Perhaps the hardest muscle group to reach, the lower abs section takes a really long time to shape up if you don’t know how to work your lower abs. If you are really interested in getting a six pack, I am sure you’ve already noticed – in magazines, or TV, or real life – that people who work out, and already have a toned body usually have just their upper 4 abs showing. So, where are the other 2?
The lower abs are there, but they seem to be the shyest. This is because the lower abdomen is usually covered with more layers of fat than the upper part. The human body responds to stress by releasing a hormone called cortisol, which is responsible for building up fat exactly in that area.
So if you want a six pack instead of a four pack, you need to lose a little more weight. This should be your primary goal: lose overall body weight. I’m sure you know that there is no way you can target the fat on one particular part of your body. Targeted abs exercises are unfortunately not enough. What you need to do is concentrate your efforts on losing fat altogether, and luckily, there are many ways to do that.
The first thing to need to do is find out what your total body fat percentage is and how much you need to lose. With the help of a good diet, you can control the number of calories you take in and create a deficit. To compensate that deficit, you body will start burning fat. Be careful when you chose your diet: you need to eat enough of the good stuff to have energy for your workouts, so your body can then focus on building muscle. Cut out the processed carbs, and include good carbs, protein and fiber in your daily meals. To boost your metabolism, eat five or six times a day and drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.
Once you start your diet and start doing cardio to help you lose fat sooner, you should know how to work lower abs with maximum efficiency. Of course, the lower and upper abs are working together when you are doing crunches and other abdominal exercises, but surely you’ve noticed that the upper part of your abdomen bulges faster than the lower one. This happens because most traditional abs exercises target the top part of your abs.
In order to train lower abdominal muscles you need to include lower abs exercises that involve isometric resistance, in your workouts. Isometric exercises are a type of strength training in which the muscle length and joint angle don’t change. Isometric resistance involves the contraction of the muscles using the body’s own structure or free weights and weight machines. One good example of isometric resistance lower abs exercise is lying leg lifts. They are the same as regular leg lifts, with the exception that after you lift your leg in a straight position in a 45 degree angle from the floor, you hold it there for about 20 seconds. When you lower your leg, you keep it slightly above the floor for about 10 seconds. The abdominals will be contracting to keep the leg still in that position and you’ll soon feel them burning.
Other exercises that target the lower abs are:
- Hanging leg raises
- Exercise ball ab crunches
- Pelvic tilt
- Seated knee up, etc.
If you want to actually see the results of your efforts to get a six pack, you need to know how to work lower abs the right way, or else you’ll get stuck with a four pack.