Want to target those coveted lower abs but just can’t seem to find the exercises to engage them? You’re not alone — these muscles can be tricky to ignite. But let’s get one thing straight, toning and strengthening your lower core takes more than doing a few ab exercises. It takes a combination of clean eating, cardio, getting enough sleep, proper hydration, and total body resistance training.
The good news is that there are targeted lower ab exercises that can bring fire to low abs and help you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to effective core work.
Want in? We got you.
Benefits of Lower Ab Exercises
Lower ab exercises go far beyond appearance here. There are actually some really important reasons to strengthen that core.
Lower ab exercises may help:
- Protect your lower back during your daily activities and workouts
- Improve your overall coordination and stability
- Protect your inner organs and central nervous system
- Improve your posture
5 Lower Ab Exercises You’ll Fall in Love With
Exercises that engage your lower abs the best are those that specifically target you transverse abdominis, your entire core, and/or include an element of cardio to help you burn extra calories.
Today, we’re sharing the top five that do just that!
#1 Mountain Climbers
You’ll really work up a sweat with this one! Mountain climbers are one of our favorite low-impact exercises that targets your entire core and increases your heart rate.
This exercise targets more than just your core, you’ll feel this in your shoulders, back, and hips. To make sure your lower abs are getting enough love, focus on pulling your belly button into your spine and give a big exhale every time you draw your knee into your chest.
Try This Adrenalin HIIT Workout
See what the rage is all about in Danielle Pascente’s 35-minute Adrenalin HIIT workout. This workout will really get your heart rate up and target every muscle in your body.
#2 Double Crunch
Think crunches, but on steroids. Double crunches are far more effective, so you can do less and get better results.
Crunches neglect your lower abs. But this exercise combines the standard and the reverse crunch into one, targeting almost every inch of your core, so your lower abs are going to get all the love they deserve.
For even more ab sculpting, add resistance to this exercise by holding a weight in your hands.
Try Ths Contoured Core FitOn Class
Ready to break a sweat with some serious lower ab exercises? Try this Contoured Core workout with Cassey Ho.
#3 Lying Leg Lifts
Our favorite lazy-day exercise. Don’t be fooled, it’s only lazy because you get to lay on your back. This exercise is going to have those lower abs working. As long as you make sure to keep your lower back on the mat the entire time (this means you only lower your legs as far as you can while adhering to this), your lower abs won’t have a choice but to engage.
To optimize this exercise, focus on pulling your belly button into your spine and exhaling every time your legs come back up to the ceiling.
Try Hello Abs or Whittle the Middle
Oh, burpees. The exercise everyone loves to hate. This killer, explosive exercise burns major calories and targets nearly every muscle in your body to help you shed unwanted lower belly fat. Though it doesn’t directly target your lower abs, engaging your transverse abdominis (your deepest core muscles in your lower abs) is vital to performing this exercise safely. If they’re not strong, your back will eventually feel it.
Having a hard time turning on your transverse? Start by lying on your back, feet planted. Place your hands on the insides of your hip bones near your pelvis. Pretend like you’re putting on a really tight pair of low-rise skinny jeans (remember those?). You should feel your transverse abdominis flex when you do this. Try to flex them 15 to 20 times in a row and keep it up daily until they learn to turn on automatically!
Try Core Barre With Sydney Benner
Not quite ready to do a full-blown Burpee? Try a low-impact version in Sydney Benner’s 20-minute Core Barre and tone your entire core in this toning workout.
#5 Flutter Kicks
Flutter kicks are specifically designed to target your lower rectus abdominis, another fancy name for your lower abs. Just like your lying leg raises, the trick to doing this exercise correctly is making sure your low back stays connected to the ground the entire time. If you’re having trouble with this, try placing your hands under your hips.
Feeling this more in your legs than your abs? Pull your belly button in to make sure you’re engaging your core.
Try This Flat Belly Workout
Ready to challenge yourself to some core work? Try this Flat Belly workout with Katie Dunlop for 12 minutes of hard-core ab work!
We Always Got Lower Abs On Our Minds
When it comes to your lower abs, aim to incorporate them at least three times a week into your workouts.
However, you also want to pay attention to them during all your workouts and daily activity. While you’re bending over to tie your shoes, lower abs. While you’re sitting at your desk, lower abs. While you’re squatting, you guessed it, lower abs.
Knowing how to engage these muscles will make sure your lower back stays strong and healthy so you can continue rocking all your workouts!