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If you were asked to choose one area of your body you would want to change, which one would it be? Chances are, like legions of fellow sufferers, it would be that stubborn belly that simply does not seem to flatten out, no matter how many soul-crushing crunches you inflict on it. However, with the new interest and focus on the importance of building a strong core for the overall well-being, fitness experts have identified the most effective lower abdominal exercises known to not just strengthen the area, but also get the chiseled look.

Tone up Your Abs

Cycling
Cycling

Lie down on your back with your legs extended straight. Intertwine the fingers, and place them behind the head. Lift both the legs off the floor. Bend the right leg, and bring it closer to your chest. Try to reach the elbow of the left hand to the knee of the right leg.

Now, gradually extend the right leg, and bring the left leg closer. Repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times on both the sides for well-toned lower abs.

Plank
Plank

Although a simple pose to assume, it is one of the most effective of the abdominal exercises. Lie flat on your stomach with your hands placed exactly below your shoulders. Your heels should be off the ground and toes curled under. Slowly, lift your body as you straighten your hands. Your weight should be balanced on your hands and on the toes. Hold this position, approximately for 60 seconds, and release thereafter for a stronger core.

Alternating Leg Walks
Alternating Leg Walks

Begin by lying on your back. Placing your hands under your butt, take a few deep breaths. Now, contract the lower ab muscles, and lift your right leg up slowly, until it is 90 degrees to your body. Then, keeping it slow, lower it back down, until it is a few inches off the floor, while simultaneously raising your left leg.

You must keep lifting your legs, alternatively about 8 to 10 times, to begin with. Later, as your abs become stronger, you may increase the count to 15 to 20 times as well.

Reverse Crunch
Double Leg Reverse Crunches

Lie down on your back with your hands under your butt. Lift both your legs until they are in a vertical position. Now, bend your legs at the knees, so that the lower part is parallel to the floor. Then, contracting your lower abs, and maintaining your bent knees, gradually lower your legs until the soles of your feet are just a couple of inches off the floor. Keep your abs contracted, and hold this position for a few seconds. Then, increasing the contraction in your abs, lift your knees up again, bringing them toward your chest. This, indeed, is a challenging exercise, so begin by doing just 3 to 5 reps. Later, as you feel you are getting the drift, increase the reps gradually, until you can perform 15 to 20 reps.

Double Leg Circles
Double Leg Circles

Lie down on your back. Contracting your lower abs, lift both legs a few inches off the floor. Now, rotate both legs together in circles. Make 5 circles in a clockwise direction. Then, lower the legs to the floor, and relax for a few seconds.

You must repeat the exercise with 5 anticlockwise circles. You may increase the number of circles to 10 to 15 as you get stronger. Besides, you are bound to feel the pressure mounting in the lower abdominal area. As far as you do not experience pain, this is an expected reaction, especially if you have not performed this exercise before.

Scissors
Scissors

Lying on your back with your hands under your butt, contract your lower abs and tighten your leg muscles, and lift both your legs up, until they are about two feet off the floor. Now, without bending the knees, get your right leg across your left leg, so that both legs are crossed. Untwine only to reverse the position of the legs. Keep repeating this scissoring action, with your lower abs contracted, about 8 to 10 times in the beginning. Increase it to 15 to 20 reps as you get stronger.

Double Leg Lifts
Double Leg Lifts

Lie down on your back with your hands placed under your butt and palms facing the floor. Then, contracting your lower abdominal muscles, and tightening the muscles of your legs, lift them straight up vertically, and hold them there for a few seconds.

Lower them down, until they are a few inches off the floor, and hold it there again for a few seconds. Repeat 5 to 8 times, to begin with. Later, you may increase the reps to 15 to 20 times. As you get even stronger, you can lift your head and shoulders, too, off the floor while performing the leg lifts.


What You Ought to Know

Eat Right
If you are on a tummy-trimming spree, know that only sticking to low-fat foods won't help you strike a square deal. The truth lies in including the right kind of low-fat diet coupled with cardiovascular workouts. Besides, it is your complete diet that decides the fat you bulk up. Remember: Slashing out starch, too, may not get you the desired results. What depends is the portion of food you consume.

Focus
When you exercise, just exercise; there is absolutely no reason why you must think about a party you have to host the coming week, or about a nasty argument with your team lead that turned tempest in a teapot. Know that a mindless workout is not likely to reap you the ab benefits you desire. Shut the mind chatter, switch off the television, and make way for some mindful moves.

Rest
If you thought working your ab muscles every single day is good, you are on the wrong track. Well, if you are working out to the point of exhaustion, you must rest your ab muscles for a day and resume the next day. Overexerting your muscles plays spoiler to your plan as muscles need to repair and recover from the fatigue, or the positive wear-and-tear session it has gone through.

Plan
Crunching is not the only way you would land a flat tummy. Exercises that get your body to twist, turn, and rotate from the waist are helpful in building and maintaining a fantastic midsection. Besides, you don't run the risk of feeling worn out if your routine consists of more than just ab crunches.

Warm Up
The reason is plain and simple: A warm-up is a must to prevent injury. It helps you loosen up and workout even better. Besides, when we look to a smart "return on investment," we do not prefer our muscles feeling sore in the midst of our endeavor!

Go Slow, yet Steady
Equating vigor with obtaining flat abs is not one 'complete' fact. Though vigor toward your goal is an asset, overenthusiastic ab workout sessions may backfire without warning. You will feel the ab flab melting only when you go slow.

Remember: The lower abdominal region is a difficult area to access. Therefore, you will have to be consistent with the exercises to see the results for yourself. Along with these exercises, it is recommended that you include some cardiovascular exercises in your routine for better results. Besides, it is also advisable that you seek professional help to accomplish your goals with better effectivity.