Toning the lower abdominal muscles can be a challenge, but if you are willing to do lower ab exercises on a consistent basis, you can achieve a more svelte physique. However, it's important to note that not all abdominal exercises target the lower abs. As such, it's best to make sure any new exercises you find on the Internet or in books list the lower abs among the targeted muscle groups.
The reverse crunch is one good lower ab exercise, although it does work the other ab regions as well. To do it, recline with your back firmly on the floor, preferably on a mat or another soft, but supportive surface. Place your hands either behind your head or next to you on the floor.
Next, pull your knees up to your chest, keeping your feet held together or crossing them. Stop when your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. Now, curl your hips off the floor, moving your legs toward the ceiling. Use your ab muscles to perform this motion; don’t swing your legs to help with the movement or create momentum.
Another popular movement in lower ab exercises is scissoring. To perform this movement, lie on your back on a soft but supportive surface, and place your hands under your buttocks. Lift both of your legs 2 feet (60.96 centimeters) off the floor by contracting your abs and the muscles in your legs. Cross one leg over the other, without bending at the knee.
Now, open and close your legs, so that you are reversing the positioning of your legs. On one crossing, the left leg goes over the right. On the next one, the right leg goes over the left. Repeat this scissoring action several times, keeping your ab muscles contracted.
A circular motion can also be good for lower ab exercises. You'll want to lie on your back again, with your hands under your rear. Now contract your lower abs and move your legs off the floor, just raising them a few inches for this exercise. Next, cycle your legs together in a circular motion, moving clockwise first, lowering your legs to the floor for a few seconds of rest, and then performing the exercise again by doing counterclockwise circles.
When you perform lower ab exercises, keep your back firmly planted on the floor. If you use your back muscles to lift your legs or hips, you will strain them, which will probably prove painful and hamper you efforts to achieve toned abs. Also, it’s important to do lower ab exercises slowly. If you do lower ab exercises too fast and use momentum to move your body, you will decrease the exercises' effectiveness. Start out with 8 to 10 repetitions at first, and slowly move up to 15 to 20 repetitions as your body becomes used to the exercises.