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The #1 Lower-Belly Strength Workout for Women To Stay Lean

Get your lower-belly into tip-top shape with a trainer's go-to workout routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

If you're looking to get your lower belly into tip-top shape, you've come to the right place. Melting belly fat and sculpting a lean midsection is a common fitness goal I see among female clients. Although the lower belly can be challenging to work on, it's certainly not impossible with the right approach. This region of the body is of utmost importance to train for a variety of health and fitness reasons, including the maintenance of an overall lean physique. That's why I've put together the #1 lower-belly strength workout for women to stay lean and toned.

The following routine is incredibly effective if you want to stay fit. While these strength exercises are great for both men and women alike, they are especially important for women who need to hit their lower core area with extra emphasis, whether that be from postpartum recovery or for simply remaining strong throughout day-to-day life. I recommend combining this workout with a diet that helps you maintain a caloric deficit, as well as with regular aerobic exercise.

For each exercise, perform 12 repetitions. Rest for 60 seconds between sets, and complete a total of three sets. Aim to do the full workout at least twice per week. Keep reading to learn more about this #1 lower-belly strength workout for women to stay lean, and when you're done, don't miss out on the 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises To Lose Belly Overhang in 30 Days.


high plank

The plank is a foundational exercise that targets the rectus abdominis, obliques, and erector spinae, providing a multitude of stimulus to the key muscles that make up your core.

To perform a plank, start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Stretch your legs back, placing your weight on the balls of your feet. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders, and ensure your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Engage your abs, keeping your hips from sagging. Hold this position for the target time.

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Leg Raises

illustration of leg lifts

This next exercises focuses on the rectus abdominis, particularly the lower segment.

To perform leg raises, lie flat on your back with your hands by your sides or placed under your glutes. Keeping your legs straight, raise them together toward the ceiling. Lower them back down without letting them touch the ground. Squeeze at the end range for about one second. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Dead Bugs

illustration of dead bug exercise, lower-belly strength workout

The dead bug exercise provides a combination of lower abdominal strengthening and cross-body activation as you alternate your upper and lower body movements. It is an ideal core exercise for postpartum recovery and general core strengthening alike.

To perform a dead bug, lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your knees bent at 90 degrees. Lower your right arm behind you while simultaneously stretching your left leg out. Return to the starting position, and switch sides. Ensure your back remains in contact with the floor throughout. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Side Plank with Leg Lift

side plank leg raise, lower-belly strength workout

The side plank exercise aids in hip stabilization and strengthens the side muscles, offering support during daily tasks like lifting or carrying. It works the obliques, gluteus medius, and rectus abdominis. Adding the leg lift increases the difficulty of the move. You can perform standard side planks, holding for 30 seconds on each side, if the leg lift variation is too challenging.

To perform a side plank with leg lift, begin in a side plank position on your left hand or forearm, legs out straight. Raise your right leg as high as you can. Lower it back down without letting it touch the left leg. Ensure your body remains in a straight line. Repeat for the target repetitions, and switch sides.

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Flutter Kicks

flutter kicks, lower-belly strength workout

This lower-belly strength workout wraps up with the flutter kick. This exercise is ideal for targeting the lower abs and hip flexors.

To perform flutter kicks, lie flat on your back, placing your hands under your glutes. Lift your legs a few inches off the ground. Make small, rapid, up-and-down motions with your legs. Keep your abs engaged and your lower back pressed to the floor. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler