Raise your hand if you want better abs? Especially better lower abs. Every single one of you reading this probably raised your hand, or at least a majority of you did. Men and women around the globe are always searching for ways to get better lower abs because they dread ever having or needing to get rid of a little lower belly pooch. These lower abs that we so badly want to always work on is actually a misnomer—your rectus abdominis muscle, or abdominal wall, actually covers your entire midsection and connects at your pelvis.
When it comes to performing abdominal exercises (and really all exercises for that matter) it is important to focus on the activation of your core is one of the keys to success with these abs toners (and any abdominal exercise). In fact, one study from Hull University found that people who mentally focused on their muscles and how they were moving experienced greater muscle activity, which can result in greater strength gains over time.
Here are 3 exercise that helps strengthen all of your abdominals but as specifically helpful for the ‘lower abdominals’ as well.
90-degree static hold
- Lie on the ground or on a map face up. With your legs bent lift your feet off of the ground into a 90-degree angle so that your shins are parallel to the ground. Feet flexed.
- Extend arms and press both palms on top of thighs.
- Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale engage your abs by pulling them into your spin. Press your lower back against the floor as you push your thighs into hands by engaging your abs.
- Keep the tension by constantly pushing your hands into your thighs and your thighs into your hands.
- Hold for 1 count and then release.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10 repetitions in a row.
Reverse Plank Hover
- Sit on the ground or on the mat with your legs extended, feet flexed, and your hands just outside your hips with your fingertips facing your forward.
- Engage your abs by pulling them into your spine and press down through hands to lift your hips a few inches off of the floor.
- You can keep your legs on the ground by bending your knees slightly.
- Inhale and scoop your abs in deeper towards your spin, and as you exhale, fully extend your legs and try to push your hips slightly behind your shoulders.
- Hold for 1 count.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Lie on the ground or on a map face up with knees bent and turned out. With your feet flexed place the bottom of your feet together and press your heels tightly together.
- Inhale and lift head and shoulders off the floor, curling up one vertebra at a time.
- Reach arms outside of hips hovering over the floor with your palms facing down.
- As you exhale, press out through heels and extend legs 45 degrees, squeezing the backs of knees together and keeping your abs pulling into your spine remembering to actively think about engaging the muscles.
- Inhale and bend heels back into body.
- Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
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