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How do I strengthen my lower abs?

To strengthen your lower abdomen, try the knee lift exercise:

Start by standing up straight with your feet together. Hold on to a chair for extra balance. This is the starting position.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Slowly raise your left knee to your chest, or as far up as possible.
  • Slowly lower your left leg back to the starting position.
  • Slowly raise your right knee to your chest, or as far up as possible.
  • Slowly lower your right leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this set of movements 5 times.

Unfortunately, there are no such thing as lower abs. You have one rectus abdominus that runs from the sternum down to the groin area. It is one muscle whose fibers run vertically and is ruled by the All or Nothing Principle. Because all the muscle fiber fires, the upper or lower half does not fire independently, which means we do not have lower abs. However, a muscle that runs lower on the pelvis is your transverse abdominus. Toning this lower abdominal area may help. The transverse abdominus runs from the center of the abdominal region and inserts into the low back area. When this muscle is contracted, it cinches in your waist like a corset. Training this muscle helps create tone in that area.
A great exercise to strengthen the lower abs is the knee-up.  Perform the knee-up by following the technique described below.  Lie with your back on the floor or on a flat bench with your hips bent at a 90 degree angle.  Next, grab a stable object for support, and while keeping the hips bent at a 90 degree angle extend the legs into the air.  Make sure to draw-in your belly and contract your glutes.  Last, lift your hips off of the floor or bench, reaching your feet up towards the ceiling.  Slowly return to the starting position and repeat as necessary.  To increase the difficulty of this exercise it can be performed on a stability ball or decline bench as well.  Alternatively, if this exercise is too challenging, a reverse crunch is another beneficial exercise that will target the lower abs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.