There are ways to really drill down to your transverse abdominis, those lower abs that hide in your pelvis and cause belly pooch and lower back problems when they’re weak. In addition to the pike crunch we mentioned above, try out this trick stolen from Pilates.
Start by lying on your back, head on the floor, arms at your sides, legs extended straight up in the air, knees and feet together and toes pointed.
Focus on pulling your bellybutton and your lower pelvis toward your spine and keeping them there, with your lower back flat against the floor.
Peel your head, neck and shoulder blades off the mat. Keep your neck loose–don’t look at your stomach, but instead gaze at the line where your thighs meet.
Lower your legs so they form a 45 degree angle with the floor, keeping legs straight and together and toes pointed.
Lift your arms off the floor, keeping them straight with palms down.
Now pump the arms downward in short, small movements, as if you were splashing in a pool. Maintain good form with your head, neck, shoulders and legs, keeping those abs pulled back toward your spine. Be sure you use your abs–not your neck, arms or legs–to hold this pose.
Try this move for 15-30 seconds at a time to start, working your way up to a minute at a time. It may not look like much, but you’ll soon realize this move can tone and target!