Strengthening your lower abs can come with aesthetic benefits, but can also help your overall health and wellbeing, which is why it is so important to target this area within a workout. Working on your abs means you can improve your posture, build functional strength, and eliminate back pain that you may suffer from currently, or in the future. Here are 7 exercises for lower abs that you can add to your workout routine, to feel the burn.
1. Leg drops
Leg drops are a great exercise that you can do anywhere, at home or in the gym. Start by lying on the floor with your legs straight and your arms by your side. Lift your legs up, keeping your back to the floor and your body straight. Lower your legs back down and stop them just before they touch the ground, then repeat. You should perform around 10-12 of these in a set and try and push yourself to do 3 sets to really feel the burn. The bottom of your back may start lifting from the floor, if this is the case, place your hands underneath for extra support.
2. Hip lifts
Like leg drops, lie on your back with your arms next to your body. With your legs straight, lift them so they are pointing upwards. Keep your back straight and raise your hips, so that your feet raise towards the ceiling. Lower your hips back to the floor and repeat this action 10-20 times depending on how advanced you are trying your best to complete 1-3 reps of this exercise to work your lower abs.
3. Mountain climbers
The name gives a good idea of what this exercise looks like! Get into a plank position with your arms under your shoulders. Bend one knee and propel it forwards into your chest – straighten it back out into its starting position and do the same with your other leg. It will look as though you are climbing the floor – hence the name. Your movements should be controlled to get the full effect, you don’t need to rush this! Complete for one minute, and repeat.
4. Scissor kicks
This exercise requires you to focus on your form, rather than the quantity that you can complete. Lie on your back and lift your legs off the floor so that they are hovering a few inches in the air. Lift one leg up until it is almost straight and vertical, and whilst bringing it back down, lift the other up into the same position. Lifting your legs up and down for 12-20 reps can help you develop strength in your lower ab region.
5. Reverse crunch
This is one of the easiest exercises to implement into your routine. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat. For extra support, place your hands under your lower back wherever feels most comfortable. Lift your feet slightly off the floor and lift your hips and bent legs backwards until your lower back comes off the floor. You will feel this in your muscles! Lower your legs and resume your starting position. Repeat this as many times as you think necessary for an intense lower ab workout.
6. Rocking plank
Another easy but killer exercise is the rocking plank. Get into the plank position and gently shift your body back and forwards – doing this movement for one minute if you can strengthen your lower abs – but be sure to keep your spine, neck, and hips in line!
7. Bicycle crunches
This is an alternative to your average sit-up and can keep your workout interesting! Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, as you would when performing a sit-up. Bend your knees so that they are at a 90-degree angle, pull one leg into your chest and straighten the other one out. Twist your body so that your opposite elbow meets the knee that is bending in your body. Make sure you’re body is moving in a twisting motion, as this is the key to engaging your core.