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Best Lower Ab Workouts for Men

Best Lower Ab Workouts for Men

Having a strong core means that you have strong lower abs. Adding lower ab workouts to your workout routine will help strengthen your lower abdominal muscles, improve flexibility, and fix body posture. This article provides two lower ab workout plans for men.

1. Role of Lifting Heavy Weights to Build Stronger Lower Abs

The lower abs, short for the lower abdominals, refer to the lower portion of the rectus abdominis muscle. They are part of one of the major muscle groups in the abdominal area.

These muscles start from the pubic bone and end at the rib cage. They are responsible for keeping the spine straight while stabilizing the pelvis and lower back. Lifting heavy weights helps build your lower abs and work other muscles in your body.

2. Muscles in the Lower Abs

Rectus Abdominis: It is a long muscle consisting of two portions that run down the front of the abdomen. The lower portion flexes the spine and rotates the pelvis. It allows your body to move freely between the ribcage and pelvis.

Transverse Abdominis: It is a deep muscle wrapped around the entire abdomen, providing support and stability to the spine and pelvis.

Internal and External Obliques: They are located along the sides of the abdomen and help you bend and rotate your spine. They are crucial for rotation and lateral flexion of the trunk.

Hip Flexors: They aid in lifting and flexing your hips. Hip flexors do not fall under the category of lower abs, but they do play an important role in strengthening your lower abs.

3. Role of Diet

Diet plays a crucial role in building lower abs. If your workout plans are effective, but you are not taking a healthy nutritious diet, you will notice fewer changes in the appearance of your lower abs.

A diet that is rich in protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates will help support the growth of lean muscle mass. Foods such as lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and tofu, healthy fats like nuts, and olive oil, and carbohydrates like whole grains and vegetables can provide the necessary nutrients.

4. Lower Ab Workout Plan 1

The following workout plan takes only 20 minutes and should be performed at least three times per week.

4.1. Double Leg Drops

Double leg drops, also known as leg lowers, target the muscles in your lower abdominals and hip flexors. It also tones the transverse abdominis and improves stamina since you have to keep contracted muscles raised for an extended time.

To perform double leg drops:

  • Lie on your back atop an exercise mat with your legs straightened and lifted in the air.
  • Your legs must be perpendicular to the floor.
  • You can place your hands under your lower back or at your sides for support.
  • Engage your core muscles and slowly lower your legs toward the floor. Try to keep them straight.
  • Lower them to the floor without touching.
  • Hold this position for one second, then use your lower abs to lift your legs back up to the starting position.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 12-15 reps 2 min 1 min

4.2. Rocking Plank

A rocking plank improves your posture and builds stamina. To benefit from this exercise, you must keep your core engaged. Start for a few seconds; only increase the time after your body becomes comfortable with the exercise.

To perform rocking planks:

  • Start in a plank position with your forearms and toes supporting your body. Your body must be straight and parallel to the ground.
  • Your elbows must be directly under your shoulders.
  • Move your body forward and backward, shifting your weight back and forth between your toes and forearms.
  • Your movements must be smooth and controlled.
  • As you move forward, your shoulders must move slightly past your elbows. As you rock backward, your hips should slightly move past your toes.
  • Keep moving in a straight line whether shifting forward or backward.
  • You can bend your feet if you wish to adjust the difficulty of this exercise.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 8-12 reps 3 min 60 sec

4.3. Heel Tap Crunch

The heel tap crunch is responsible for shaping your obliques and transverse abdominis. They can also improve stability and flexibility in your hip flexors.

To perform heel tap crunches:

  • Lie down on your back atop a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands on both sides.
  • Lift your head from the floor and use your right hand to touch your right toe.
  • Alternate and repeat with your left hand and left toe.
  • Keep your lower abs contracted while trying to touch your toes.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 12-15 reps 2 min 60 sec

4.4. Side Plank

The side plank focuses on working your external and internal oblique muscles. They also help you bend your hips and protect your back from being hurt if struck by instant force or jolt.

To perform side planks:

  • Lie on one side with your legs extended and your feet stacked on top of each other.
  • Your elbow must be directly under your shoulder, and your forearm should be on the floor, perpendicular to your body.
  • Place your other hand on your hip or extend it towards the ceiling.
  • Raise your hips off the ground, forming a straight line from your head to your feet.
  • Engage your core while keeping your body parallel to the ground.
  • Hold this position for at least 15 seconds.
  • Alternate and repeat on your other side.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 8-12 reps 2 min 60 sec

4.5. Double Crunches

Double crunches allow you to contract your lower abdominal muscles and hip flexors in a single exercise. Unlike other exercises that work on a specific muscle group, double crunches work two muscle groups at once.

To perform double crunches:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
  • Place your hands behind your head while bending your elbows.
  • Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground while bringing your knees towards your chest.
  • When you reach the top, contract your abs and hold for one to two seconds.
  • Lower your head, neck, shoulders, and legs back to the starting position.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
3 sets 10-15 reps 1 min 60 sec

4.6. TRX Prone Pike

TRX prone pikes build your core muscles and lower abs, improve your cardiovascular health, and help your spine’s flexibility.

To perform TRX-prone pikes:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your feet.
  • Your feet must be resting in the holsters as shown in the image above.
  • Keep your hands on the floor and pull your hips straight above your shoulders.
  • Slowly bring your hips down.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
3-4 sets 10-15 reps 2 min 1 min

4.7. Swiss Ball Crunch

The swiss ball crunch is a crunch performed on top of a swiss ball or a medicine ball.

