for many seconds, or until your body becomes fatigued. As you gain greater familiarity with the movement, you will be able to hold the position for longer periods of time.
- Return to your starting position with caution, maintaining abdominal muscle engagement.
- Stop for several seconds and hold the position before lowering your body to the floor.
- Repeat this movement twenty to twenty-five times more.
3. Pilates Scissors
These Pilates scissors lower ab exercises are great for targeting both the upper and lower abs, as well as the obliques. The criss-cross movement will also stretch your hamstrings and hip flexors.
- Begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Deeply inhale, then press your shoulders and the backs of your arms onto the mat.
- Pull your knees in toward your chest and lift your hips off the mat, creating an upside-down position with your weight on your shoulders. Grasp the back of your pelvis with your hands, elbows just beneath your hips.
- Extend your hips and legs, but keep your legs together. As you support yourself in this upside-down position, consider yourself lengthening your body.
- Maintain a long neck and an open chest. If necessary, drop your shoulders to gain more support from the backs of your upper arms.
- Open your legs and scissor them away from each other in a scissor motion. Avoid stretching the overhead leg too far.
- Pulse the legs twice in an open position, then swap the legs. Keep your pelvis stable at all times.
- Repeat the scissor action, six times per set.
4. Bicycle Crunches
The bicycle crunch targets both the lower abdominal muscles and the obliques. This is a simple beginner exercise that only requires a mat. As your legs are up during the activity, you are engaging the lower abs muscles the entire time.
- Begin by placing your hands behind your head, elbows bent and pointed out to the sides, while lying face up with your legs in a tabletop position. Curl your shoulders off the floor by engaging your abs. This is your starting point.
- Twist your body and bring your right elbow to your left knee, and straighten your right leg at the same time.
- Next, rotate your left elbow to your right knee while straightening your left leg.
- Slowly move your attention into the muscle, regulating the twist so you can feel your abs working.
- Three to four sets of 15 to 20 reps is a good goal.
5. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers lower ab exercises are performed from a plank posture by raising one knee to the chest and then back out, accelerating up each time. You will feel as if you are running against the floor during the activity. This killer lower ab workout works practically every muscle group in the body while also adding cardio to your workout.
- Begin in a high plank posture, with your palms flat on the floor, your hands shoulder-width apart (or wider), and your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Your legs will be extended, and your core will be engaged.
- Draw your right knee to your chest while tightening your core.
- Return to the beginning position by bringing your left knee to your chest as quickly as possible.
- Repeat this movement in an alternate pattern while moving quickly.
- Avoid curving your back; instead, keep it flat to work your core. It is acceptable to move more slowly in order to retain the appropriate form.
- This exercise can also be done with a twist to activate the oblique muscles.
- If you’re just starting out, aim for 15 to 20 consecutive mountain climbers. Work for sets of 25 to 30 for those who are more advanced.
6. Double Leg Lifts
This compound double leg lift lower ab exercises engage your upper and lower abdominal muscles, as well as your hip flexors. You’ll also work the muscles at the front of your thighs (quadriceps) and the buttocks (gluteal). Breathing in deeply toward your back and sides is the proper technique for this exercise.
- Begin by extending your legs up toward the ceiling while lying flat on your back. Keep your heels together and your legs slightly outstretched, pointing your toes. Maintain your hands behind your head, with your elbows wide and your chest open.
- Deeply inhale. Pull your abdominals to the floor as you exhale. Your lower back will be pressed into the mat, and your upper torso will curl up off the floor. This is your starting point.
- Keeping your abs drawn in and your back pressed against the mat, stretch your legs from your hips and slowly descend them. As an alternative, you can lower the legs in three phases. Keep in mind that the lowering movement should take longer than the lifting movement.
- Lower your legs as far as you can while keeping perfect alignment, then pause.
- Exhale and bring your legs up in a controlled motion while keeping your abs tight.
- Examine your posture to ensure that your elbows are broad and your chest is open.
- This exercise should be repeated six to eight times.
The bird-dog is a bodyweight exercise that works the abdominals, lower back, and glutes. Since you’ll be using your own body weight as resistance during the movement, you only need a mat for this workout. Bird-dogs lower ab exercises can be done anywhere that has a comfortable spot for your hands and knees as well as enough room to extend your arms and legs. During this exercise, your core will be activated as you use the muscles for stability to keep your balance.
- Begin with your knees hip-width apart and your hands approximately a shoulder-width apart pressed against the mat. Contract your abdominal muscles.
- Lift one hand and its opposite knee an inch or so off the floor while balancing on the other hand and knee to gain a feel for the movement. Your weight should be centred.
