Most people are unable to get a six pack because, while their upper abs have become visible, they can’t get their lower abs to show. Not only does this cause them a lot of frustration but it also makes the lower abs feel left out and lonely what with all the attention the upper abs are now getting from everyone. The upper abs start to develop a superiority complex and it’s all downhill from there.

For those not following, that was joke. Many think that it’s very hard to get the lower abs to show. It’s not.

One reason why people can’t see their lower abs is that they aren’t lean enough. No matter how much you train, your lower abs will not show unless you body fat levels are low enough. For that to happen, you have to change your diet.

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Another reason is that most people don’t know how to train their lower abs or don’t train them as much as they train their upper abs. So even if they’re lean enough, their lower abs look small and underdeveloped in comparison.

To know how to train your lower abs, you first have to understand some basic anatomy and physiology. I can already feel your eyes starting to glaze over so I’ll keep it short and sweet, I promise!

The abdomen is made up of the following major muscles: rectus abdominus (RA), internal obliques, external obliques, and the transverse abdominus. The RA (generally referred to as the abs) is the large muscle that makes up the front of the mid-section and is responsible for the ‘six pack’ look. The basic function of this muscle is to draw the sternum towards the pelvis. In other words, when the abs contract the rib cage curls forward and the pelvis tilts up.

An important thing to understand is that the upper and lower parts of the RA do not contract independent of each other. Either the whole muscle contracts or it doesn’t. For example, if you’re doing crunches, while lying on your back it may seem like you’re working the the upper abs, but in reality, the entire RA is working. It feels like the top portion is being trained because the sternum is moving towards the pelvis (crunching) while the pelvis is anchored. To train the lower abs, we have to use movements where the pelvis moves towards the sternum.

Now that we’ve covered the nerdy stuff, let’s segue into the three best exercises for lower abs!

I’ve always wanted to use that word, segue. I can now die complete but I digress.

Exercise 1: Garhammer Raise

a)     Lie on your back on the floor with your hips bent at 90 degrees and legs as straight as possible with your hands (palms down) by your sides

b)    Contract your abs and slowly raise your hips up and towards your rib cage. Your knees will move towards your face

c)     Hold for a second and lower yourself under control until your hips are back on the floor

d)    The above constitutes 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 15 reps, resting 60 seconds between each set.

The 3 best exercises for lower abs

Exercise 2: Reverse Crunches

a)     Lie on your back on a bench and reach behind your head and grab the edge of the bench for support

b)    Bend your knees and bring them as close as possible towards your head while your pelvis stays in contact with the bench.

c)     Contract your abs and curl your pelvis towards your rib cage bringing your knees as close to your face as you can. Your back should round and your glutes should be off the bench in this position.

d)    Hold for one second and slowly lower yourself until your pelvis touches the bench.

e)     The above constitutes 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, resting 60 seconds between each set.

The 3 best exercises for lower abs

Exercise 3: Swiss Ball Roll-Out & Pike

a)     Get in a push-up position on the floor and then put your feet up on swiss ball behind you.

b)    Make sure your body is in a straight line, with legs straight and feet as far behind you as possible.

c)     Without moving your hands, contract your abs to pull your feet towards your face, raising your hips as high as possible. In this position your body will form an upside down V

d)    Slowly push your feet back until you body is straight again.

e)     The above constitutes 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, resting 60 seconds between each set.

The 3 best exercises for lower abs

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