The attractive and athletic figure from Greek mythology known as Adonis sported the first "Adonis belt" -- the "V" that you might see at the bottom of your abs if your body fat is low enough.
Even though the Adonis Belt is named after a male figure, females can achieve this look as well. It's seen as a symbol of absolute fitness, just like the six-pack.
What is the Adonis Belt?
The area where the ab, hip and thigh muscles meet makes up the Adonis belt. They're separated by the inguinal ligament and iliac crest, the top of the hip bone. The abs sit above this separation and the muscles of the hip and thigh sit below.
The Adonis Belt is difficult to see in most people because you need to have a very low body fat percentage for it to be visible. It can also be difficult to see if you're wearing clothes because most of Adonis Belt is actually below the belt line. When you can see the Adonis Belt, it looks like a "V" at the bottom of the abdomen that points down towards the groin.
Can You Train the Adonis Belt?
The area of the Adonis Belt that creates separation between your hips and abdominals is made of the inguinal ligament and hip bone, neither of which you can train. You can, however, train the muscles above and below these lines of separation.
The ab muscles above the line of separation include the rectus abdominis -- which lies in the center of your abdomen. The muscles at the sides of your waist, the external obliques and internal obliques as well as the deep transversus abdominis also exist above the line. All of the ab muscles are connected to the hip bone via the same tendon, called the linea alba.
Below the line of the Adonis Belt are your thigh and hip muscles. The most visible hip muscles are the glutes and tensor fasciae latae, which move the hip away from the body. The gluteus medius is the closest of the glute muscles to the Adonis Belt and looks like a fan-shaped muscle. The most visible thigh muscles are the rectus femoris and sartorius which flex the hip. To target the muscles at the top of your thigh, known as the hip flexors, use standing banded knee raises. To target the muscles on the side of your hip, the hip abductors, use side-lying leg raises.
These exercises target the obliques and lower abs, the most visible parts of the Adonis Belt, to give the muscles more definition. All of this hard work will pay off once your body fat is low enough to see the muscles, which you can achieve through an excellent diet and lots of activity.
Kettlebell Reverse Crunch
While normal crunches target the upper abs, reverse crunches target the obliques and lower abs.
Perform 10 to 12 repetitions.
Grab a kettlebell that is moderately heavy. If you're not sure what weight to use, try to find a kettlebell that weighs about 20 percent of your body weight. Hold the bell with both hands on the sides of the handle. Flip the bell upside down so that the ball portion is resting on top of your hands.
Lie on your back in the dead bug position with your legs in the air and knees bent at 90 degrees; your lower legs are parallel to the ground. Extend your arms straight up towards the ceiling until your elbows are locked out. Lay your head flat on the ground.
Slowly move your arms behind your head, keeping your elbows as straight as possible. Stop when the kettlebell is completely behind your head.
Keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle, lift your butt off of the ground by pushing your lower back down into the ground. Keep the kettlebell in the same spot as in step three. Breathe out as your hips roll up.
Slowly lower your hips back down to the ground.
This is a variation of the classic plank exercise that targets the muscles on the side of your torso, specifically your obliques.
Hold for as long as possible on each side. Aim for at least 20 seconds.
Lie on the ground on your right side, leaning on your right elbow, with your right forearm and hand on the ground. Straighten your legs and stack your left leg on top of your right.
Raise your hips off of the ground but keep your elbow, forearm and right foot on the ground. Straighten out your body to make a straight line from your head to your ankles. Hold this position for as long as possible, then switch sides.
These exercises target the hip flexors, the muscles at the top of your thigh, and hip abductors, the muscles on the side of you hip.
You'll need a mini-resistance band for the first exercise, which is a small, circular, resistance band.
Banded Hip Flexion
There aren't many exercises that work your hip flexors as well as this one. You might be sore in muscles you've never felt before!
Perform 10 to 12 repetitions on each side.
Put a mini-band around the middle of your feet. Stand upright with a tall posture.
Raise your right leg up in front of you while bending your knee. Keep your toes pointed up so that the band doesn't slip off. When your right thigh is parallel to the ground, stop and slowly lower your foot to the floor.
Lying Hip Abductions
This exercise is simple yet extremely challenging. The little muscle in your hip that burns when you do this exercise is called the gluteus medius.
Do 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.
Lie on your right side. Use your right hand to prop your head up. Make sure that your hips are stacked on top of each other. Straighten out your legs and keep your left leg on top of your right.
Internally rotate your right leg by pointing your toes down towards the floor. Keep them pointed towards the floor throughout the whole movement. This is a small tweak that makes a big difference. According to a study in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation turning your toes in activates the gluteus medius significantly more.
Raise your right leg as high as you can towards the ceiling, keeping your knee straight, then slowly lower it back down.