So, you have decided that your upcoming New Years resolution would be to have amazing abs this summer. You decide to do what you did as a youngster, the basic crunch.

You know the one, where you lie on the floor, knees bent, hands interlaced behind your head and you lift your head and neck up as close to your knees as you can go. I call this one the neck crunch, because more often than not, that is all that is happening.

Even if you were to do the basic crunch correctly, you would still not get the amazing abs that you are searching for.

Why? You may well ask!

The reason being, you have many muscles that make up the toned midsection you are looking for. We will look at four of the major abdominal muscles.

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First, you have your rectus abdominis, the paired, long, flat vertical muscles that extend the length of the abdominals. These are commonly known as the “six pack.” Also important to note, is that they make up your upper, middle and lower abs. (1) These muscles help you to sit or stand up from a lying down position, among other things.

Next, you have your external and internal obliques. Think of these bad boys as the muscles that make your torso look fit and lean. Well, that is when they are not covered by fat. These muscles help you twist, bend side to side and do any rotational exercise.

Lastly, is the transverse abdominis, and while these are invisible to the human eye, training them will pay off in a large way. Think of these as a girdle that slims you. This girdle hugs in the internal organs and makes the rectus abdominis on top look amazing.

Now that we are done with our little anatomy review, we are going to focus on how you can take your lower abs from hot, to hotter.

So let’s look at a lower abs workout

First and foremost, it is important to understand that you can train your abs when you are not even at the gym. Just thinking “belly button to spine,” while you are at your desk or driving, will help you engage your core and further work those abdominal muscles. In addition, including this workout into your normal ab workout two to three times a week, will give you the hottest lower abs out there.

Exercise 1: Hanging ab leg raises

You can do these from the wings, hanging from the pull up bar or using a captain chair. Main things to remember is to keep your belly button to your spine, so that you protect your lower back. If you are just starting an ab program, you might want to make sure your back is supported, say in a captains chair.

Beginner: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with bent legs

Intermediate: 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions with straight legs

Advanced: 2-3 sets to failure with a dumbbell or weight plate hung from weight belt

Exercise 2: Mountain climbers

These are fabulous as you can use them as a little cardio burst, as well. Again, remember to engage your core to protect the lower back. Make sure that your lower back isn’t hyper extending and keep both hips parallel to the ground.

Beginner: 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions on each side.

Intermediate: 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions on each side, with feet up on a flat bench

Advanced: 2-3 sets to failure, either using plates under your feet or the TRX machine.From-hot-to-hotter-lower-abs-workout_2.jpg

Exercise 3: Reverse crunch

Lie on your back, place your hands under your hips. Make sure that your back is firmly secured against the floor. Raise your legs up and off the ground with bent knees. Gently and slowly, lift your legs and buttocks up off the floor, and then slowly lower them back to the ground, without letting your feet touch.

Beginner: 2-3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with bent knees.

Intermediate: 2-3 sets of 12-15 repetitions with straight legs

Advanced: 2-3 sets of 20 with a stability ball in between your legs.

Exercise 4: Flutter kicks

Lie on your back, with your hands out to the sides. Lift your legs about 6 or so inches off the ground and kick your legs in a flutter motion. Pay careful attention to ensure your back is not arching off the ground. Engage your core and keep your belly button to spine.

Beginner: 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions, with your hands out to the side.

Intermediate: 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions with your above your head in a streamline position.

Advanced: 2-3 repetitions to failure. For added intensity, grab two dumbbells and extend your arms above your chest. This makes you engage your core and tone your arms, as well. Hooray for added bonuses!

Okay, so now you are well on your way to having the hottest lower abs around. Remember to always protect your lower back when doing ab exercises. Repeat the mantra, “Belly button to spine,” many times each day.

(1) http://www.md-health.com/Lower-Abdominal-Exercises.html

I hope this lower abs workout sends you on your way to that solid and great looking midsection!

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