Exercising your lower abdominal muscles regularly can help prevent back pain. Building up the muscles in your core can help to stabilize your spine(1). If you suffer from chronic lower back pain, it’s time to start working out.
Here are some simple, easy exercises that are great for your lower abs. These exercises can be done at your own pace, in your own home – no need for a gym – and will help strengthen your core muscles, but especially your lower abdominal muscles.
1. The Reverse Curl Up
In addition to working out your abdominal muscles, this exercise puts the pelvic floor muscles to work, which can help prevent incontinence later in life. Work your way up until you can perform 30 reps in one go. Make sure to cross your legs!
2. The Oblique Twist
The oblique twists are supremely effective at reducing a protruding lower belly. They principally activate both the internal and external oblique muscles and in so doing, also nip in the sides of the waist creating the enviable hour-glass figure.
The hardest part of the oblique twists action is changing direction and pulling the legs back the other way, and this is when it’s tempting to push into the floor with the arms, that must be resisted. It is also important to keep the thighs together and not lift one leg at a time when swinging the legs up and over the body the other way. Ideally, you should perform 15 oblique twists to both sides in one lower abs strengthening session.
3. The Legs Passing
The third and final exercise for the lower abdominal muscles is the legs passing. While this exercise may seem simple at first, it’s deceptively complex! To perform this exercise, lie on your back, and raise and lower your legs reciprocally – meaning as you raise one, you lower the other, mimicking a walking motion. This dual action strengthens your abdominal muscles by relaxing your hips and switching “off” your upper back muscles, making your abdominal muscles do all the work.
Make sure you don’t straighten out your legs as you lower them, but keep them bent at the knee. Straightening your legs as you perform this exercise can actually exacerbate existing back problems. You want to keep your hops as relaxed as possible. Ideally, you should perform 15 of this exercise in each daily session.