3 Exercises That Transform the Lower Abs
By Genevieve Cunningham
When it comes to building strong and toned ab muscles, there’s one area that just seems to be harder than the rest. Those stubborn lower abs. The lower portion of our ab muscles are harder to work than any other. When we do crunches and sit-ups, we’re mostly working the upper portion, and most of us can feel the burn in that area. But the low abs? If you’re feeling the burn way down low, you’re working hard! If you would like to get your abs working from top to bottom, take a look at these exercises that are made for the lowest section of the abdominals.
Leg raises are done while lying flat on your back on a hard surface (the floor, bench, etc). Your arms will be down by your sides, or if need be, under the lower portion of your back. Extend the legs straight and keep the feet together. Then very slowly lift the legs about six inches off of the floor. Hold for 30 seconds or so, and then rest. Repeat for a set of approximately 10.
Plank With Knee Raises
The plank is a good workout for the abs all the way around. To do a plank, you’ll lie on the floor on your stomach. Then you’ll lift yourself up using your toes and forearms (or hands if you prefer), and hold your entire body in a flat “table top” position. While doing this, you’ll concentrate on pulling your bellybutton toward your spine. To focus on the lower abs, you’ll do the same thing, except once you’re in the table top position, you’ll pull one knee toward your chest. Place it back down on the ground, and then do the other. Alternate slowly. This gives more focus to the bottom section, though every piece of your core will still be getting a great workout.
You’ll need a smooth surface and something that slides underneath your feet. You can use a slider (bought at a fitness store), or you may be able to use a simple washrag. Put the sliders underneath your feet and keep them about shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the floor, too. You’ll then slide your feet backward until your back is flat, and then you’ll slide your feet toward your hands until you’re in the pike position. Repeat. The first few might feel a bit fun, but after a set, you’ll feel the burn way down low in the ab muscles.
The key to getting strong lower abs is to exercise them very specifically. If you don’t, they’ll usually get ignored through traditional ab exercises. Use these three moves as a guide, and your abs will be taut and strong before you know it.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Chandler, Ariz.