FIRST, AN EXPLANATION
The lower abdominal area is not a distinct muscle group. The “lower abs” are part of the rectus abdominis, which runs from the rib cage to the pelvis. But there are certain movements that will activate that part of our abdomen more directly. “Lower abs” is actually not even grammatically a correct description, but I am using the well known jargon of the fitness world.
My emphasis on targeting the lower part of the abdomen is because I see much room for improvement in my own body. I see loose flesh, though the upper part of my abdomen is progressing quite well. I have been much heavier before, so I liken this to the situation of a woman who has looseness in that area after childbirth. It seems that fat is stored in that very area for men and women. Fat is needed to provide warmth, but too much fat can produce obesity, poor posture and weakness.
In my workout, I currently do 5 sets for my external obliques and 6 sets for my general abdominal region. I want to add a few sets that specifically target the lower abdomen.
My practice has always been to update my workouts to specialize in the body parts needing the most work. I then report this through my blog articles in the hope that others may be confronted with the same or similar circumstances.
One emphatic point – addressing any body part through workouts will not produce fat loss only in that specific area. Fat loss does not come through spot reduction. It comes throughout our bodies and depends upon our genetic makeup. Diet and cardio exercise will promote fat loss, but spot reduction is a fallacy. The best approach is to build muscle in the targeted area, while regulating diet and cardio activity for fat loss.
Another point – the most common cardio or aerobic exercises include running, walking, bicycling, swimming and the like. These activities promote deeper breathing and heart health. But I have tried another aerobic or cardio exercise – doing resistance workouts quickly and without much rest between sets. This also elevates my breathing and thus becomes a form of efficient cardio exercise
The abdominal area is shown below.
MOVEMENTS TARGETING THE LOWER ABDOMEN
Here are a few exercise movements to specifically engage the lower abdomen. Along with a lean diet and cardio work, these will improve that area of our bodies. These are YouTube short videos from Well+Good. Excellent explanations with demonstrations by trainers.
- Reverse crunch – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyv14e2QDq0
- Dead bug – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_BYB0R-4Ws&t=97s
- Leg lifts – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4AYciTHy4
- Teeter totters – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJ_f8MwIdI8
- Hanging leg raises – see the image below. This has always been considered one of the most effective movements for the lower abdomen muscles. It is done in this manner: (1) Hang from a horizontal bar and extend your arms and legs.(2) With legs together, lift your knees high.(3) Lower your legs back to the starting position. It is best to begin with bent knee leg raises before going to straight legs. Begin slowly and keep your core engaged throughout. Lift your legs slowly, whether knees are bent or straight.
Most gyms have a horizontal bar or some means to perform a hanging movement. Also, Amazon has selections of bars for home use. (As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn from qualifying purchases).
Here is a doorway horizontal bar from Amazon that has a 440 lb. capacity and requires no screws, drilling, etc. There are other similar options also, so scroll around for these.
Here are some general fitness selections for the health minded:
- FitTrack – featuring the Dara scale, for monitoring 17 important body metrics
- Fitbit – trackers and smart watches
- Flat Tummy – supplements, accessories and apparel for women
- Garmin – maps, trackers, smart watches
- GOLI – apple cider vinegar gummies for weight loss, now at 15% discounts
- Save Up To 50% On This Week’s Deals at Dick’s Sporting Goods – for a large inventory of quality products
The lower abdominal region is where belly fat is generally stored. The exercise movements shown above will tighten this body part, but fat must be released by cutting back on calories and including cardio exercise. I know this is being repetitive, but there seems to be lots of confusion about how fat is shed. Please pay special attention to the YouTube videos.
Building lower abdominal muscles is indeed important in improving our posture and appearance, as long as we understand that this alone will not get rid of that belly fat.
My experience is that my weight is now over 60 pounds less than it has been. My “abs” have improved dramatically with the core exercise I do, but special attention is needed. Thus, this post. With all the above caveats regarding possible misinterpretations, I am anxious to go all out on lower abdominal work to see what I can accomplish. I am optimistic.
Hopefully, this information will be helpful to those who are working on their core and who also want to target the lower abdomen. Let’s stay focused!
Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be well and stay healthy!