As if getting six-pack abs doesn’t feel challenging enough, many women have what feels like the added curse of a “pooch.” You know, the lower abdomen area that sticks out, making it difficult to button any jeans, let alone skinny ones. This annoying area can be caused by a number of reasons, including genetics, hormones, poor eating, having a child, and aging. And while it may seem impossible to flatten this troublesome tummy area, the truth is that you can do it.
Before you go into ab crunch mode, know that the best start to slimming your stomach begins with what you eat. Exercise is great and all, but if you’re taking in more fat and calories than your daily activity can burn, then no amount of sit-ups will flatten your midsection.
Second, remember that while it’s not impossible the shrink that pooch, it is impossible to target your fat loss. When you burn fat, it’s a full body thing (even when it feels like it’s just your bra size shrinking). To be more efficient with your fitness, you’re better off building muscle, which can help to burn fat even when at rest, as well as focus on interval-based cardio. With that said, toning and tightening your tummy will not only build fat-burning muscle, but it will also help to give your stomach the shape you want. Ready to lose the saggy lower abs? Let’s get started!
Reverse Crunches: Lay on the floor with your hands behind your head or at your side with palms on the floor. Lift your knees in toward your chest, with your feet together and knees bent at a right angle. Tighten your core and lift your hips up and off the floor, reaching your legs towards the ceiling. Avoid swinging your legs, which creates momentum. It’s a small movement, so make sure your core muscles are engaged. Lower slowly to the starting position and repeat.
Scissor Kicks: Lay on your back with your arms straight and your palms face down beneath your butt. With your legs fully extended, raise your heels about 6 inches off the floor and make small up and down scissor-like kicks with your legs. Don’t let your feet hit the ground, and keep your kicks low to help your abs stay engaged throughout the exercise.
Hanging Leg Raises: For this exercise you’ll need a pull-up bar–or a bar that allows you to hang without your feet touching the ground. With palms facing out, grab hold of the bar, with arms about shoulder-width distance apart. With straight legs and toes pointed, engage your lower abs and lift your legs until your body is in the shape of an “L.” Slowly lower back down to the starting position. If this is too difficult for you to complete the reps, start with knee-to-chest raises instead.
Ab Pulse-Ups: Lay on your back and extend your legs straight up into the air, so that your body is in the shape of an “L.” This is your starting position. Keeps your arms behind your head or at your side and your legs straight. Squeeze your butt and lower core muscles as your lift your butt up with your feet moving toward the ceiling. It’s a small movement, or a pulse, and should be controlled by your muscles, and not momentum. Lower back to the starting position.
Mix muscle toning and interval cardio for your most amazing lower abs yet.
Following a warm up:
- Sprint for 10 seconds
- Rest 10 seconds
- Reverse Crunches for 30 seconds
- Sprint for 20 seconds
- Rest 20 seconds
- Scissor Kicks for 30 seconds
- Sprint for 30 seconds
- Rest 30 seconds
- Hanging Leg Raises (or Knees-to-Chest) for 30 seconds
- Sprint for 40 seconds
- Rest 40 seconds
- Ab Pulse-Ups for 30 seconds
- Sprint for 60 seconds