The lower abs are often the most neglected part of our ab musculature. People like to do crunches and sit ups, but they totally forget to do a lower abs workout.
If you want balanced, symmetrical abs, the kind that people envy, then you’ll want to pay attention. We’re going to go through an entire lower abs workout that will pay dividends when you take off your shirt.
How To Work Your Lower Abs
Each of the lower ab exercises below should be done for 2-3 sets, and 15-20 reps per set. If you are just starting out, only do 12-15 reps and 1-2 sets.
You don’t need to do every exercise listed here. Pick 2-3 each workout and do those, and then pick 2-3 different ones the next time you workout.
Swiss Ball Pike
I would classify the swiss ball pike as a more advanced workout. You will also need a bit of upper body strength, because your arms and shoulder will get a workout, too.
Swiss Ball Jack Knife
The swiss ball jack knife is a really good exercise for beginners. However, it can be a little challenging to your balance, if you are not used to a swiss ball.
When doing this exercise, maintain a solid, flat back. Do not let your hips sag.
Lower Ab Leg Raises On A Swiss ball
This is really good exercise for you abs. However, if it’s done wrong it will work your hip flexors and not your abs. Your legs need to move past a 90 degree angle and towards your chest in order to put your lower abs under load.
Hanging Leg Raises
The hanging leg raise is a difficult ab exercise. Not only do you have to work your abs, you also have to hold onto the bar, too. Many people are not strong enough to do this.
Often, at commercial gyms, the offer another option specifically for doing the leg raise. Instead of hanging, though, you rest your elbows and forearms on the pads for support.
Also, the hanging leg raise can be done with either bent of straight legs. Bent legged is easier as there is less of a load on your abs. You can start with this method and progress to straight legs, once you have established some lower ab strength.
When doing a hanging leg raise, it’s important not to swing through the motion to make it easier. You want your abs to do the work, and if you use momentum to finish the motion, you will be cheating yourself.
Also, watch your hip flexors to be sure that they are not engaging during the exercise. Your lower abs will do the work once your legs are at about a 90 degree angle, and they will stay engaged until you bring your knees to your chest.
Jack Knife Sit Ups
Jack knife sit ups are total ab workout. They do hit your lower abs, but they also will work your upper abs as well.
Often, people who have strong upper abs and weak lower abs struggle with this exercise, and are unable to engage their lower abs as they should. If that’s a problem for you, concentrate on the other lower ab workouts for a while and then come back to this exercise.
The Pilates Jack Knife
The Pilates jack knife is a more difficult exercise and should really only be done by people who have established some core strength first.
The video below gives a great view of how the exercise should be done. A little tip is to think about rolling down your spine, one vertebrae at a time.