The lower belly or lower abs is a part of your body’s core musculature, which is a group of muscles that stabilizes your torso through all movements from simply sitting up to doing a back handspring. No amount of lower ab exercises will offset overeating, but to firm and strengthen the lower belly do exercises that are designed for this area and see a nutritionist on the side.
Hanging Knee to Chin Raises
The hanging knee to chin raise exercise is a lower abdominal exercise that is performed hanging from a pull-up bar or hanging leg station. The hanging knee to chin raise requires you to do a hanging leg raise and a reverse crunch in one exercise. Begin hanging from a bar with your palms facing forward or hold the parallel bars of a hanging leg raise station with your palms facing each other. Keep your legs are straight as you hang and don’t let your feet touch the ground. From this starting position, bend your knees and raise them up to your waist. Your spine should be straight for this portion. Once the knees reach waist level, curl your lower back and lift your knees up to your chin. This movement is similar to doing a reverse crunch when your hips come off the floor or bench. Slowly straighten your back as you bring your knees down and then hang your legs straight toward the floor.
Abdominal Dragon Flags
The abdominal dragon flag is an advanced exercise that uses the ab and hip flexors to both raise the body and stabilize the torso. The end point of the abdominal dragon flag has your body almost in a shoulder stand, which requires significant lower ab work to hold the position even briefly. Lie face up on an exercise bend with your upper body and glutes on the bench and the rest of your lower body in the air. The legs are straight and parallel to the floor. Hold the sides of the bench with your arms bent and next to your head. Then, lift your legs straight toward the ceiling until they are almost perpendicular to the bench. Your glutes and back lift into the air, but your shoulders and head stay down. Slowly lower yourself back the starting position.
Exercise Ball Abdominal Pull Ins
The exercise ball abdominal pull ins uses a large stability or Swiss ball to work your lower abs. This exercise does not involve as large of a range of motion as the other two exercises, but because your lower body is balancing on a round, unstable exercise ball the lower abs are challenged to an even greater degree for stabilizing your body. Start the exercise in a ball plank or push-up position with your ankles on the ball, your body in a straight line parallel to the floor and your arms straight beneath your shoulders to support your lower body. The hands are flat on the floor at shoulder-width distance apart. From there, bend your knees and roll the ball forward until your knees are below your stomach. The spine remains straight. Roll the ball back to the starting position to complete one repetition.
About this Author
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.