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Core-Strengthening & Lower Stomach Exercises

Learn core-strengthening and lower stomach exercises for a boot camp workout from personal trainer Rachel Buschert Vaziralli in this Howcast video.


Let's talk about core strengthening and lower stomach exercises. Here's the thing, everybody always wants to work their lower stomach.

When it comes to the abdominal wall, the rectus abdominis, it's one muscle. You really can't separate the upper from the lower. You fire the abdominal wall, everything's going to fire.

Really, when people are talking about lower stomach, they're probably talking about the deep layer of the abs, your transversus abdominis. It runs across you, kind of like a belt.

If you're thinking about targeting the lower abdominals, I would suggest really focusing on movements where you're drawing the musculature of your abdominal wall inwards, like you're cinching that belt tightly around your waste, so you engage the deep layer, on top of that, adding spinal flexion to engage the superficial layer.

Planks are great for core. Let's go over how you would do a plank.

You're coming on to your elbows, if you're going to do a forearm plank, where your feet about a hip width apart, your elbows are right underneath your shoulders. You want to think about not letting the belly just hang out.

If you just hang out in plank position, without engaging your core, you're not getting the benefits of the plank, which is to pull the belly muscles in, fire up what most people are talking about when they say lower stomach, and then, pulling your abdominals in even deeper. Just breathe and maintain this position.

You could hold it for 30 seconds. You could hold it for a minute. Just as you get stronger, you would maintain the length of time longer and longer.

You need to modify. You lower the knees, making sure you don't collapse. It's like you had a vest on and you were going to button the vest, together. You want to make sure the buttons on that vest don't burst open and collapse.

Pulling the belly in, engaging, careful not to sink in your shoulders but maintaining the alignment through the shoulder joint.

If you wanted to make it harder, again, coming either just one knee would be the next progression. Last progression would be here, or even raising one leg. As long as you can do it without changing the position of your pelvis.

Great ways to engage your core, lower stomach, and you can even take that plank into a side position, still keeping in mind, the pulling in of the [?] TBA, the transversus abdominis, and then raising up to engage along the whole side of your body.

You could do it here. You could raise one leg. There are lots of different variations, but the purpose is to strengthen your core muscles, which is going to help you have better posture. It's going to aid in any other exercise that you do. It's going to be what supports your spine through all different types of movement.

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