Having to pick between watching another Netflix episode or getting off the couch and heading to the gym is the ultimate struggle. But what if you didn’t have to choose? What if we told you that you could find out what happens next on Scandal all while scoring killer abs?
This issue with traditional abs exercises is they often don’t target the entire abdominal region. Your lower abs, the bottom portion of your “six-pack,” are a little harder to sculpt with just a standard sit up, explains Amy Roberts, head trainer at F45 Training Four Points in Austin, Texas. To engage that hard-to-access area, she suggests doing exercises that round your lower spine to directly access the lower abs since, in conventional abs exercises, you’re not working your lower spine to fire up those lower abs muscles.
Here are three lower abs exercises you can do the next time you feel like Netflix and not-quite-chilling. Do one exercise—or go through them all as a sequence if you’re feeling up to the challenge.
PLANK WITH KNEE TUCK
Get in the plank position: Make sure your shoulders are directly over your elbows and that you’re on your toes with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Drive your right knee to your right elbow. Hold for two seconds, and return your right leg to the starting position. Mirror the same movement with your left knee, and repeat for three sets of 10 reps. As you reach your knee forward, your spine should round, creating abdominal flexion, which strengthens the core muscles, Roberts says.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the ground. Pull your belly button toward your spine, leaving no gap between your lower back and the floor. Hold for 30 seconds, making sure to continue to breathe regularly. Repeat four times.
SUPINE KNEE LIFTS
Lie on your back with your feet planted on the floor. Place a folded towel or yoga block between your knees (not pictured). Squeeze the towel or block, exhale, and drive your knees upward toward your chest, lifting your lower back off of the floor as you do. Slowly release legs back to starting position, letting each vertebra return to the floor one at a time. Do 10 reps.