Everyone wants lower abs. And for good reason — they’re the pinnacle of abdominal craftsmanship and the embodiment of physical glamour.
What’s interesting though, is that contrary to what I perceive to be popular belief, the “lower abs” aren’t an actual muscle in-and-of themselves — they’re the lower section of the rectus abdominis (RA, aka the “six-pack muscles”) combined with the lower external obliques (pictured in green below).
Lower abs are the final piece of the abdominal puzzle. They signal the actualization of a six-pack — or maybe even an eight-pack — given that body fat sheds from top-to-bottom. Fat in that area is the last to go, and the absolute first to come back when your diet slips for even a millisecond. If your lower abs are currently a) visible and b) undulating, tight, defined, and well-developed, you’re officially a lean abdominal machine.
And who’s eyes aren’t glued to a deep v-cut and a pancake-flat belly?
“Lower abs” aren’t an actual muscle in-and-of themselves — they’re the lower section of the rectus abdominis (aka the “six-pack muscles”) combined with the lower external obliques.
Using a combination of TRX bands, exercise balls, pull-up bars, and good old-fashioned body weight, we’ve devised a list of the 14 most effective lower ab exercises of all time to help tear up the lower portion of the RA and sculpt a deep v-cut. Exercises range in difficulty — gauge your own level of fitness and gradually upgrade as you gain strength.
PLEASE remember: no matter how many 1000’s of reverse crunches, pulse ups, and TRX saw pikes you do, if there’s fat covering your abs you WILL NOT see your lower abs. Lower abs are the product of single-digit body fat AND a strong lower rectus abdominis, obtained through the exercises below. To effectively melt body fat, rely on cardio — HIIT if you’re fit enough to do it — and weight-training.
Ab exercises alone will not effectively burn fat from the abdominal region.
Lower Ab Exercise 1: Ab Pulse Ups
Ab Pulse Ups
Protocol: 20 reps
Target Muscle(s): Lower Abs
1. Lie flat on your back on top of a flat bench or on the floor. If you’re on the floor place your hands under your butt; if you’re on a bench place your hands behind your head to produce a deep stretch.
2. Tighten your core, contract your lower abs, and raise your legs until they’re 100% vertical. Your body should form a 90º angle. That’s your starting position.
3. SQUEEZE your butt & lower abs and use your hips to push your legs directly upwards. This is a “pulse.” Don’t bend your legs.
4. Hold at the top for .5 seconds, slowly lower, and allow your butt to briefly touch the bench.
5. Immediately repeat the pulsing motion for a full set.
6. Once you’re able to do 15 reps, perform with a light dumbbell in between your feet. You’ll amp up the weight and shock your abs into new growth.