The satisfaction of achieving significant weight loss can soon turn to frustration with the appearance of loose skin, especially in the lower abdominal area. With weight gain, skin stretches to accommodate excess body fat. As body fat is reduced, your skin loses elasticity, causing the skin to sag. This is more prevalent with aging and rapid weight loss. While the excess skin will not completely disappear, exercise helps firm the lower abdominal area.
The plank exercise is a yoga pose which requires using your abdominal muscles to hold the position. Start in an upright pushup position, face down, with your arms extended and your palms on the floor. Your legs are extended, with your toes on the floor. Keep your back straight while contracting your abdomen to maintain an aligned incline position. Hold the position for five full breaths, working up to 10. To modify the exercise, bend your knees and place them on the floor, maintaining an aligned incline position. Repeat five to 10 times, with a short rest between each pose.
This exercise targets your upper and lower abdomen. Lie on your stomach, bending your elbows and placing your hands behind your head. Bend your knees and bring your legs toward your chest. Begin the exercise by extending one leg at a 45-degree angle from the floor while bringing your opposite elbow toward the bent knee. Continue the exercise by bending your straight leg, extending your bent leg, and bringing your opposite elbow toward the bent knee. Continue alternating your legs between bent and extended positions, bringing your opposite elbow toward your bent knee. Contract your abdominal muscles to avoid arching your back. Work slowly and with control, completing up to 20 repetitions on each side.
This exercise targets your lower abs. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms at your side or place your hands under your buttocks to lift your hips from the floor. Begin the exercise by contracting your abdomen, crunching your ribs down and pulling your knees toward your chest. Lift your legs from your hips and not from your knees. Hold, and then slowly lower your legs back to the starting position. Complete up to 20 repetitions at a time without arching your back.
Simple Pelvic Thrusts
Lie on your back with your legs in the air at a 90-degree angle. Place your arms flat on the ground, straight at your sides with your palms down. Slowly lift your pelvis off the floor using your lower abdominal muscles. Lower your pelvis to the floor and repeat. Perform this exercise in sets of 10 repetitions each, gradually adding more sets as your fitness level improves.