Men often try to achieve a defined V-cut by working their lower abs. However, your upper and lower abs are connected, which means that your core works as a unit. Good lower ab workouts for men should consequently focus on core exercises.
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Lower Ab Workouts for Men
The lean, toned V-shape is the goal for many men — and many men believe that they can achieve it by targeting their lower abs. However, this is actually a myth! According to the American Council on Exercise and a July 2016 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine, your upper and lower abs work together, forming a single muscle group.
Since your core works as a unit, you can't selectively target one area of your abs by performing a killer lower ab workout. However, this doesn't mean that it's impossible to achieve that much-desired V-shape. In order to do so, you should simply focus on a good core workout.
A September 2017 study in The Sport Journal recommends anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti-rotation exercises to help train your core. These include various popular exercises like the plank, side plank and bird dog, as well as some more challenging exercises, like the tripod plank and bicycle crunches.
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Lower Ab Exercises for Men
Lower ab exercises for men can vary substantially. However, as long as you're incorporating at least one of each of the anti-exercises (anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti-rotation), you should end up with a killer lower ab workout.
You're probably familiar with the plank exercise, a popular way to work out your core and one of the most popular anti-extension exercises. If you're keen on adding a bit more variety to your workout, try the tripod plank instead.
The tripod plank starts out in the same position as the regular plank. However, in this exercise, you only use one leg.
- Lie down with your forearms on a mat so that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line.
- Lift your body up. Your weight should be supported by your forearms and forefeet.
- Lift one leg up so that the supporting leg is bearing your weight. Rapidly switch back and forth between your legs.
- Continue switching back and forth (if possible, for the same duration as the standard plank: 60 seconds).
If you start feeling your abs ache, you may want to stop, as this can lead to you arching your lower back in response. It's better to do a shorter exercise than to do a longer exercise with bad form, which can result in lower back problems.
The Bird Dog
The bird dog is a popular anti-rotation exercise that's great for your core.
- Get on all fours, with your hands underneath your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Your back should be straight.
- Extend your left arm in front of you while simultaneously kicking your right leg behind you
- Return your arm and leg to their original positions, and switch so that your right arm and left leg are extended as well.
- Repeat, alternating your arm-and-leg pairs over a period of 30 seconds.
The Leg-Raise Side Plank
The side plank is a popular anti-lateral flexion exercise. Unlike many other anti-lateral flexion exercises, the side plank is easy to incorporate into a lower abs workout at home.
The leg-raise side plank is a variation of the side plank. It adds a bit of an extra challenge through the use of your own body weight.
- Lie down on your side on a mat. Your forearm should be resting on the mat, and you should be propped up so that your elbow is directly under your shoulder
- Straighten your knees and hips, then rest your top leg on the lower leg so that your body forms a straight line.
- Lift your body up, pushing your hips toward the ceiling.
- Lift your upwards facing leg toward the ceiling. Hold for as long as possible.
- When you bring your leg down, switch sides and repeat.
- Each side should be done two-to-three times.