How to Flatten the Lower-Belly Area in Women

How to Flatten the Lower-Belly Area in Women

The lower-belly area can be a problem zone, even for otherwise fit people. Particularly if you've had children, it can be tough to get your stomach muscles to bounce back. Your body type and other hereditary factors can affect how easy it is for you to flatten your belly, and some people will never be able to achieve true washboard abs. However, with regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can shed fat in the area and get closer to your fitness goals.

Get plenty of aerobic exercise. Aerobics burn many more calories than spot-training, and you'll need to shed fat -- rather than just build muscle -- to flatten your lower belly. Running, swimming, jumping rope and cycling can all help you burn calories. Start slowly, then gradually build up to longer, more intense aerobic workouts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises a minimum of 75 minutes of intense aerobics per week, or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobics. To lose weight, however, you may need up to 300 minutes of aerobic activity per week.

Cut calories from your diet. One pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. While it's possible to burn this many calories a week through exercise, reducing the number of calories you take in can help expedite weight loss. Start by eliminating sugary drinks and snacks. Then focus on healthy sources of calories, such as nuts and lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day can help you reduce the number of calories you eat without leaving you hungry.

Target your lower abdominal muscles with an ab workout three to five times per week. Aim for three sets of 10 to 25 reps for each exercise. Start with a "Hello, Dolly." Lie on your back with your legs straight in front of you, then lift your feet about six inches off the ground. Spread your feet about shoulder-width apart, then return them to their starting position by pushing them back together and lowering them to the floor.

perform a bicycle crunch. Lie on your back, knees bent and feet off the ground. Push the small of your back into the floor, then crunch upward. Move your left knee toward your right elbow, twisting to the left as you do so. Then switch sides, this time moving your right knee toward your left elbow.

perform a captain's chair exercise. Use a captain's chair and grip the handles with your hands. Bend your knees and, using your abs, lift your legs upward toward your chest.