What Kind of Situps Work Your Lower Stomach?

by Lynda Schwartz, Demand Media
    The bicycle crunch hurts in a good way.

    The bicycle crunch hurts in a good way.

    The troublesome lower stomach has many names when it is loose and out-of shape. Whether you call it a spare tire or a muffin top, this particular body part requires specific exercises to bring about the tight and toned stomach often flaunted on television and magazine covers. Not all situps or crunches target this pesky area, but certain types of crunches do develop the lower stomach and give you the sexy midsection you always wanted.

    Lying Leg Raises

    Lying leg raises use the weight of your legs as resistance for your lower abs. While lying on your back, raise your legs until they sit at a 90-degree angle to your stomach. Slowly lower your legs to the ground and feel your lower stomach begin to burn. Slowly raise your legs and repeat. The burning you feel in your abs tells you the crunch is working. You need to adjust your body position if you feel any pain in your lower back.

    Bicycle Crunch

    This is a difficult crunch to perform but does wonders for your lower stomach. Lying flat on your back with both hands behind your head, lift both legs. Leave one leg straight with your foot sitting 4 to 6 inches off the ground. Bend the knee of the other leg toward your chest while bringing your opposing elbow to the bent knee. Repeat with the other leg while keeping your heels off the floor. You will feel the effects of this exercise rather quickly. Set your heels on the ground for a second or two if you need a rest.

    Captain’s Chair

    The captain’s chair is a vertical crunch that requires a Roman chair and is similar in movement to lying leg raises. Although the movement is similar, the need to balance your weight on the chair increases its effectiveness on your lower stomach. Remember to lift your legs with your abs, without swinging your body. Swinging your body will put pressure on your lower back, causing pain and potential injury.

    V Situps

    V situps require a moderate level of physical fitness, a strong back and a padded butt to perform them correctly. Lying flat on your back, lift both legs and both arms off the ground until your body forms a V. Like all situps that target the abs, this exercise will feel awkward at first and become easier to perform once your muscles become stronger and used to the movement.

    About the Author

    Lynda Schwartz is a fitness professional who began writing in 2004. She has contributed to "Women's Day" and "Good Housekeeping" magazines, as well as covered fitness and well-being for online publications. Schwartz holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and health promotion.

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