The Ultimate Lower Abs Workout
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How to Get Lower Abs: 5 Killer Moves for Shredded Lower Abs

Struggling to find the best ab exercises that will tone your lower abs? Unfortunately, you are looking for something that doesn’t exist.

The abdominal muscles contract as one unit, not as separate portions divided into upper and lower halves. 

So, any movement you do for your abdominal muscles will emphasize the entirety of your abs, not just a specific portion.

In this article, I will provide a thorough explanation of why the term “lower abs” is a misnomer. Furthermore, I will outline a workout that will help you to define and strengthen your abdominals, giving you the 6 pack look you’ve always dreamed of!

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What Are Your Lower Abs?

What Are Your Lower Abs?

In general, most people are referring to a muscle known as the rectus abdominis when they use the term “abs.” 

There is no distinction between the upper and lower portion of this muscle, and when you perform a crunch, sit-up, or other ab movements, you are working the entirety of the rectus abdominis to some degree. 

An analogy could be made for any muscle of the body, but the biceps provides an easy visual for our purposes.

Imagine you are performing a bicep curl. Now, pretend that you do a full, perfect form bicep curl on the first rep, but only complete half of the range of motion on the second rep. 

On the second rep, you still worked the same muscles as you did on the first rep, you just didn’t work them through the entire range of motion. 

The same goes for the abs, partial sit-ups or different movements won’t work different parts of the rectus abdominis. Rather, these movements will just work the muscle in a slightly different way.

Why Should You Perform Abdominal Strengthening Exercises?

Abdominal Strengthening Exercises

Outside of the aesthetic component of strong, cut abs, having strong core muscles is critical for balance, spinal health, and many activities you perform every day (1). 

For example, sports that can be played at any stage of life, such as golf, require a remarkably strong core in order for the person to play effectively. Furthermore, everyday tasks such as walking, or even just sitting can be improved by having a strong core.

How to Get Lower Abs

Getting lower abs

I know many people will not be happy to read this, but generally, the best way to achieve defined abs is to lose weight. Of course, exercise programs (such as the one I’ll outline in the next section) can help to strengthen and sculpt the abs. 

But if there is a layer of fat sitting on top of the abs, it doesn’t matter how strong those muscles are, they won’t be easy to see.

So, the best way to get abs is through a combination of diet and exercise in which you achieve a caloric deficit (taking in fewer calories than you expend) (2).

Again, exercise will help to define and strengthen your ab muscles, but diet is an absolutely essential component of achieving shredded abs.

If you need help setting up a diet and weight loss plan, get in touch with a nutritionist, doctor, personal trainer, or all three. There are tons of people out there who are ready to help you create an individualized weight loss plan today.

The Ultimate Lower Abs Workout

How to get lower abs in 3 weeks

Combined with an effective diet, this ab routine will leave you sweating, gasping for air, and with consistent effort: shredded like a movie star.

This routine will take you no more than 15 minutes per session and you can perform it as many as 4 times a week, or a few as two times a week. All you’ll need is some open space, a timer, something to hang from, and a water bottle to crush this intense ab workout.

The workout is set up in a timed circuit fashion. Specifically, you’ll perform each exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then immediately move on to the next exercise. You’ll continue this pattern until you have completed three circuits of the entire workout.

Let’s get after it!

1. Windshield Wipers

Windshield Wipers - lower abs

Windshield Wipers or simply “Wipers” is an incredible exercise for strengthening the obliques. This exercise can be modified in a variety of ways, depending on the ability level. These Windshield Wipers will leave you with incredibly fatigued ab and hip muscles after you’ve completed the set.

Target Muscles: Obliques, various hip muscles

Parameters

Perform this exercise as instructed below for as many reps as possible within the 45-second time frame. As soon as the timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise, rest for 15 seconds then immediately move on to the next exercise on the list.

How to Perform

  • Lying on your back, spread your arms out wide, creating a “T” shape with your arms and trunk.
  • Keeping your knees straight, lift your legs off the ground as high as you can (your knees starting to bend signals the limit of your range in this regard).
  • Without allowing your right shoulder to lift off of the ground, allow both of your legs to move in an arc toward the ground on the left.
  • Once you reach roughly an inch away from the floor, slowly reverse the motion and swing your legs toward the right side, much like the motion of a windshield wiper in a car.
  • Keep your back flat against the ground during this movement to increase abdominal muscle activation and to limit any strain on your spine.

