How to Work Out Lower Abs

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Your abdominal muscle group is one of the most difficult to tone and maintain after you have massed the desired look. Sufficiently stimulating and toning your lower abs represents the ultimate step in reaching the "holy grail" of fitness: the "six pack." To overcome this common stumbling block, become familiar with a few effective and proven methods to work out your lower abs.

  • Lift your legs to strengthen and tone your lower abs. Start leg lifts by lying flat on your back with your legs fully extended and slightly elevated above the exercise surface. Begin by holding your heels 3 to 6 inches above the surface with your legs as straight as possible. Lift your legs at the hip in one fluid motion until perpendicular with the exercise surface. Lower your legs back to the starting position and repeat as necessary.

  • "Hang out" for a little while. Do some leg raises while supporting your weight with your arms, which forces your lower abdominal muscles to bear the brunt of the exercise's resistance. To start this exercise, simply hang from a pull-up bar with your arms and body completely extended. Raise your legs at the knees until you've brought your thighs parallel with the ground, and return to the starting position. You can also raise your legs by lifting at the hips until you've brought your entire leg parallel with the ground while keeping your knees locked out. Performing the latter exercise will require more strength, flexibility and effort.

  • Perform oblique twists. Keep your heels elevated above the ground with your knees bent at a 90 degree angle and your upper body extended at a 45 degree angle off the ground. Clasp your hands together out in front of you and rotate your upper body all the way to one side and back to the other side to complete one repetition. Keep your legs in the same position throughout the exercise to help maintain balance and resistance in your lower abdominal muscles.

  • Avoid the plateau effect by adding resistance to your exercises. Since your abdominal muscles tend to oxygenate quickly, toning them requires a high number of repetitions. Even with high reps, your lower abs will eventually adapt to the motion and exercise. To avoid this, add weight or resistance bands to your exercise routine. Utilizing weighted abdominal exercise machines at the gym can work wonders. You can also add ankle weights to exercises such as leg raises, leg lifts or oblique twists.

  • Diversify your abdominal routine. Abdominal exercises often have different variations you can perform to change up your intensity. Intensifying your lower abdominal workouts by mixing in different exercises will also help challenge your body constantly. Change your abdominal workout exercises every 2 or 3 exercise sessions to keep your lower abs guessing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Since some lower body exercises will require you to lie on the ground and perform motions that can place strain on your back, consider using a supportive exercise mat. This can greatly increase your comfort during exercises and reduce your risk of injury.
  • Talk to your doctor before starting any new rigorous diet and exercise routine.

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