Complete your perfect torso with defined lower abs.
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The path to getting washboard abs can usually be foiled by the common problem of getting that last set of lower abdominal definition. Contrary to popular belief, the lower abs are not an isolated muscle in itself, but part of the rectus abdominis, which are the muscles that form your chiseled abs. If your abs are defined and these are just the last muscles to be revealed for your six or eight-pack to be perfected, here are five moves that you can do that target the lower rectus abdominis.
Start by lying on a mat, with your legs straight and arms extended over your head. Hold your feet together and point your toes to the ceiling. Then, keeping your legs straight, lift them off the mat into a 45-degree angle. At the same time, keep your core tight and lift your upper body off the mat. Extend your hands to your feet. Stay in this position for three seconds balancing on your tailbone. Then, lower your arms and legs to the mat back to the starting position. Do 10 repetitions of this move for two sets.
Lie on a mat and keep your lower back pressed to the ground. Lift your legs up until they are above the hip joint. Then bend them at the knees. You can either place your hands to the side for stability, or under your lower back for more support. Keeping your upper body and back stationary, contract your lower abs and lift your butt off the ground. Bring your knees in towards your chest and hold that position for five seconds. Then return to the first position for one repetition. This move should be done for three sets of 10 reps.
Hanging Leg Crunch
Hold onto a chin-up bar with hands at shoulder-width apart. Let your body hang from it. With your feet together and your back straight, squeeze your lower abs and lift your legs up straight in front of your body until they are parallel to the floor. Hold for a second before lowering them. Repeat for 15 reps. Do not swing your legs back down or drop them. The movement should be controlled and should not gain momentum.
Lie on a mat and place your hands behind your lower back for support. Contract your stomach muscles and lift your legs until they are at a 90-degree angle to your body. Keep them straight and do not bend your knees. Using your buttocks and lower abs, thrust forward with your hips, pushing your outstretched legs upwards. Hold it at the top for half a second before lowering your butt down to the mat again. Because this movement is so small, it is almost like a pulsing motion. Try to pulse your hips for three sets of 15 repetitions.
Stability Ball Knee Tucks
This move requires the use of a stability ball. Get into a plank position with the ball under your stomach. Walk forwards with your hands until the ball rolls under your legs and lifts your feet off the floor. Stop when the ball is under your knees. Hold yourself up with your arms directly underneath your shoulders. Squeezing your abs, slowly pull your knees into your chest, making sure that your torso is straight and you do not curve your spine. As you do this, the ball will roll under your legs, not letting them touch the ground. Hold for two seconds before straightening your legs to roll back into the first position. Do 15 repetitions for two sets.
Tips and Warnings
Before you begin any workout, it is important that you warm up first. Light aerobic activity at least five minutes prior to the workout will prepare your muscles. Remember to cool down as well when you are done. Have a good post-workout stretching routine to allow the muscles to relax after exertion. Also, check your form constantly. Because of proximity, poorly done lower ab exercises can cause unnecessary strain and injury to your lower back and upper thighs. Correct form is the key for getting results.