by Anton Reid
Your lower belly, also called your lower abdominal, is comprised of muscles that assist in protecting delicate organs, while providing propulsion and stability. These muscles are attached to your pelvis and help keep your upper and lower body stable while stationary or moving. Your lower belly is sensitive to contractions and can be strengthened through simple movements, activities or exercises. You can perform many of these exercises, which require little or no equipment, while sitting down to add strength and stability to your abdominals for a more balanced physique and stronger posture.
Stomach vacuums target your transverse abdominal muscles, also called your inner abs. Tone your lower abs with stomach vacuums by sitting at the edge of a chair, with your back, shoulders and head straight. Inhale as much as possible, expanding your stomach and then exhale as much as possible while pulling your stomach far in, as if you were attempting to have your navel touch your backbone. Hold this position for 20 seconds to complete one rep, breathing normally, but without extending your stomach. Inhale as you slowly bring your stomach back to the starting position. Perform three sets of two reps.
Chair crunches are a convenient variation to standard crunches that can be done at work or while watching TV. Sit upright in a chair, with your back and neck straight. Hold onto the sides of the seat of the chair. Place your knees close together and then lift them toward your chest, hold for one second and slowly lower them back to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 reps.
Seated Leg Raises
Seated leg raises engage your rectus abdominis and obliques as stabilizers, stretching and toning your lower abs as your hip flexors are stimulated. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair with your legs extended to the floor. Lean your upper body back and balance your body weight on the edge of the bench. Flex your hips and knees, raising your legs and bringing your knees up toward your chest. Pull your upper body slightly forward to meet your knees. Return to the starting position by extending your hips and knees, leaning your upper body back. Perform three sets of 20 reps.
Seated Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are another variation of classic ab crunches that add strength and definition to your lower belly. Sit at the edge of a chair or bench. Grasp the seat of the chair and lift your legs until they are parallel to the ground. Slightly lean your torso backward to counterbalance your lower body as you contract your abs and perform a bicycle pedaling motion with your legs. Continue to pedal for 30 seconds for one rep. Complete three sets of two reps.