2. Side Crunches with Leg Lift

Side Crunches with Leg Lift

A modification on the traditional side crunch, this exercise incorporates the obliques as well as some hip abductor muscles. Beyond that, the movement also forces you to balance on a small point of contact, bringing even more core muscle activation into play.

Target Muscles: Obliques, hip abductors, spinal stabilizers

Parameters

Perform this exercise as instructed below for as many reps as possible within the 45-second time frame. As soon as the timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise, rest for 15 seconds then immediately move on to the next exercise on the list.

How to Perform

  • Lying on your right side, place your left hand on your head.
  • At the same time, you’ll elevate both of your legs as you bring your right shoulder blade and ribs off of the ground, effectively bending your body in half.
  • Slowly lower back down into the starting position and repeat for half of the timed set, switching to the left side at the halfway mark.

3. Hanging Flutter Kicks

Hanging Flutter Kicks

Hanging requires a considerable amount of grip capability as well as back and bicep strength in order to stabilize. This movement is popular with gymnasts and calisthenics enthusiasts, as it works on elements of both strength and skill required in those pursuits.

Target Muscles: Rectus abdominis, obliques, various stabilizer muscles throughout the body

Parameters

Perform this exercise as instructed below for as many reps as possible within the 45-second time frame. As soon as the timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise, rest for 15 seconds then immediately move on to the next exercise on the list.

How to Perform

  • Hanging from the bar with both hands, slowly raise your right leg as high as you can (once your knee starts to bend, you’ve reached the limit of your range).
  • Once you’ve reached the top of your range of motion, lower your right leg as you simultaneously raise the left. Repeat this process in a “flutter” fashion for the duration of the set.
  • If you find yourself slipping from the bar, experiment with different ways of gripping. I.e. overhand grip (pronated), underhand grip (supinated), mixed grip, etc.

4. Iron Cross Plank

Iron Cross Plank

Target Muscles: Rectus abdominis, various spinal stabilizers, pecs, various shoulder muscles

Parameters

Perform this exercise as instructed below for as many reps as possible within the 45-second time frame. As soon as the timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise, rest for 15 seconds then immediately move on to the next exercise on the list.

How to Perform

  • With hands about twice as wide as shoulder width, maintain a flat back as you enter into a plank.
  • Ensure that your abdominal muscles are tight throughout the duration of the 45-second hold.
  • If you feel comfortable, attempt to increase the width of your hand placement with every set.

5: Bicycle Crunch

In this image, the man is using a band to increase the difficulty of the exercise. This modification is by no means necessary, but you’re certainly welcome to try it while you perform this killer exercise!

Target Muscles: Rectus abdominis, hip flexors, obliques

Parameters

Perform this exercise as instructed below for as many reps as possible within the 45-second time frame. As soon as the timer goes off, signaling the end of the exercise, rest for 15 seconds then immediately move on to the next exercise on the list.

How to Perform

  • Lying on your back, lift your shoulder blades off of the ground, performing a crunch.
  • While holding the crunch position, bring both legs off of the ground as well.
  • Twist your right elbow to meet your left knee, bending the knee and tucking it toward your right elbow at the same time. Your right leg will remain straight as you do this.
  • Repeat on the other side, alternating opposite leg and arm in a “bicycle” motion for the duration of the exercise.

Conclusion on Lower Abs

While the term “lower abs” is an inaccurate description overall, it’s nonetheless vitally important that everyone completes regular abdominal strengthening exercise. 

A variety of movements will help to define and strengthen all of the various ab muscles and will keep you healthy for years to come. Give this workout a try and see what you think!

References

  1. Hsu, S. L., Oda, H., Shirahata, S., Watanabe, M., & Sasaki, M. (2018). Effects of core strength training on core stability. Journal of physical therapy science, 30(8), 1014–1018. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.30.1014
  2. Howell, S. (2017). “Calories in, calories out” and macronutrient intake: the hope, hype, and science of calories. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism. 313:5, E608-E612

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