If getting firm, flat, defined lower abs is your goal, you need the right lower ab exercises to get you there. Make no mistake though, abs are made in the kitchen. Chances are you’ve heard this saying before and while is rather cliché, nothing holds truer. You simply cannot expect to eat junk and see results – period. It’s not happening.
Getting visible abs is all about hard work, determination, and being able to withhold instant gratification. While I do believe there is a time and place for your favorite foods, you simply can’t allow yourself what you want whenever you want it and expect to see results. If you need help figuring out your target calories and macros, be sure to check out this video, which explains everything you need to know.
Luckily, with the right lower ab moves, getting that V-cut look is more achievable.
Let me walk you through 10 killer lower ab exercises that I promise will target your lower abs more than any other exercises you’ve done before. Get ready for a workout that will leave you sore for days.
Lower Ab Exercise 1: Hanging Knee Raise
The hanging knee raise is going to kick things off and is a great move for the beginner trainee. You’ll want to start this exercise with the pelvis and then continue on bringing the knees to the chest. By thinking of starting with the pelvis, you’ll get a strong ab contraction rather than just attempting to use momentum and even some of your upper body to lift your lower half up.
You want to go up to around 90 degrees with this movement to avoid losing activation on the abs and letting a resultant ‘drop’ take place. You want as controlled of a movement on the decent as possible. This will be hard, but that’s what gets those abs in great shape.
Feeling more advanced? If this is no challenge, try the hanging leg raise where you extend the knees instead. Because you’ll have a longer lever length in this position, you’ll have more resistance you now need to work against.
Lower Ab Exercise 2: Air Sprints
For this lower ab exercise, you’ll need a dip bar to get started. Position the body in the dip bar like you would if you were doing dips and then bring the pelvis and knees up slightly. You will adopt a slight forward lean in this position.
Now begin moving the legs as if you were doing bike sprints, keeping the abs contracted the entire time. Avoid losing that contraction as it’s the time under tension that’s going to really help evoke amazing results.
For this exercise, go for total time under tension of at least 30 seconds. Do this exercise until you can’t maintain good form and then rest and repeat.
Lower Abs Exercise 3: Swiss Ball Vertical Crunch
By putting yourself on an unstable surface such as a bosu ball or Swiss ball, you’ll actually dramatically increase your overall abdominal muscle activation, thus see better results.
Moral of the story? Use that ball as often as you can. For this exercise, you’re going to hold a plate weight directly above the body when you are lying across the ball. Keeping that plate level, you’re going to focus on lifting the upper body up off the ball.
Note, you are not crunching the body. You are lifting it upwards. This is a key change that will make all the difference in the world with the results that you see. When you crunch forward, you often strain your neck and reduce the tension on the lower abs.
When you lift up, you are forcing your abs to work, driving that movement the entire way through. You’ll immediately feel the difference when you’re doing this right. If it’s too challenging, simply drop the weight and do these weightless.
Lower Abs Exercise 4: Reverse Crunch
Lying on the back with the knees bent, palms down, bring the knees slowly off the floor and lift the pelvis up and towards you. The knees will move but should not bend further as you go about this movement.
Bring the pelvis forward as much as you can and then reverse directions to the start. You are not to let your feet rest on the floor again in this lower ab exercise but rather, maintain that tension you’ve just developed. The lower back should never arch or lose contact with the floor while doing this move.
Set a target of 12-15 reps on this move, keeping it slow and controlled. Never let the legs just drop back down to the floor – a mistake I see far too often. If you aren’t maintaining constant tension in the ab muscles, you’ll lose the results you could have achieved.
Lower Ab Exercise 5: Bottoms Up
If this is too easy, you can do the bottoms up variation, where you drive your feet upwards towards the ceiling and straightening the legs just the same. Focus on lifting your pelvis as high up the floor as possible while doing this exercise.
Then keep the tension in the lower abs as you lower yourself back down to the ground to complete the rep.
Lower Ab Exercise 6: Swiss Ball Roll Ins
Swiss ball roll-ins are another move you’ll want to include in your lower abs workout routine to get visible abs. Once again you’re bringing that unstable base of support to the equation, which is going to evoke higher overall ab muscle contraction.
Place the feet up on the exercise ball with the hands directly under the upper body. Keeping the upper body stationary, bend the knees while you keep the back flat and pull the ball into the body.
Lower Ab Exercise 7: Roger Federer Swiss Ball Roll Out
If that’s too easy, reverse it with this next lower ab exercise. This time, you’ll place the forearms on the Swiss ball, putting the feet on the floor for support. Once here, roll out the ball by extending the arms as far as you can while keeping your abs contracted. You’ll not only feel the abs working here, but your lats as well.
It’s important that you do keep the back straight in this move or you will place great strain on those lower back muscles and may be only a few workouts away from an injury that would take you out of the game.
Lower Ab Exercise 8: Quarter Reps Bottoms Up
You’ll now move to the quarter reps bottoms up exercise. We already talked about the bottoms up exercise above, but with this variation, you’re just doing a small portion of that movement. Think of it like doing a half rep on the bench press working the hardest half of the exercise. How bad would your chest muscles be burning?
Exactly. When you want to really dial in on those lower abs and get them crying for mercy, this is a great way to do it.
Because you are using just a small range of motion here, control is key. Don’t ever let momentum enter the equation but instead, drive the entire movement strictly with muscular strength.
Another tip to get more from this exercise is to make sure that your feet don’t come too far forward across the body. Instead, they should stay lower which then means that more weight is placed on the lower abs, working that target region. Let them move too far forward and you’ll have an upper ab exercise on your hands.
Lower Ab Exercise 9: Inverted Corkscrew
The inverted corkscrew is a twist on a lying ab crunch and is going to really hit those lower abs and obliques nicely. To do this one, you’ll want to lay flat down on the ground and place both arms out to the sides of the body. The arms are just there for support but should not help you through this exercise.
With the legs extended, now bend the knees and crunch up, but as you do, crunch to one side of the body. Come in as far as you can and then reverse directions before doing the exact same thing on the other side.
Keep alternating sides until all your reps are completed. Note that you should never let the feet rest on the floor in this movement. Instead keep them elevated so that you maintain constant tension on the lower abs at all times.
Lower Ab Exercise 10: Towel Twisters
This is a unique exercise that you’ve probably never seen before, but once you give it a try, you’ll be hooked.
Start off in a glute bridge position with the hips elevated and both feet planted firmly on the floor. From here, hold a towel with both hands, stretched apart so they are just wider than shoulder width apart.
Now from here, you’ll want to twist side to side, moving the hand down until it’s are touching the floor. Reverse directions after that rep is completed and continue on changing sides.
By keeping the body in the hip range position, you’ll not only get great activation of your lower abs but also the glutes as well.
Get these ten lower ab exercises into your workout routine and it won’t be long before you’re seeing those abs pop.
I’m Troy and I’m the creator of SuperHuman You and Co-Founder of Alpha Lion.
I created SuperHuman You to give you access to the most cutting edge information so you can reach your body goals as fast as humanly possible.
I’ve been obsessed with training since 2005 when I attended IMG Academy and got to train alongside NBA, NFL and Olympic Gold Medal winning athletes.
Now I’m on a mission to transform as many lives as possible and I’m so excited you found us!
I’ve been fortunate enough to train alongside and pick the brain of some of the best pro athletes, bodybuilders and trainers in the world – and this site represents over 15+ years of insights from the world’s best.
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