Lower Abs

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Sting
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Lower Abs

Post by Sting » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:33 am

Hey everyone,

I know this has probably been asked a million times, but a search on "lower abs" and "lower adominals" of the forum didn't give me much info (i got lots of RehAB" threads and even a thread of Self Defense!), so I thought I would just ask.

What are the best workouts that target the lower abs. I know that it is impossible to JUST work the lower abs, but are there any work outs that target them better than others? What are the best workouts for developing the lower abdominals!

Thanks!


ironmaiden708
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Post by ironmaiden708 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:45 am


Sting
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Post by Sting » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:16 pm

Touche.

Well what is the best excercise to do then? If doing a million crunches doesn't work (which I have been doing for a while, only recently started changing it up) should I be using the weighted crunch machine they have at my gym? Should I be doing it like any other exercise - 6-10 reps, with a weight that makes it hard to finish the last rep of the last set?

Are the weighted crunch machines a good option... I don't see it on this site under the ab work outs, so I am concerned it may not be a good option.

How about that "chair" you hold yourself up in and then raise your legs up?

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Post by corless319_ » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:26 pm

I would recomend watching your diet and doing some cardio just a slight touch of cardio with dieting should get you where you want to be.

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Post by Sting » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:48 pm

I am actaully not worried about getting a 6 pack. I have definate tone in my abs, no six pack, but it still looks okay and currently, I do enjoy eating too much to starve the last tiny bit of body fat off.

I was just wondering because while the upper part of my abs always feels so hard worked but the lower part doesnt... i don't know if thats supposed to be possible, but thats how it feels.

I just like the tone and want to keep it the best way possible. I know doing 200 crunches 5 days a week is probably just a bad idea for my lower back, so I am seeing if there is anything that will work them harder so I can do less reps.


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Post by Chris_A » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:09 pm

As you noted, you can not isolate the “lower Abs”. In fact, there technically is no such thing as “lower abs” or “upper abs”. The Abs are one long muscle called the Rectus Abdominis. On either side of this single long muscle are the Obliques. The tendinous creases in the rectus abdominis gives the separation and makes it appear there are 6 or more muscles at play, but in reality, it is one muscle.

When training the Abs, you need to pick the right exercise. Some people like to do full sit-ups, especially with their feet anchored. The problem with this is that the stronger hip flexors will come into play.

By far, the best Ab exercise is the crunch. To further isolate the abs, hold your feet in the air or place them on a bench so that you thighs perpendicular to the floor. This will keep the hip flexors from assisting very much. When you do the crunch, concentrate on the abs. Feel the muscle work, and think about the movement. Make sure you feel the abs, and only the abs, pulling your shoulders from the floor as you crunch forward. You should crunch upward so that your upper torso is 30 degrees, but no more than 45 degrees, off the floor. Basically, get your shoulder blades completely off the ground but no more than that.

When you do a crunch, the entire rectus abdominis is involved. However, there is more shortening of the fibers in the upper abdominal region near the rib cage as opposed to the lower region. Even though you can not isolate the “lower abs” you can perform an exercise that will cause more shortening of the fibers in the lower abdominal region.

The exercise is the “reverse crunch”. To perform this, you hold your legs in the air with the thighs perpendicular to the floor. Now, using only the abs, crunch your pelvis toward your chest so that you lift your pelvis off the floor. This is a very short and somewhat tricky movement. Some practice may be required to get it right. Here is a link that explains the exercise.

http://exercise.about.com/od/abs/ss/abexercises_7.htm

With all that being said, if you are interested in seeing your “6-pack” then you simply need to lose the layer of fat that is covering them. Lee Priest, a professional bodybuilder once said in an interview with Flex that he rarely works his abs at all. He went on to say “we all have abs”, you just have to shed the fat to show them. As such, abs are more a product of diet than heavy work. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t train your abs, but for 6-pack results you need more concentration on shedding abdominal fat than you do on working the abs to death.

Also, if you do have a layer of fat cover your abs, then working the abs can make your “belly” even bigger. The abs are underneath the belly fat. If you make the abs bigger, they push the fat further out. So again, ab training is first and foremost diet (fat burning) and then training second.

Here is a great link to an article on ab training that examines the operation of the abdominals and dispels several popular myths.

http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20 ... minal.html

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Post by Chris_A » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:12 pm

One other thing, if you're doing 200 crunches in a routine, then think about adding weight. Hold a plate to your chest when you do the crunches. At 200 reps, you're builidng endurance and not getting hypertrophy (bigger abs).

You can also hold heavy dumbbells above you (as if you had just locked out on a DB Benchpress) and do crunches that way.

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Post by TimD » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:16 pm

While Ironmaiden is corret in that it is all one complex muscle, he is overlooking that there are several insertion points. You happen to be talking about the lower insertions around the pelvis area, and while it would be hard to isolate it, you can emphasise them. It's going to bring the hip flexors into play, but any type of leg raiseing will emphasize that area over the upper insertions. Same thing as the hams. The various dl's, good mornings, emphasize the upper portion, while the knee curl emphasizes the insertions behind the knee cap. The old Roman chair does a decent job of emphasizing the whole thing with the extended ROM.
Tim

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Post by corless319_ » Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:38 pm

tim how long until you hit 2000 posts! haha you have a ton lol


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