No amount of lower-abs workouts will magically make your abs pop or offer the ultimate solution for how to get rid of belly flab, yet women and men are constantly searching for exercises that will help eliminate a loose or puffy lower-ab area.

Focusing on the activation of your core is the key to success with these moves. In fact, people who mentally focus on their muscles and how they move experience greater muscle activity, which can result in greater strength gains over time.

Do the prescribed number of sets and reps for each lower abs exercise consecutively, taking a 45- to 60-second rest between sets. Perform the full lower-abs workout on 3 or 4 non-consecutive days each week. (Or pick a few of your favourite moves and add them into your regular routine.)

90-Degree Static Press:

This lower-abs exercise is a great way to wake up your core at the beginning of your workout or as a stand-alone exercise any time you want to squeeze in some extra ab work.

90-Degree Static Press

How to:

  • Lie face-up with knees and hips bent 90 degrees, feet flexed.
  • Extend arms and press both palms on top of thighs.
  • Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, brace abs in tight, pressing lower back against the floor as you push thighs into hands, pushing back against them (note: your legs should not move).
  • Hold for 1 count and then release.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in a row.

Make it harder: As you exhale, lift your head and shoulders off the floor as you press thighs and palms together. Lower upper body back down to the floor as you inhale.

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Resisted Single-Leg Stretch:

This Pilates-inspired move uses the same pressing action as the static press to deepen the engagement of your abdominals. The weight of your extended leg makes it more challenging.

Resisted Single-Leg Stretch

How to:

  • Lie on back and bend both knees into your chest, feet flexed.
  • Interlace fingers on top of right thigh and extend left leg out parallel to the floor.
  • Lift head and shoulders off the floor, curling up over the top of rib cage and looking at legs.
  • Press palms against right thigh while tipping pelvis to bring right knee in toward chest (your hands should add resistance to your leg).
  • Switch legs and press palms against the left thigh as right leg extends parallel to the floor.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in a row.

Make it harder: Keep both legs straight, pressing against the top of thigh as one leg pulls in, and then perform a scissoring action to switch sides.

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This may be a small movement, but it works your lower abdominals in a big way!


How to:

  • Sit with knees bent, feet flat on the ground.
  • Lean back to prop upper body up on elbows (your back should remain lifted), palms facing down.
  • Brace abs in tight and lift legs into a 90-degree angle (knees should be touching), toes pointed.
  • Slowly bring legs over to the left (both hips should remain on the ground).
  • Keeping the 90-degree angle with legs, lower legs and then lift them up to the right, as if you were tracing a letter “U” with your knees.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 20 reps total, alternating sides each time.

Make it harder: The longer the lever, the harder this gets, so if you want more of a challenge, try extending your legs out farther (even straightening them completely).

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Reverse Plank Hover:

This is another move that’s much harder than it looks. You’ll engage your abs and just about every other muscle in your body!

Reverse Plank Hover

How to:

  • Sit with your legs extended, feet flexed, hands just outside your hips with your fingertips facing your forward.
  • Brace your abs in tight and press down through your arms to lift your hips a few inches off of the floor.
  • Bend your knees slightly, keeping your heels on the ground.
  • Inhale and scoop your abs in deeper towards your back, and as you exhale, fully extend your legs and try to push your hips slightly behind your shoulders.
  • Hold for 1 count.
  • Bend your knees and return hips under your shoulders to gently lower to the floor.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Repeat up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

Make it harder: Instead of lowering your hips back down to the ground in between reps, try to keep them lifted off the floor the entire set.

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Criss Cross Lift and Switch:

This two-for-one Pilates move is a great lower abs exercise—but definitely works your entire core.

Criss Cross Lift and Switch

How to:

  • Lie on back with arms at sides.
  • Extend both legs straight up to the ceiling, crossing right leg over left, toes pointed.
  • Brace abs in tight, inhale, and lower legs about 45 degrees.
  • As you exhale, bring legs back into body and lift legs overhead on an angle, lifting hips and back off the floor, pressing down with arms for support.
  • Pause for 1 count, and then slowly roll through spine to lower hips and bring legs back to the starting position.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Make it easier: This move is tough, so if you can’t lift your hips all the way off the floor, take your time to get stronger before attempting. Start by practising drawing your legs up and over, and see if you can lift just a few inches off the mat and then immediately lower.

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Inching Elbow Plank:

You’ll feel every inch of this plank in your abs—along with your arms and shoulders too.

Inching Elbow Plank

How to:

  • Begin in an elbow plank position, hands clasped, with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Step left foot toward hands as you begin to lift hips up slightly, quickly taking another step in with right foot, lifting hips a little more.
  • Step the left foot in again, lifting hips higher and then again with the right, so hips end lifted high in a pike position.
  • Slowly inch back out, reversing the way you walked in, until you return to the starting plank pose.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 5 reps.

Make it harder: Take larger steps in to raise your hips even higher in the pike position, and increase the number of reps per set from 5 to 10.

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Full Plank Passé Twist:

Engage those hard-to-target obliques with this dynamic twist on the traditional plank.

Full Plank Passé Twist

How to:

  • Begin in a full plank position with feet together.
  • Bend right knee across to the left as you slide right foot up to the inside of left knee into a passé position (your hips should turn to the left and you’ll pivot slightly on the ball of your left foot).
  • Slide right leg back to starting position and then repeat to the left.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

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Frog Press:

This lower abs workout move targets your core and your inner and outer thighs all at once.

Frog Press

How to :

  • Lie face-up with knees bent and turned out, feet flexed, and heels pressed together.
  • Inhale and lift head and shoulders off the floor, curling up over rib cage, looking at legs.
  • Reach arms outside of hips off of the floor, palms facing down.
  • As you exhale, press out through heels and extend legs 45 degrees, squeezing the backs of knees together.
  • Inhale and bend heels back into body.
  • That’s 1 rep.
  • Do up to 3 sets of 10 reps.

Make it harder: Extend your legs lower to the ground as you press out, or keep both legs extended and turned out, and then lift and lower them instead of bending and extending—just be sure your back stays down during the movement!