- Category: Fitness
- Read Time: 2 Minutes
Exercises that target the lower abdominal muscles are probably the least understood out of all core exercises. This is partially because there is really no such thing as upper and lower abs; there are only the rectus abdominis muscles, which are divided vertically, rather than laterally. The abdominals are made up of two muscles that sit side by side and run vertically through the center of the abdomen, adjoined down the middle of the stomach by connective tissue.
A common misconception about lower ab workouts has to do with people erroneously believing that they are working those muscles when they really aren’t.
For example, many people confuse moves that engage the hip flexors (the muscles that raise the legs up and forward) as these kinds of exercises. While this particular area might sometimes be forced to contract in order to stabilize your hips, the moves that primarily call upon the hip flexors are not going to be the exercises that give you the best results and most benefits for your hard work.
The fact is that it is virtually impossible to contract only one portion of your abs; they must contract in unison to function. However, it is possible to isolate literal movement in only one portion of those muscles, which is more effective in either muscle group. Knowing which exercises isolate the movement of bottom portion of your abs can help you more effectively tone that notoriously hard-to-target area.
Here is a list of the six best moves to get the most range of motion out of this portion of the abdominals.
1. Reverse Crunch
2. Hanging Knee Tuck Crunch
3. Toe Touch Crunch
4. Physio-Ball Crunch
5. Physio-Ball Hyper Extension Crunch
6. Jack Knife Crunch
Doing these 2-4 times a week in combination with other core workouts will give you the most comprehensive abdominal training. Remember, that to have a strong core all of the muscles that comprise the core must be strong. You can not just focus on the abdominals and avoid the back, and obliques and expect to have a core that functions well or even looks good.