Most abdominal exercises only tone the upper abdominal muscles. To achieve balance, you need to target both the upper and the lower abdominal muscles. The lower abdominal muscles sit just under the navel. Unfortunately, the lower abdominals are often overlooked for a number of reasons such as lower back pain or a weak core. To give your lower abdominal muscles some love, we have put together a guide to help you achieve a stronger, more sculpted midsection:
The Importance of Lower Abdominal Muscles
Stronger, More Defined Abs
You simply cannot limit your workout to upper abdominal exercises to achieve washboard abs. You have to tone the upper and the lower abdominal to achieve excellent definition. Strengthening the lower abdominal muscles eliminate the persistent “pooch” under the navel that affects the flatness of your midsection.
Stabilizes the Lower Back
Did you know that weak hamstrings and core cause lower back pain? To build a stronger back, you need to tone the lower abdominal muscles. The lower abdominal muscles carry a lot of your weight so they ease pressure away from the spine. By enhancing your body’s weight bearing abilities, the lower back remains strong and pain-free!
Boosts Balance and Coordination
When the lower abdominal muscles and spine are strong, there is a remarkable change in the body’s balance and coordination. Core workouts target a specific part of the brain that improves balance and coordination. Stronger lower abdominal muscles ensure that the body is balanced and stable.
A toned midsection makes for a flexible body. How? Lower and upper abdominal exercises stretch the ligaments and muscles of the lower back and midsection. These motions alleviate stress, tension, and pain in various points of the spine, specifically the lower back. Improved flexibility boosts the body’s range of motion!
The Best Moves that Targets the Lower Abs
90-Degree Static Press
This move will target the lower abdominals and the core. To perform this exercise, lie face up on the exercise mat then lift and bend the knees and hips at 90 degrees. Extend the arms and press the palms against the top of your thighs.
Take a deep breath then pull the lower abdominal muscles in tight as you press your lower back to the floor. Hold the position for a second then release.
Single Leg Stretch
This resisted leg workout will isolate the lower abdominal muscles and the leg muscles. To perform this move, lie on your back face up and bend both knees into the chest. Now, interlace the fingers on the top of the right thigh then extend the left leg out parallel to the floor. Lift the head and shoulders off the floor to curl over the top of the ribcage. Press your palm to the thigh and tip the pelvis to bring the right knee towards the chest. Now alternate to the other leg and do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Crisscross Lift and Switch
This move will tone that persistent pooch in the lower abs! To perform this exercise, lie on your back with the arms extended by the sides. Now, extend both legs straight towards the ceiling, crossing the legs over each other. Pull in the lower abdominal muscles and inhale. As you exhale, lower the crossed legs down towards the ground, pressing the arms down for support. Complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.