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Do Not Neglect Your Lower Stomach Exercises

By Marc

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An important and sometimes neglected step in stomach exercise routines is isolating particular muscles within the abdominal group. One such set of muscles which needs isolation in order to be exercised properly are the muscles in the lower stomach.

There are a number of stomach exercises which isolate and work these muscles. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

The Crunch less Crunch: This first exercise is fairly simple but can also be fairly difficult. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating.

To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible and then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds.

If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominals. When you feel this, let the contraction out.

The Alternating Toe Touch: You will need to lie on a flat surface for this stomach exercise. The floor works best, using a mat or towel to cushion the spine. Lie on the floor and put your feet up in the air. Extend your right arm and use your lower abdominals to lift your shoulders off the floor. Touch your left toes with your right hand and then lower yourself back down. Switch hands and repeat. Keep your knees straight throughout and maintain a space between your chin and chest.

Sit Up and Hold: While you are still on the floor, try this stomach exercise. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor and position your hands behind your head. Keep your elbows back so you cannot see them-- do not put them alongside your head. Use your lower abdominals to lift your shoulders off the floor. Hold for ten seconds. You may increase the number of seconds you hold as it gets easier. Be sure to lift with your abdominals and not with your arms or neck.

Lower Back and Flatten: This stomach exercise is a good natural progression from the sit-up hold, as it starts from the same basic position: lying down, knees bent, feet flat. You may have noticed when you did the previous exercise that there is a natural space between your lower back and the floor, created by the curve of your spine.

In this exercise, you want to use your lower abdominals to push your lower back toward the floor and eliminate this space. Try to focus on pushing with only your lower abdominals and not your legs. Your pelvis will rotate slightly, which is fine so long as the lower abdominals are doing the work. Once you have got your back flat to the floor, hold the contraction for ten seconds. Again, you should continue to build on this time as your stomach muscles gain strength and endurance.

Plank: Get into pushup position on the floor.


Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Your goal should be to hold it for 30 seconds to one minute.

Even though the lower abdominals are one of the hardest areas to work, with proper guidance and support you can strengthen, tone and flatten this area of your stomach.

Marc Ouellette is a Certified In-Home Personal Trainer, Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition and Owner of Personal Training Alliance.

I help busy men and women get thin, burn fat, add lean muscle and help them become more energetic and confident.

I'm offering you a Free In-Home Fitness and Nutrition Consultation to see if we can work together so I can help you reach all your health and fitness goals.

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