Sculpt a Sexy Core with These Lower Ab Exercises
Ready to sculpt that core and rock some lean lower abs? Try these lower ab exercises to target your midsection like never before.
What Are Abdominals?
Abs are more than just your traditional sixpack. Your entire core makes up your abdominal region, and it has a number of different muscles that all work together to support your body, hold it upright, assist with bending, flexing, and twisting, and help stabilize you as you move.
The abdominals are comprised of several sections of muscle groups that keep your core tight, protect your internal organs, and help you maintain proper posture:
- Internal Obliques—these muscles lie just underneath the external obliques and form a protective sheath around and up the sides of your body.
- External Obliques—these form the outer layer of the abdominals on both of your sides and run diagonally downward.
- Rectus Abdominis—these make up the “sixpack” muscles that become visible once body fat is low enough. They run from the ribs to the pelvis.
- Transversus Abdominis—this deep internal wall of muscles runs underneath the other abdominal muscles and acts as a natural girdle to support your entire core, including your back and spine.
Is Targeting Your Lower Abs Just a Myth?
Technically speaking, working “only” your lower abs is a myth since you will harness the help of all your abdominal muscles when you work the abs. That said, you can definitely focus on working mostly the muscles of the lower abdominal region by using more exercises that engage the lower abs.
Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
If you want to reveal all your hard work, don’t forget that abs are truly “made in the kitchen.” You can work lower ab exercises all day long and strengthen your core, but if you don’t peel away the layer of fat covering your abs, you’ll never be able to see them. A healthy calorie-conscious diet is part of any good training program designed to reveal that sexy midsection.
7 Lower Ab Exercises to Reveal That Sexy Core
When performing lower ab exercises, focus on exercises that originate with leg movement as opposed to bending the upper body. This will naturally engage the lower abdominal region.
1. Scissor Kicks
Lie on your back with your legs outstretched and your arms by your sides. Lift your heels off the ground a few inches and then flutter kick your legs for 10 – 30 seconds at a time before bringing your heels back to the ground and allowing yourself to rest.
2. Bicycle Crunches
Once you’ve mastered scissor kicks, it’s time to progress to bicycle crunches. Start by lying on your back, with your hands placed lightly behind your head (ensuring there is no pressure on your neck). Next, bring your right knee toward your head while simultaneously twisting your core to bring your left elbow toward your right knee. Move your left elbow back to the starting position and straighten your right leg as you bring your left knee up to meet your right elbow. Continue this back-and-forth motion for 30 – 60 seconds before resting.
3. Reverse Crunches
Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms at your sides. Keep your palms down and place your hands slightly under your hips. Bend your knees and lift your feet off the ground, bringing your hips up as you curl and contract your abs.
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The more you bend your knees, the easier this exercise will be. If you’d like to intensify the exercise, simultaneously lift your upper body toward the ceiling as you bring your knees up. Hold for a count of 1 – 2 seconds at the top before returning to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
4. Alligator Walk
Start in a pushup position with your body straight, your palms on the floor under your shoulders, arms straight, and up on your toes. Move your right hand and left foot forward and then repeat with the left hand and right foot. Continue “walking” in this manner across the floor.
5. Captain’s Chair Knee Ups
You’ll need to do this on a piece of equipment called a “Captain’s Chair,” which basically looks like a chair with armrests but no seat. Get onto the apparatus and place your forearms on the armrests. Your back should be comfortably against the back rest and your hips and legs should be hanging straight down. Contract your abs while bending your knees and bringing them up to your torso. Hold at the top for a moment before releasing and straightening your legs again. Repeat. To make the exercise even more challenging, keep your legs straight.
6. Slider or Stability Ball Pikes
You can do this exercise either with sliders under your feet (on a smooth/slippery or carpeted surface), or you can put your feet up onto a stability ball. Your arms will be in the fully extended position with your palms flat on the floor, lined up under your shoulders. Push your hips up toward the ceiling, keeping your legs straight, and slide your feet forward toward your midsection (or roll the stability ball toward your torso). Once you are in an inverted “V” position, slowly slide your feet back to the start, or roll the stability ball back to the starting position. Repeat.
7. Leg Lifts with Stability Ball
Lie on the ground with your arms by your sides. Place one foot on each side of the ball about midway up and squeeze it gently between your feet. Using your lower abs, lift the ball off the ground as high as you can while keeping your legs straight. Lower back to the ground and repeat.