Have you been ogling Kendall Jenner’s abs (or maybe that’s just me?) and you’re just dying to understand why, no matter how much you exercise, you can’t get her flat stomach?
Most of us who exercise regularly can agree that the hardest part, especially for women, is getting rid of that lower ab “pooch.”
You may be on a great streak even: exercising regularly, getting fit, feeling great….but alas…the pooch is still there! But how? Why? It’s been months of doing crunches and enduring pain and sweat (and maybe even some tears.)
“Why do you hate me?!” you scream to your body in a crowded gym.
Before you suffer a public mental breakdown, let’s first talk about the reasons why you might be struggling:
- Hormones/gynecological issues
- Tummy problems (i.e. food sensitivity, irritable bowl syndrome, etc)
- Poor posture
- Tight hips
- Not enough water
After looking at this list do a self examination.
- Do you suffer from a hormonal or gynecological problem such as endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or heavy and painful periods and could that be why you’re struggling? Have you spoken to a doctor about resolving some of your problems/symptoms?
- Have you been diagnosed with celiac disease or irritable bowl syndrome? Have you noticed that maybe you’re eating something that your body doesn’t want you to, for instance, dairy or gluten. Have you tried a change in your diet?
- What about your posture? Do you tend to slouch without even noticing it? Ask your friends and/or family to alert you when you’re slouching so you can be quick to correct this habit your body has gotten into. You may even notice instant results if you look in the mirror and watch yourself stand up straight.
- What about your hips? Often times people have tight hips that push their lower stomach out in which case you may want to try certain stretches that focus solely on tight hip flexors.
- Ask yourself: Do I neglect to drink as much water as I should? Do I drink water every day? How much water should a person my size and with my activities be drinking? After your self evaluation, set a goal and stick to it. You may start gradually noticing a difference in how much water your body is retaining. If you’re not getting enough water, your body tends to store an “emergency” supply which can lead to you looking bloated even when you’re dieting.
So now that you’ve narrowed down your issue(s) you can start doing the exercises to strengthen your core and target your lower abs.
I know that I, personally, have struggled with determining why it is that my lower stomach fat would not disappear to the best of my abilities. After concluding that my problem was actually multiple problems, I was able to get started on training my body but this time in the right way.
Now, to remind you, these exercises are going to have best results if you’re a) stretching first, b) drinking enough water and c) eating properly.
With that being said, here is my favorite list of exercises for getting rid of that lower belly fat.
(These are all taken from Greatest.com. I’ve only included the exercises I personally include in my routine and that don’t require any equipment. Here is the complete list. You can also check out the instructor/trainer featured in these gifs at her personal website.)
Lie faceup, hands under your butt, knees bent, feet lifted into table top position. Slowly lower your flexed feet forward until your heels barely touch the ground. Squeeze your abdominals to help raise your feet back up to table top.
From a high plank position, with your body straight and hips level, lift right foot and draw right knee to chest between your hands. As you return right leg to plank, lift left foot and draw left knee to chest between your hands. Continue to alternate as quickly as possible, keeping your core tight and without hiking your hips.
Lie faceup, hands behind your head, lifting head and shoulders off the floor. Using your abdominals, lift legs slightly off the ground and scissor kick, alternating one up and one down. Focus on not straining your neck or jutting your chin forward.
Cross Body Climber
From a high plank position with your body straight, hips level, and core braced, lift right leg and draw right knee toward left elbow. As you return right leg to plank, lift left leg and draw left knee toward right elbow. Continue to alternate.
Lie faceup, with legs extended, knees together, feet flexed, arms overhead. Take a big inhale. As you exhale, lift arms up and forward, and use your abs to slowly roll up to a sitting position. Squeezing abs again, slowly lower down to starting position.
Lie faceup, legs extended, feet together, arms extended overhead. Inhale, and as you exhale, squeeze abs and raise right arm and left leg, touching hand to foot. Inhale and slowly lower to starting position. Repeat for 15 seconds, then switch sides for 15 seconds.
Do you have any favorite exercises to keep your lower belly fat in control? Have you tried these and seen results? Share in the comments!
Remember: When exercising always use caution. Not staying hydrated, not stretching, or doing the exercises incorrectly can cause you harm. Pace yourself! Every body is different. If you can only start with 3 reps then only do 3 reps. It’s important to build your strength. Otherwise you risk making yourself sick or injuring yourself.