The lower abdominal "pouch" afflicts even the most dedicated exercisers. According to Ask the Trainer, "Your body likes to store fat in the lower abdominal region. This makes it doubly difficult to reduce the bulge in that area." Getting rid of the pouch takes work. Eating right, doing cardio such as running or biking, and targeting the lower abdominals with specific exercises are keys to shrinking your lower belly. As you perform these exercises, do them properly at your own pace.
Lie on your back on a mat or carpet with your arms extended straight behind your head. Use your abdominal strength to lift both your legs and arms at the same time, keeping your lower back, arms and legs straight. Exhale and slowly lower your arms and legs toward the floor to return to the starting position.
The jackknife can be done with your knees bent or kept straight, whichever is more comfortable for you. Lie on the floor, an exercise mat or a bench if you're up for a challenge. If you're on a bench, keep only your upper body (from your hips up) on the bench. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind your head. Bring your knees and shoulders together to complete a "crunch." Straighten your legs and return your back and shoulders to the ground as you lower your body back into the starting position.
Lie on your back on the floor with your feet straight in the air and your legs as straight as possible. Your legs should form a 90 degree angle with your hips. Straighten your arms on the floor so that they extend straight from your sides. Keep your lower back on the floor throughout the exercise. Flex your abdominal muscles as you turn both legs to the left, moving them downwards toward the floor on your left side. When your legs reach the floor, raise your legs back to the centre position. Repeat the exercise while lowering your legs toward your right side.
Lie on your back on the floor with your feet a few inches above the ground. Extend your legs as far as is comfortable for you. Begin to move your legs quickly up and down as if you are kicking while you swim. As one leg moves down toward the floor, the other should move up toward the ceiling. Keep your back on the floor. To increase the difficulty, wear ankle weights.
To visualise this exercise, imagine the motion of a pair of scissors as they cut. Lie on your back on the floor, again with your feet a few inches above the ground. Spread both legs outward away from your centre as far as you can. Bring your legs back together, crossing your left leg over your right. Spread your legs out to the side again, bring them together and cross the right leg over your left. For added difficulty, add ankle weights.
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