Exercises for the Lower Abdominal Muscles
How long can we argue about the number of cubes in the abdominal muscle! 8,7,6… are there four on each side or just three? Who said that they have to be symmetrical? Tendon partitions, which cross the abdominal muscle and create several segments, can be unsymmetrical from the middle line.
Let’s have a small excursion in anatomy. The straight abdominal muscle starts from the ribs and is attached to the pubis bone. It has three or four cross-line partitions: two above the navel, one at the level of navel, and one below it. Some people don’t have the lower partition, so they have three cubes on each side instead of four. If the same situation takes place on the other side of the straight abdominal muscle, then it is a six-pack. A seven-pack is also possible when one side has lower cross-line partitions and the other doesn’t. Thank God people have “cubes” and not “triangles”, which are much harder to train. Upper “cubes” are the easiest to exercise because most of the exercises -- like crunches and other lifts of the upper body -- train these muscles. They are usually called the “upper abs”. “Lower abs” are much harder to train because the range of exercises are quite specific, and simple leg lifts are not enough.
In order to boost the lower press, you should limit leg motion and concentrate on the movement of pelvis. Try to recall if you do such exercises or not. If nothing comes to mind, then we are here to help you!
You will need a medium size fitness-ball for this exercise. While lying on the floor, put the legs on the ball and try to hold it with the hips and shins by pressing it with the heals. Now lift the ball and keep the loins the floor (Photo 1).
While exhaling, pull the knees towards the chest while completely pressing the hips to the body (Photo 2).
As a result of this motion, your hips and buttocks will lift up from the floor and your pelvis will move towards the shoulders – this is the work of the lower abs, however the upper abs get some training as well.
While inhaling slowly, put the buttocks down while keeping the ball in the air. When putting down the buttocks, it is important to keep the loins on the floor otherwise your back will have excess pressure placed on it. Also be attentive to the pace of exercising: if you do the lifting fast and jerky, your loins can lift from the floor and all the pressure will be placed on the shoulder blades (Photo 3).
This exercise is quite difficult if done correctly, so limit yourself with 2-3 sets of 15-20 repeats each.
By the way, doing reverse squeezes with a ball is easier if you wear shorts which don’t let the ball slip. It is very hard to hold the ball in stretchy clothes.
We are sure that this exercise will make you sweat and smile, and all your efforts will not be in vain because you will get nice, toned abs. Don’t forget about anaerobic activities, as well as low fat and low carbohydrate diets.
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