Best Lower Ab Exercises for That Hard to Tone Spot

October 7, 2018

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Abs are built in the kitchen.” But that’s actually only partially true. While a healthy diet has a long way to go in uncovering your six-pack abs (it’s in there…. Somewhere) has a long way to go, you have to put the work in the gym (or studio!) Too. And when it comes to developing a rippling core, the lower abdomen may be the most difficult area to sculpt.

“It’s an area that many women want to target,” says Susanna Kalnes, an instructor who teaches fitness classes at San Francisco’s Studiomix.” Many of my students ask me how to flatten this area of the body.”

Below, Kalnes and instructor friend Kristi Williams, who teaches fitness classes at XSport Fitness in Chicago, share their picks for the best lower abdominal exercises to add to your spring body-shaping routine.

The eight bodyweight moves don’t require any equipment (which means no excuses). And more than counting your repetitions and routines, Kalnes recommends working out regularly.” I like to do these [moves] – and teach them at intervals,” she explains. Do each exercise as often as you can in good form for 45 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds, then move on to the next move.

Get ready to feel the burn.

Heel Taps.

Lie on your back, hands behind your head, elbows open, knees up at a 90-degree angle, feet off the floor. Lower one leg down, keeping the knee bent, then tap the floor with your heel. Return to the starting position, then repeat with the other leg. Continue with alternating legs.

Butterfly Crunches

Lie on your back with the soles of your feet touching and knees bent to the sides. Raise into a sit-up while your arms reach outside your feet and tap the ground. Lower one round at a time to protect your spine. Repeat.

Scissor Legs.

Lie on your back with your legs straight and your shoulder blades lifted. Pull one leg up to the ceiling, with the other leg hanging an inch or two off the ground. Alternate your legs, switching like two scissor blades. If you need a little help, use your arms to support your thighs.

Related Link. 27 Fat Burning Abdominal Exercises (No Crunches!) .

Leg drop.

Lie on your back, curl your hands under your back and lift your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Bend your feet, then lower them toward the floor while keeping them as straight as possible. Lift back to the starting position and repeat.

Low Slab

From a low plank position, balance on your forearms and keep your spine straight. Using your abdominal muscles, rock forward on your toes two to three inches and then rock back to the starting position. Repeat.


Start in a high plank position with your wrists directly below your shoulders. Draw one knee to your chest, keeping your spine straight, then return to the starting position. Repeat with the other leg, then continue alternating as fast or as slow as you like. The faster you go, the more cardio you’ll be doing, Kalnes notes.

Ski abs.

Start in a high plank position with your wrists just below your shoulders. Lift your hips with your lower belly and jump forward on both feet to the right side of your body. Jump back to the plank position and repeat on the other side. Continue to alternate.

To get our top stories sent to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter.

Reverse Crunch.

Lie down on your back, curl your hands under your back, and lift your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Using your lower belly, lift your legs, butt, and lower back off your mat close to the ceiling. Control your lower back as much as possible. Do it repeatedly.