- Extend one arm straight in front of you, with the opposing leg behind you, until you feel stable enough for a full range of motion. Aim for a straight line from your hand to your foot, with your hips square. To keep your lower back from slumping, and engage your abs.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before coming back to your hands and knees. Change sides.
- Maintain abdominal muscular engagement throughout the movement. Avoid utilising momentum to finish the reps, instead of slowing down as needed to preserve perfect form.
- Perform five reps on each side for a total of ten reps each set. Aim for a total of three sets.
8. Dead Bugs
This may not appear to be the most conventional-sounding lower ab workout, but despite its unusual name, the dead bug is quite beneficial for your core. This bodyweight lower ab exercise is performed lying on your back and requires only a mat. You need to keep your chest motionless and your core muscles clenched while extending and retracting your opposing arms and legs, putting your stability to the test by stopping your body from rocking back and forth.
- Extend your arms straight above your chest, establishing a perpendicular angle with your torso, while lying flat on the mat. Bring your feet up from the ground by bending your knees and hips 90 degrees. Make a perfect angle with your torso and thighs, as well as your thighs and shins. This is your starting point.
- Tighten your core while pressing your lower back into the mat. Throughout the exercise, keep your spine stable and neutral.
- Maintain control of your right arm and left leg. Next, slowly raise your left arm above your head and toward the floor, while simultaneously extending your right knee and hip and lowering your right heel to the floor. Slowly extend your arms, breathing as you do so. Avoid twisting or moving your abs or hips. Stop moving exactly as your leg and arm touch the ground.
- Return your left arm and right leg to their initial positions to change the movement. Exhale deeply and move slowly.
- Repeat the exercises on the opposite side, but this time keep your left arm and right leg firm while extending your right arm and left leg.
- Set a goal of three sets of five to ten reps on each side.
9. Pilates Hundred
The name of this classic Pilates hundred exercise comes from the 100 beats you will complete with your arms during the session. The exercise is done on a mat, with the legs stretched and the head and shoulders elevated.
- To begin, lie flat on your back. Raise your legs, bending at the knees to form a tabletop position. Your shins and ankles should be parallel to the floor at this point.
- Inhale deeply and then exhale.
- Raise your head and tuck your chin in. Curl the top section of your spine up off the floor to the base of your shoulder blades using your abdominal muscles. Maintain back shoulder engagement. Inhale as you scoop your abs in.
- Exhale while contracting your abs more deeply. Extend your arms and legs as far as you can. Lower your legs for more advanced core training, but only as low as you can go without shaking or lifting your spine off the mat. You can modify it by raising your legs higher.
- Extend your arms a few inches above the floor, pointing straight out with your fingertips extending for a far wall.
- Hold the pose while taking five short inhalations and five short exhalations (sniff in through your nose and puff out through your mouth). Simultaneously, pump your arms up and down while maintaining the movement regulated. Remember to keep your shoulders and neck relaxed, leaving your abdominal muscles to do the work.
- Complete a 10-full-breath cycle. Each cycle consists of five short in-breaths followed by five short out-breaths. Keep your arms pulsing in sync with your breath, your abs scooped, and your back flat against the mat.
- Keep your head pointed down and take deep breaths. Breathe deeply into your sides and back. If you’re not sure what this should feel like, learn more about lateral breathing.
- Finally, keep your spine curved and bring your knees in closer to your chest. Hug your knees, then relax your upper spine and lower your head to the floor. Inhale deeply, then exhale.
10. Yoga Boat Pose
Boat Pose (Navasana) is a yoga pose that focuses on abdominal strength. This exercise, like many yoga poses, will work a variety of muscle groups. It will also help you improve your balance by strengthening muscles that typically decrease as a result of daily activities like sitting at a desk.
- To begin, sit up straight with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Press your legs together and steadily raise them off the floor, forming a 45-degree angle with your torso. Engage your core while keeping your back flat and balancing your weight on your tailbone.
- If you’re just starting out, keep your knees bent. Straighten your legs for a greater challenge.
- Stretch your arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor. Place your hands on the floor, right beneath your hips, for further support.
- Hold the position for 10-20 seconds at a time, progressively increasing the time until you reach one minute.
Here we go! A list of 10 powerful lower ab exercises for shredded lower abs. The rewards of lower ab exercises go far beyond aesthetics and the potential to give you the toned muscles and definition you desire. More importantly, lower ab exercises contribute to the development of a strong core, which is essential for overall athletic performance, balance, body posture, injury prevention, and body functional strength. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best lower ab exercises to help you get a strong, sculpted core. Hope you found your favourite lower ab exercises!
What are your favourite lower ab exercises? Let us know in the comments section below!