You can be a weight lifter or a power stepper and still not be targeting those lower abdominal muscles. The fact is, the lower abs comprise one of the most difficult areas of the body to tone. Try a few of the following exercises in tandem to burn away the excess fat that likes to reside in the lower abs while toning the muscles.
Special Abdominal Crunches
Your regular abdominal crunches are excellent for the overall abdominal area, but it is going to take some special crunches to get to the area below the belly button. Exercise-ball crunches are perfect for toning the lower abs. Lie on the ball with your feet flat against the floor. Make sure your lower back rests at the top of the ball. With your hands supporting your upper neck, exhale, contract your muscles and roll your shoulders until your chest lifts toward your knees. Slowly return to the starting position. Aim for 15 to 20 crunches, and build from there.
Strengthen the lower abdominal and oblique muscles with a crossover version of the crunch. Lie down on a towel or a mat. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands at the lower neck for support. Bend the right leg and place the right ankle on your left knee. Contract your abdominal muscles, exhale and slowly raise your left elbow toward your right knee. Make sure it is your abdominals, and not your neck, doing the work. Inhale and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 15 times, and then switch sides.
Targeting a specific body area to tone will not work unless you also burn the extra fat that covers the muscles. If you are already doing cardio workouts, try stepping it up a level or doing a cross-training routine that combines different fat-burning activities. Interval training, in which you work the body to its limit for a short burst, take a brief rest and then repeat the cycle a few times, is another technique for burning fat quickly.