To perform a swiss ball crunch:

  • Start by sitting on a ball, then shift your body until your hips are hanging off the ball. Your spine should still be in contact with the ball.
  • Your face must be facing the ceiling with your chin slightly tucked.
  • To make the exercise more dynamic, put your arms behind your head to start stretching your lower abs.
  • From this position, crunch up and down.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
1-2 sets 10-15 reps 1 min 1 min

5. Lower Ab Workout Plan 2

This workout consists of low-impact exercises, only takes 40 minutes to complete, and should be performed at least twice a week.

5.1. Ab Contractions

Ab contractions work on your transverse abdominis muscles, and improve your breathing rate,cardiovascular health, and metabolism.

To perform ab contractions:

  • Lie down on an exercise mat or do the contractions in a standing position. Take at least five seconds to contract your lower abs.
  • Take another five seconds to return to the initial position.
  • When performing ab contractions while lying down, place your hands at the back of your head.
  • Bend your knees with your feet flat on the ground.
  • Your elbows must be bent when you contract your abs.
  • Start with a small number of reps, then gradually increase the quantity over time.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 12-15 reps 5 min 1 min

5.2. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers strengthen your lower abs, shoulders, and lower body muscles. It can also improve balance, flexibility, cardio, strength, and endurance.

To perform mountain climbers:

  • Start in a plank position. Your hands must be spread at shoulder-width.
  • Your spine must be straight with your core engaged.
  • Your hips must not be too high nor too low.
  • Bend and bring one leg forward. Your foot and knee should not touch the ground.
  • Hold this position for one second before switching to the other leg.
  • Increase the speed when you alternate between legs as your body becomes accustomed to this exercise.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 10-12 reps 2 min 30 sec

5.3. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches work your abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques. The twisting motion of the bicycle crunch can help improve stability and balance.

To perform bicycle crunches:

  • Lie on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing out to the sides.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the ground while engaging your abdominal muscles.
  • Contract your lower abdominal muscles while flexing your spine.
  • Straighten your left leg while bringing your right leg close to your belly.
  • Touch your bent right knee with your left bent elbow.
  • Repeat with your right leg and left elbow.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 15-20 reps 5 min 1 min

5.4. Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch targets the lower portion of the rectus abdominis muscle and can help strengthen your lower abs. Reverse crunches are low-impact exercises that can be performed without putting extra stress on your joints.

To perform a reverse crunch:

  • Lie flat on your back and keep both arms at your sides. Your legs must be extended in front of you.
  • Lift your feet in the air while bending your knees.
  • Your knees must be close to your chest while curling your pelvis around the ribcage. When you lift your legs from the ground, contract your lower abs.
  • Place both hands on the back of your ears.
  • Bring your knees and forehead close while keeping your feet straight.
  • You can also bring your elbows to your knees.
  • Or, instead of bending only your knees, you can lift your hips by crossing over your legs.
  • Return to the starting position.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 10-15 reps 5 min 30-60 sec

5.5. Alternating Toe Touch

To perform alternating toe touch:

  • Lie on an exercise mat with your back and legs flat against the ground.
  • Extend your arms behind your head.
  • Bring your hands forward and touch the toes on one of your legs.
  • Your leg must be perpendicular to the ground while touching your toes with both hands.
  • Alternate and repeat with your other leg.
  • Continue to alternate between sides in a controlled and fluid motion.
  • Repeat the process and keep your core engaged and breathe deeply while performing this exercise.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
2-3 sets 8-10 reps 5 min 45-60 sec

5.6. Hanging Leg Raise

For hanging leg raises, avoid swinging or using momentum as it can reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and increase the risk of injury. You can make this exercise easier by bending your knees and bringing them toward your chest. This exercise can strengthen the lower abs, hip flexors, and grip strength.

To perform hanging leg raises:

  • Jump and grab onto a high bar that will leave your body suspended. This will pre-stretch your abs before you start the exercise.
  • While hanging on a bar, bring your hips up to your chin by swinging your legs in an arc.
  • Move your hips along with your legs to exert your abs. Make sure to keep your knees slightly bent.
Number of Reps Time Rest
10-12 reps 5 min 30-60 sec

5.7. Ab Wheel

The ab wheel targets your lower abs and core muscles.

To perform ab wheels:

  • Kneel on a mat with padding to avoid injuring your knees.
  • Grab the handles of the wheel with your palm facing downwards and your fingers pointing straight.
  • Engage your core muscles and slowly roll the wheel forward. Slowly extend your arms while keeping your back straight.
  • Your head must be in a neutral position.
  • Keep rolling the wheel forward until you feel a stretch in your lower abs.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly rolling the wheel back to the starting position.
  • From the initial cat position, go into the cow position.
  • Make sure to keep your back straight and avoid unnecessary bending.
Number of Sets Number of Reps Time Rest
3-4 sets 10-12 reps 5 min 1 min

6. FAQs

6.1. Is Alcohol Bad for Lower Ab Workouts?

If you are exercising your lower abs, try to stick with a healthy, nutritious diet and avoid drinking alcohol. It slows down the natural recovery process and increases your cortisol levels.

6.2. How Does Sleeping Affect Your Lower Ab Workout Plan?

Your sleeping habits can determine your efficiency during lower ab workouts. If you get enough sleep, you will function better and it lowers the risk of injuries. You can suffer from muscle fatigue by not having a proper sleep cycle.

7. Conclusion

Lower ab workouts work on your lower abdominals to give them a proper shape. Exercises like double leg drops and heel tap crunches require you to keep your spine in a flexed position. Rocking planks and mountain climbers work on your abs and shoulders. They provide great upper body strength.

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