Abs are very hard to develop. And, lower abs are nearly impossible. With intense work in the gym and right eating choices, most have been able to develop the two third section of the core. But, it is the last hurdle, the tiny area at the end of your midsection where many have failed. And, it hasn’t been due to lack of hard work.
The problem is that most of the abs exercises are more focused on developing the upper and middle abs. The classic example of this are the traditional crunches. This widely popular and most done abs exercise is great for getting the fat of your gut. But, in terms of abs development, it will hit the upper region only. The other majority of abs exercises are also limited in terms of area, they affect. The middle abs is as far, most of them will go.
So, to win the last battle, you will have to be more creative and will have to work extra hard. Assuming, you know how to shed fat to make those abs visible, here are some exercises that will help you hit the lower abs exclusively.
Hanging Leg Raises
This exercise, when done right can hit your lower abs right, and doing them for weeks will help you get results that you haven’t seen after working out after months. However, the key is doing right, if you are going to swing around or are going to use the momentum, then you won’t be going anywhere. The key is to keep your upper body stationary and to allow your midsection to control the movements throughout the exercise.
Due to lack of popularity and widespread use, there are lot of questions about the form and how to do this exercise, such as, whether the legs should go higher than 90 degree angle? The answer is that it depends on your fitness and shouldn’t be the main priority, making your core work should be. For example, if you are doing this exercise for the first time, then you should be only worried about getting them up to the 90 degree angle with the right form.
The attempt to take the legs above the 90 degree angle, especially, touching the toes to the bar have one major obstacle. And, the obstacle is that the body often slumps in the effort to do so. Usually, the hip flexor muscles take over and the muscles that you wanted to isolate and target, the lower abs become a secondary muscle. As you might have guessed, it completely undermines the objective of the workout.
If you are a pro with martial artist type of fitness, then go ahead and touch your toes to the bar. Otherwise, you should be solely focused on controlling the form and ensuring that your legs move in a controlled and slow movement throughout the exercise.
The hanging leg raise remains the best when it comes to sculpting lower abs. But, many of us, don’t have necessary needed fitness and core strength to pull it off. In such cases, the reverse crunches are perfect. Along with providing good lower abs burns, it will also build strength that in time could help you do the hanging leg raises.
This exercise is similar to the hanging knee raise in essence. The difference is that your body is in a horizontal position, which lessens the resistance. You can do this exercise while lying on the floor, or regular bench press, or incline board. For the convenience sake, we will take a look at reverse crunches done while lying on the floor.
Lie on the floor, with arms by your side and palms touching ground. Your knees should be bent at 90 degree angle, with thighs perpendicular to the floor. Now, inhale and move your legs towards your torso, by rolling your pelvis and raising hips off the floor. At the end of the movement, your knees would be touching your chest. Hold the position for a second, your abs should be contracted at this position. Bring the legs back to the starting position.
Make sure your knees are stabilized and lift as much of your body off the bench, and curl it up towards your chest.
This exercise is similar to the reverse crunch. For this exercise like reverse crunch, you have to lie down on the floor with your arms by your side and palms touching the ground. However, unlike reverse crunches, you have to keep your legs straight.
Raise your legs slowly towards the ceiling, tighten your abs and breathe in. Exhale and start lowering your legs slowly, stop when they are about four inches above the floor. This is the standard position. You can go lower, provided the small of your back remains firmly on the ground. If it isn’t, then you are doing in wrong. This will not only undermine your efforts, but can cause back problems as well. And, don’t forget about breathing. Breathe in as you lower the legs and breathe out as you raise them. The best thing about this move is that it targets the rectus abdominus muscles (your inner six-pack), along with hitting your lower abs.
Despite, very restricted range of motion, this exercise is great for hitting your lower abs. The hip lifts are most effective when employed near the end of the workout. They will work your already tired lower abs to the ground.
Lie on your back, with legs raised towards the ceiling, arms extended by the sides and palms touching the ground. Breathe in and tighten your core. Now, curl as you exhale, curl your hips towards your ribcage, lifting them off the ground and reaching your feet straight up. Breathe in as you slowly lower your hips to the ground.