These exercises are great in addition to a healthy diet and training programme to help with shaping up the lower abdominal area.
Incorporate them into your training routine or create a short circuit – performing 30 seconds of each exercise in a row and repeat for desired amount of times!
#1 Cable reverse crunch
✓ Begin this exercise by placing a mat beside a cable machine.
✓ Move the pulley to a low setting and attach an ankle strap to both your ankles.
Lie down and lift your legs up with your knees bent at a ninety degree angle – your legs should be in line with the cable. If this is not the case, simply move the pulley to a height so that they are.
Place your hands behind your head and pull your knees inwards towards your chest and lift your hips off the ground.
Hold this position for a few seconds and then gradually lower your hips and return to the starting position. This is one rep.
#2 Fitball pull in
✓ Begin by positioning an exercise ball near you with a mat in front of it for comfort throughout the exercise.
✓ Lie on the floor in a push up position in front of the fitball. Lift your right leg onto the ball followed by your left leg then position yourself so that your shins are on the ball – your legs will be fully extended at this point. This is your starting position.
Keep your back straight throughout the exercise and hold your upper body still, then pull your knees towards your chest as you breathe out.
The ball will roll forward as you do this. Squeeze your stomach muscles tightly and pause for a few seconds.
With control, straighten your legs out and roll the ball back to the position you began in at the start of the exercise. This is one repetition.
#3 Bench lying leg raise
✓ Begin this exercise with your back flat on a bench and your legs out in front of you off the bench.
✓ You can place your hands at the side and hold onto the bench to help you balance. This is the starting position of the exercise.
Keeping your legs out and as straight as possible while maintaining a small bend in the knee, lift your legs so that they form a ninety degree angle with the ground.
Breathe out and pause for a few seconds before returning your legs to the starting position. This is one repetition.
#4 Reverse crunch
✓ Begin by lying down on the ground on an exercise mat with your legs fully extended.
✓ Keep your arms at the side of your body with your palms on the ground. Keep your arms still throughout the exercise.
✓ Lift your legs up so that your thighs are in line with the ground and your feet together also in line with the ground. This is your starting position.
Breathe in, and then move your legs towards your body as you lift your hips off the ground.
At the top of this movement your knees will touch your torso.
Pause for a few seconds before returning back to the starting position of the exercise.
#5 Barbell abs roll out
✓ Begin this exercise in a push up position.
✓ Hold on to an Olympic bar loaded with some weight plates or a preloaded barbell – this is the starting position of this exercise.
Keep a slight arch in your back, raise your hips then roll the barbell towards your feet as you breathe out.
Keep your stomach squeezed tight throughout the whole exercise. Begin to roll the barbell forward so that it returns to the starting position.
Inhale as you finish the movement. This is one repetition.
Take Home Message
Try adding some of these exercises to your routine to help tighten up that midsection.
What are your favourite lower ab exercises?