Question: I do all sorts of abdominal exercises, but I still have trouble developing my lower abs. What exercises do you recommend to crush your lower abs?
Answer: It may not be simply a matter of choosing better exercises, says IFBB pro bodybuilder and trainer to the stars Roland Kickinger. Definitely some exercises tend to emphasize the lower abs and some tend to emphasize the top part of the abdominals, but there are other important factors to consider if you’re having trouble bringing out your lower abs. Read on for Roland’s checklist of what to do to turn your two-pack into a ripped, six-pack.
TARGET YOUR LOWER ABS
When your upper abs are stronger, you have a tendency to pull from them, Roland points out. For every rep that you perform, you should concentrate on your lower abdominals. Crunch down hard on that portion with every rep. Also, perform lower-ab exercises like hanging leg raises and reverse crunches first in your workout when your lower abs are strongest.
CONCENTRATE ON QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
Don’t worry about how many reps you can perform. Too many people try to do 20, 30 or even more reps for abs, but this tends to make you conserve energy in the weak areas of your abs and focus more on the strong parts. Roland suggests that by crunching your weakest area — your lower abs — you’ll improve the quality of each set, even if you aren’t able to perform as many reps.
FOCUS ON ABS AT OTHER TIMES OF THE DAY
WATCH YOUR WAIST
It’s true that nutrition is a significant component of making your abs visible. Many people have developed lower abs, but they’re hidden by a thin layer of bodyfat, Roland says. Bodyfat tends to accumulate a little lower on the waist. If you have a small amount of fat on your waistline, it may only cover your lower abs, while your upper abs appear far more developed. To boil down abs-displaying nutrition to a single sentence, Roland states: Eat fewer calories than you need for bodyweight maintenance while keeping your protein consumption above one gram per pound of bodyweight each day.
|Hanging Leg Raise||3||12|
|Vertical Bench Knee/Leg Raise||3||12|
For each rep, contract and hold for 2-3 seconds, emphasizing your lower abs.