How to Exercise and Tone Your Lower Stomach
Many people complain about their flabby stomach when the stomach may not really the problem. They may actually be storing more fat in their lower abdominal region than the tummy.
Remember, your stomach starts right below your breastbone and down to your navel area. Your lower abdominals start near the navel area and go down to the pelvic region.
Examine your body in the mirror. Look at where the fat is stored. You may notice that your actual stomach is pretty flat, but the area around your belly button still protrudes and is the real problem.
If this is case, your problem is your lower abdominal region more so than your stomach.
Fat is stored here for a number of reasons. For some, it's genetic and that just happens to be where the body stores its fat. Unfortunately we can't tell our fat where to go so there is nothing you can do about this.
For others it may be indigestion. If your food is not digesting properly, it can cause a bulge in your lower abdominal area. IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) is another common cause for this problem).
Be sure to seek help from your physician if you think your problem may be related to something other than a bad diet and lack of exercise.
Change Your Diet FirstBefore you begin exercising your lower stomach, remember that your diet has to change in order to see any results.
I feel like a broken record but I must repeat this in case you haven't read other pages on this site...
You cannot spot tone your stomach. You have to lower your entire body's total fat percentage in order slim down your tummy.
If you remember nothing else from this website, please remember that statement.
In addition to your stomach exercises you must evaluate and be prepared to make changes in your diet.
Now, let's get down to exercising the lower stomach area.
Double Straight Legged StretchI went over this exercise on the Pilates page. It is very, very good for toning up the lower abdominal area. In fact, after about 5 repetitions you can really feel that area working.
To perform this exercise:
1. Lie on your back with your legs straight.
2. Slowly raise your head and neck off the mat as if you're starting a basic crunch. Place your hands behind your head.
3. Bend both legs in and raise them off the floor then straighten and point them in the air at 11 o'clock. Keep your head and neck off the floor.
4. Slowly move both legs down (keeping them together and as straight as you can) until they are about a foot from the floor.
5. Now raise them back up and begin again.
6. Repeat this 10 times.
You should really feel your lower abdominal muscles working after only a few repetitions. As you get comfortable with them, push yourself to do more and more.
Chair Leg LiftsYou can perform this exercise in almost any kind of office or desk chair.
Sit upright with your back flat against the back of your chair.
Place your hands on the desk in front of you or on the seat of the chair by your legs.
Slowly lift your knees up toward your chest and hold for 5 seconds.
Then slowly lower them back down, resting your feet on the floor.
Breath out when you lift your legs up and inhale when you lower them to the floor.
In the beginning, you may find that you're only able to do a few of these. That's okay. As your abdominals get stronger, you'll be able to do more. Hang in there.
Pelvic ThrustsStart by lying on your back with your knees bent and arms straight beside you.
Slowly lift and tilt your pelvis upward as you exhale. As you tilt your pelvis, be sure you keep your lower back on the floor so you get the most out of the movement.
Hold the movement for about 5 seconds and inhale as your relax your buttocks back down on the floor.
Do about 10 to 15 reps and take a 90 second break between sets. Perform a total of 4 sets.