Getting a focused workout on the lower abs through exercises can often be quite tricky, as most abs exercises tend to focus on the upper abs, not the lower.
On top of this, having weakness in lower abs can be very disfuntional by causing imbalance in muscle strength and flexibility in the body. This can lead to injury in the future.
So is very important, in fact is CRUCIAL to get a good stimulation of lower abs when training, not just for aesthetics also for body health!
Below is a list on what I think are the best lower abs exercises. The ideal would be to use all of them to a degree, as work the lower abs in different ways, ie some more compound (mulit-joints) and some more isolated.
Also, some work way better at different parts of the workout. I would never suggest to do an isolation exercise before a big compound one, as heavily limits the fitness stimulation will with bigger muscles. The only case I would suggest to train like this would be if advanced and want to super load the lower abs. But for the most of us, stick to training larger muscles, compound movements to smaller muscles, isolation movements through the session.
SOME THEORY THAT WILL REALLY HELP YOU OUT
Knowing a little bit about body and muscle functionality will go a long way to understanding how best to target lower abs. Without getting into too much depth, the following is very important to remember:
Bending the upper torso forwards will tend to work the upper abs.
Bending (curling) the pelvis towards the upper body will tend to work the lower abs.
Bearing in mind these to principles will hold you in great stead for thinking what type of abs exercise to do. And you can probably relate to this with previous abs exercises done. So just bear in mind.
When anyone asks me ‘what is the best abs exercise’, (although the answer could depend on more specifics) my general answer will be the big boys: Squats and Deadlifts. Especially deadlifts. And pretty much the same goes for lower abs. And there are many reasons why.
For starters, both are extremely functional, whole body exercises where if there are any imbalances in lower-upper abs, this exercise will sort it out. If you have not done these exercises before, it will become apparent very quickly! Especially when making sure bracing the abs particularly through the up phase.
Moreover, a lot of people who what to workout lower abs want to shed weight there aswell. Both these exercises require huge muscle recruitment, working pretty much every muscle in your body to varying degrees. Especially in deadlifts. This means is a fantastic exercise to incorporate to your routine for weight loss.
Just be aware both squats and deadlifts require a little technique, so only do if have trained or being instructed by a personal trainer or fitness professional. If do wrong, can cause significant damage. But this is not a reason to shy away from them, cos when done right, they are some of the best injury prevention exercises period!
Start with low weights, high reps if new to this exercise. 20 to 15 reps is a good starting point, 2 – 3 sets. Progress by slowing increasing weights. After a few weeks, can start to lower reps and increase sets (volume).
2) Reverse Hip Curls
As great as deadlifts and squats are, sometimes you also want to train a muscle in relative isolation, ie by itself. Squats and deadlifts use lots of muscles at the same time, which can be great for many reasons; functionality, anabolic hormone production. The negative aspect is that a muscle may not get look in which it is looking for.
This could the case with lower abs exercises. So if looking to isolate the area, this will work fantastically! Plus if want to train an area effectively, is always best to hit it from all sides, both compound and isolated exercises, in that order in your workout generally speaking.
So, it is my great pleasure to introduce to you lower abs reverse hip curls!
These are an absolute killer! But if looking to effectively strengthen your lower abs muscles, as the majority of people should be doing, this is a vital weapon in your arsenal of exercise. The reason I say most should do, is because even abs are a crucial part to strengthen if want to avoid injury (particularly to the back) and if want great core strength.
How you do them is as follows:
1) Lay flat on your back, on a mat preferably.
2) Spread your arms face down facing the floor creating a 45 degree angle under your armpit between your torso and your arm.
3) Whilst keeping the knees bent at all times, raise your knees into the air to above your hips. This is your starting position!
4) In a controlled fashion, and using your hands for a little balance, curl your knees towards your chest, so that your hips come off the floor.
5) This is the curial part!: Let the knees and hips come back down whilst resisting as much as possible. Total time of 1 rep should last about 5 seconds ideally, and it may be tough, but stick with it! Make sure you keep breathing!
6) Repeat 8-12 times ideally, or if can’t do that many, as many as can.
Disclaimer: Please only try this if have the ok to do so from a physical professional. Doing this in wrong circumstances could cause injury or trauma. The author is not responsible for any negative heath ailments which may results.