We’re all looking for easy ways to get lower abs, but I have sad news: there is no completely easy way to get lower abs, or any other toned body part, for that matter. But I also have GOOD news! It’s not impossible to get toned lower abs, and I can tell you how. Here are 10 moderately easy ways to get lower abs.
1. Bust the Myth
Before you get started toning your lower abs, it’s important to blow a harmful myth: there is no way to tone one muscle group or one area of your body; you have to lose fat everywhere, and build muscle everywhere. But that’s not a bad thing, right? And remember this myth, because if any product or pill promises otherwise, it’s a bald-faced lie.
2. Eat Right
Step one in your quest to get toned lower abs is to eat a healthful, low-fat diet. Avoid fast food and prepared foods (boxed, frozen, or canned stuff is «prepared» foods), cut soda from your diet, and add five servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day. This is a great start towards a good diet… grab your grocery cart and get going!
3. Get Your Cardio
I’m sure you’re afraid that getting toned lower abs means a thousand sit-ups and crunches a day, but it doesn’t. At the top of the list of exercises for lower abs is cardio. How much, and how often? Aim for four times a week, for 40 minutes. And remember, for cardio to count, it has to mean your heart is thumping hard for that entire time… good examples are running or jogging, swimming, rowing, biking or even brisk walking.
4. Bear Weight (and Don’t Bear Weight!)
Sneak in your cardio and two other types of exercise, weight bearing and non weight bearing, to get toned lower abs. Weight bearing exercise is anything that requires you to balance your own body weight, like running, elliptical, or jogging. Non weight bearing exercise is something you can sit down for, like biking or rowing. See? You can combine these with your cardio to multi-task your way to getting toned lower abs.
5. Decline Bench Crunches
Okay, you knew it had to happen… crunches really are one of the best ways to get lower abs, so you knew they’d have to show up somewhere on my list. No worries, though… you don’t need to do a thousand of them a day! Start with these basic decline bench crunches, with your feet at the high end and your head at the low end. Either cross your arms over your chest, or put them behind your head, as long as you don’t use them to complete the crunch. Rise half-way up, then slowly lower yourself back down. That’s one crunch! Now complete three sets of 12. Don’t have access to a decline bench? Lie on the ground and put your feet on a coffee table or chair instead.
6. Decline Bench Twist Crunch
This exercise is nearly identical to the one above, only with a twist… literally! As you’re sitting up, twist at the waist so your left elbow touches your right knee, and sit back, then when you sit up again, touch your right elbow to your left knee. Again, do three sets of 12.
Finally, something on my list of ways to get lower abs that ISN’T a crunch… technically. Use the same decline bench, sitting the same way, with your feet at the top. Keep your abs tight, sitting up, then slowly lower yourself down, stopping about half-way down. Now sit back up again. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is… you’ll feel the burn by the time you finish your three sets of 12.
8. Prone Single Leg Lift
This exercise is a lot harder than it sounds, so be prepared! Lie flat on your back with your arms at your side. Now slowly lift one leg into the air, keeping it as straight as possible. Try your best not to bend your knee, then lift your hips off the ground. Try to hold this position for as long as you can, aiming for 15 to 20 seconds. Complete three sets of 12 lifts. You’ll notice that aside from toning your lower abs, this is great for the backs of your thighs, too!
9. Bosu Ball Crunch
Okay, one more crunch and we’re done with them! You’ll be using a Bosu ball (which looks like half of a large exercise ball). Sit with the Bosu ball in the small of your back with either your knees bent, or with your feet on a bench or coffee table. Crunch up half-way, then sit back again. Complete three sets of 12 crunches… the trick here is that the Bosu ball keeps you slightly off balance, so you’ll use your core to keep from tipping over. It’s quite a work-out, one that will definitely help you tone your lower abs.
10. Leg Lifts
Again, these exercises definitely belong on my list of ways to get lower abs, even thought they don’t sound like much! Sit on a sturdy bench, holding on to the bench with your hands behind you for balance and support. Slowly raise your legs, bending at the knee, until they almost touch your chest. Lower them, straightening your legs, but don’t let your feet touch the floor before you bring them back up. Keep your back as straight as possible during the maneuver. Repeat for three sets of 20.
With this workout, and your healthful new diet, you’ll have toned lower abs in just a few weeks! That’s just in time for bikini season… hooray! Which of these exercises made your lower abs burn? Or do you have another exercise or bit of advice to share for getting toned lower abs?