There’s probably one area we all feel like we can’t work enough: our abs. More specifically, our lower abs, the elusive ‘fifth and sixth’ pack. It seems like no matter how much training we do, we just stay the same. Well there’s a reason for that. Lower abs are difficult to strengthen because that is where our body stores most of its excess fat. And for women, the hormone estrogen naturally wants to hold onto fat in this one area – urgghh!
In order to show muscle definition, you need to train the whole body but more importantly of course lose some weight. You need to expend the unnecessary calories—and pair that with a well-balanced diet. It is true when fitness trainers repeatedly say that abs are made in the kitchen.
To help you along the way to amazing lower abs, here are 10 exercises that work your core hard. It is important to train the core – that’s what makes your abs show and it’s also your center for balance and can help reduce back pain. Let’s get started.
How This Workout Works: Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 seconds of rest between moves. Complete the entire circuit 1 to 3 times. You will need either sliders or towels for a couple of the moves.
1. Heel Tap
Lie faceup, hands under your butt, knees bent, feet lifted into table top position. Slowly lower your flexed feet forward until your heels barely touch the ground. Squeeze your abdominals to help raise your feet back up to table top.
2. Mountain Climber
From a high plank position, with your body straight and hips level, lift right foot and draw right knee to chest between your hands. As you return right leg to plank, lift left foot and draw left knee to chest between your hands. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible, keeping your core tight and without hiking your hips.
Lie faceup, hands behind your head, lifting head and shoulders off the floor. Using your abdominals, lift legs slightly off the ground and scissor kick, alternating one up and one down. Focus on not straining your neck or jutting your chin forward.
4. Straight Leg Raise
From a faceup position on the floor, place hands under your low back and brace your core. Lift straight legs slowly off the ground, bringing them to 90-degrees, then slowly lower them back to the ground. If you have any pain in your lower back, do not do this move.
Lie face up, with legs extended, knees together, feet flexed, arms overhead. Take a big inhale. As you exhale, lift arms up and forward, and use your abs to slowly roll up to a sitting position. Squeezing abs again, slowly lower down to starting position.
Sit tall on a mat with your feet flat on the floor in front of you. Pull your stomach in toward your spine and slide the shoulder blades down your back. Lean your torso slightly back, while keeping your back straight, and lift your feet toward the ceiling. Place your hands on the floor for support if necessary. Aim for straight legs, though do bend your knees if you start to sink into your lower back. Hold for three to five counts.
7. Rolling Plank
Start in low plank position on forearms. Hold for 10 seconds, then roll on to your right elbow, stacking feet, and hold side plank for 10 seconds, engaging your obliques. Roll back through center and over to the left elbow, stacking feet, and hold 10 seconds. Continue to alternate, keeping core engaged and not letting your hips drop.
8. Slider Pike
You’ll need sliders or towels to pull off this move. Start in high plank position with both feet on sliders. Squeeze low abs and pull feet toward your hands, lifting your hips toward the ceiling into a pike position. Slowly push feet out to lower into starting position.
9. Cross Body Climber
From a high plank position with your body straight, hips level, and core braced, lift right leg and draw right knee toward left elbow. As you return right leg to plank, lift left leg and draw left knee toward right elbow. Continue to alternate.
10. Slider Knee Tuck
You’ll need sliders or towels again for this move. From a high plank position with both feet on sliders, brace core and pull both feet in toward your chest. Focus on not letting your shoulders hunch and not allowing your upper body to lean forward too much. Push feet back to return to high plank starting position.