Not all ab exercises are created equally! When it comes to effectiveness often the ones that look easy are actually doing the most work – especially core and lower ab exercises! This is because you really need to dig deep and focus on form, strength and stability rather than smashing out massive reps.
The lower ab area can easily be missed in some old school exercises (we’re looking at you crunches) but the good news is, they’re pretty easy to target with some simple (yet deceptively challenging!) moves. Enter Pilates! Known for it’s low impact, targeted approach it’s the perfect source for your killer core moves.
If you’re looking to target those lower abs and strengthen your core, we’ve got you covered with these 5 faves from Pilates expert Kira Elste, creator of the Fittbe Pilates and Barre Apps for fun video workouts anytime, anywhere!
1. Hands to Knees Opposition
This fab exercise offers a total core challenge and definitely hits those lower abs. Though you might not look like you’re doing much, that could’t be more wrong!
Tighten your core (our daily Pilates mantra), and pull your knees up into a table top position.
Be sure to keep them glued together. Now, roll your head and shoulders up off of the mat, tightening your core even further. Yes, you can!
Place your hand on your knees. Simply press your hands into your knees as you try to press your knees back toward your hands! All that work goes straight to your core and is a great warm up for the lower abs.
2. Floor to Table Top Hinges
For this one, you really want to make sure you are pressing your lower back into the mat before you even start. You’ll get the most out of the exercise and you’ll protect that precious back.
Roll up into a crunch position with your abs engaged as much as you can. Reach your arms out in front of yourself with images of length and extension.
Your feet should begin just a bit wider than your hips. It’s now time for the big move. Engage your core and thighs. Lift your legs as one unit to a table top position. Hold for 3 counts, and then lower very slowly. Engage your lower abs even further as you take your legs back to the floor.
3. Straight Leg Hip Lifts
Quite possibly the best lower ab exercise of all time!
Reach two legs up to the sky, and straighten them as much as you can. Keep your head resting on the floor with your arms to your sides and slightly pressing into your mat.
Engage your core, and try to lift your hips up off of your mat. The intention and the initiation of the movement will be working and you will notice progress as you continue to practice his toughie!
4. Double Leg Hinge
This one is all about what you can do today. The important thing is not so much how the exercise looks, but how it feels!
Reach both legs, pressing together, up to the sky. Now, flatten out your lower back toward your mat. Tighten your core and give yourself three counts to lower your legs. It is much more important to be mindful about tightening your core than to go super low. If you focus on form, you’ll be down to the mat in no time safely.
After lowering for 3 counts, summon that strength and pull your legs as one unit, back up to the sky!
5. Flutter Kicks with Giselle Arms
This is for all of my buddies who have spent some time at the Ballet Barre! For this exercise, start by tightening your core and once more press your lower back toward your mat. Reach your legs outward to a kick position.
Roll up with your shoulder blades off of the mat, and take your arms to an inwardly rotated position toward your beautiful face!
Switch kicking legs, and raise up a bit higher, keeping your arms here they are. Lower down as you switch again. I suggest about 8 of these. Then, switch sides so that your “raise up” is now with the opposite leg!
Add these 5 moves into your routine and see how much strength and stability you gain throughout your core, especially through those lower abs.
What ab or core exercise do you love?
Fittbe puts professional instruction in your hands everyday with a complimentary trial and then a 50 cent price tag. So, they are even more affordable than that matcha latte!
Live your best fit life and give yourself unlimited Pilates video workouts in the palm of your hand. With an always expanding catalog of videos from Fittbe Pilates creator, Kira Elste, you will always find the perfect session to get you looking and feeling fit and fabulous!
You can checkout Kira’s new Fittbe Warm Up and Stretching Apps here:
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