So I’ve done articles on this before but I mean who doesn’t love a good set of lower abs.
This topic was inspired by this article I was reading for Cross Fitters on developing lower abs to prevent injury.
Sure, these exercises will make your six-pack burn and maybe even give you abs up top like this, but prepare to feel and move like poop and look like a box in the process.
Ripped yes, but note the wide “box-like” pelvis and chest
With no disrespect to Crossfit, our goal is to avoid this “pancake” syndrome where our frame gets wider and bulkier as we train.
The core exercises we select should not only define muscle but to change the shape of the pelvis in a way that is physically appealing and healthy.
Here is how we do just that.
Step 1. Changing the shape
If we examine the physique of a typical “ripped” Crossfitter, we have a wide thorax and a large, well-defined six-pack.
They typically perform a lot of sit-ups, toes to bars and hollow rocks which tend to bias a widening of the ribcage and ultimately a wider frame.
This has a lot to do with doing stuff with two legs and/or arms moving together and excessively arching the back during core movements.
Instead, introducing alternating movements like the dead bug alternating reach and side-lying exercises tend to narrow the pelvis and make it look smaller.
Here is a video better explaining this concept: Lower Abs.
Step 2. Target the right muscles
A ripped six-pack looks great, but it won’t help you define the lower abs because they are different muscles!
The lower abs consist of the internal obliques and transverse abdominus. This pair are postural muscles that are developed through breathing and stimulation of the Adductor or inner thigh muscles with which they share a common connection.
Practical takeaways here include syncing each rep of your core exercise with a deep inhale at the top followed by a longer exhale as you extend your legs or arms.
Squeezing a block between the knees can also be useful to bring the inner thigh in to play.
Here is a video with a few examples to play with: Lower Abs Part 2.
Step 3. Put it together
Let’s keep things simple and make an awesome lower ab circuit. We will choose one exercise on the back, one side-lying exercise and one on all fours.
We will sync each rep with a long exhale and perform each drill between 30-60 seconds.
Here is a final video demonstrating an example: Lower Abs Part 3.
I will be posting more on our Facebook group this week, so feel free to join and partake.
I truly hope you found this interesting and useful to prep for summer and feel free to reach out to me with any questions.