Is there a woman on this planet who truly loves her belly? Humans, especially females, tend to store fat in that area, which can lead them to develop a pooch that doesn’t look or feel great. Unfortunately, targeting that specific part of the body can be tedious and challenging, which makes many women feel defeated in the gym.
Don’t give up just yet. Eliminating lower belly fat is possible if you tackle your workouts with precision. Here’s how to schedule your belly-targeting exercises for maximum results and the flat stomach you’ve always wanted.
Run through the lower pooch area exercises (steps 1-5) for a total of 2 sets and then immediately go hard into your selected cardio for 20 minutes. Get this workout in 2-3 times a week for to burn off fat and tighten your pooch.
You’ve probably done your fair share of planks, but you might not have done them like this. Place your hands on the floor directly beneath your shoulders, like in a normal plank, then jump your feet out to the sides so your legs form a V. Then bring them back to the middle. Repeat for a full minute. It’s essentially like jumping jacks, but your arms are supporting your body and remaining still.
Not only does this part of the workout get your heart pumping, but it also forces you to suck in your stomach and focus on that hard-to-reach part of your belly.
You can do 300 crunches a day, but if you’re not doing them correctly, they won’t target your lower belly. This one may look funny, but it’s extremely effective.
Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Lift the legs, arms and head off the ground, keeping your lower back glued to the mat. Touch your heels together so your toes flex out to the sides. Pull your legs in, allowing your knees to bend out to the sides— keep your heels touching together. Extend the legs out to the starting position to complete one rep. If this is too straining, try propping yourself up on your elbows or resting your head on the mat. Take things slow and repeat with purpose. Work to complete as many as you can in a minute.
Once you start doing froggy crunches, you’ll really feel their effects in your lower abdomen. Unlike traditional crunches, this is one move that renders results fast.
Lie on your back with your hands at your side, palms down. Raise the legs to a height where your back is still glued to the mat. Spread the feet apart 1 to 2 feet, pointed or flexed. Cross one leg over the other, uncross and then cross the opposite over top. Pick a pace you like and stick with it. Keep the work in your hip flexors and lower core, not your back.
Repeat this scissoring motion for 60 seconds. Remember to keep your feet at least 6 inches off the floor if you really want to feel the motion in your lower belly. If this strains your lower back, place your hands just under your sacrum or put a slight bend in your knees.
» Get more ab exercises: Ditch Crunches: 50 Core-Sculpting Moves
Lie down on the ground and point your toes to the ceiling so that your body forms an L shape. Keep your hands placed by your bottom, then use your abs to lift your bottom off the ground at least 1-2 inches. Slowly, lower your hips back to the floor with control, then repeat for 60 seconds.
Remember to let your abs and hips do the lifting during this part of the exercise. You want them to bear the brunt of the weight, not your arms or back. Again, if this strains your lower back, place your hands just beneath your sacrum or put a slight bend in your knees.
Begin on all fours. Keeping the core tight throughout this move, reach your left arm out in front of you at shoulder hight, and extend your right leg long behind you. Draw your elbow and knee in towards your center as you round your back, remembering to keep your core tight. Perform exercise on each side for 60 seconds.
This type of crunch doesn’t require you to lie on your back, but it targets your abs nonetheless. In fact, it more accurately reaches your lower belly and engages your abdominal muscles. If you want to amp this move up, hold a light to medium dumbbell (as shown).
Now it’s time to get off the floor and get moving. Without 150 minutes of cardio a week, your stomach will have a hard time looking lean and flat. Hop on the treadmill for a run, jump rope, swim, dance, or find another kind of cardio that gets your heart pumping and your body sweating. It doesn’t have to be a long burst of action; just take twenty minutes to make the activity really count.
If you need some ideas on cardio check out our Top Cardio Workouts for Weight Loss or take a peek at some of our workout videos: High Energy Step Workout, Cardio Hip Hop Dance Party, 20-Minute Tabata Workout or our Fat-Burning Stair Workout.
Even though this is just a thirty-minute workout, your lower belly has undergone some serious work. Take a few minutes to breathe and stretch everything out. Not only will this help your heart rate return to normal, but it will also prevent your muscles from feeling unbearably sore tomorrow.
See? Belly workouts don’t have to be lengthy to be effective. Try this 30-minute routine on your own at least three times a week. Remember to couple the workout with healthy eating, then see what your results look like.