As I have started to lean up recently, I have noticed that my first row of abs are MUCH bigger than the next two rows. How can I work the lower abs more?
leg raises, or hanging knee ups. are good ones. specially if you use weights
Lay on a bench with your legs hanging off and do leg raises, have a partner push your legs down while you're doing this for resistance, You will def. feel it the next day.
good luck. Abs are not ideal muscles to try and achieve any appreciable amount of hypertrophy. Just don't waste too much time on them IMO
I agree here although you can develope them. For about that last year I have inorporated heavy weights in the 12-15rep range and have noticed the peaks and valleys between abs are a lot more pronounced. As for lower abs I like the Roman Chair (straight leg)Originally Posted by jweave23
Like jweave said, abs really don't like to grow and the best way to bring em out is to drop BF. Of course, nobody can maintain a super low BF all year if they have any desire to gain muscle. Personally, I would focus on strengthening your core abdominal muscles which will help you have increased stability on deads, squats, etc. Sure, working on building up the mass all around is good too, but don't expect anything fantastic.
the best way to hypertrophy abs is a lot of GH. look at the top level pros they have abs that look like 6 softballs all next to eachother.
Yeah, I'm not expecting then to get big, but I would at least like them to be as big as my top row is. Of course I will need to finish losing the layer of fat on top of them first.
I like to do hanging leg raises (forgot the official name of these) where you hang from a chinup bar and raise your legs, keeping them straight, until they are parallel with the floor. Try to really stretch out your body at the bottom. Then when you can't do anymore with straight legs, do them while bending at the knee.
abs are built in the kitchen. I stole that from a guy named anthony ellis but its very true. The leaner you get the better your abs will look. Also, studdies have shown that weighted crunches are effective at activating ALL parts of the ab.
well considering the "abs" are one sheet of muscle you cannot achieve more hypertrophy on your "lower" abs opposed to your "upper" abs because they are one in the same its like those guys saying they can work the "inner chest" which is completely inacurate. Because muscles work on the all or none principle your abs will contract as one piece of muscle or not at all.
Oh and by the way the abs are a very shallow muscle you will not recieve a whole lot of hypertrophy there any ways like amny have said before me.
Yes, the entire muscle contracts at once, but certain angles and ranges of movement place more stress on different areas of the muscle.
No they dont....it is a very basic foundation of excersise physiology.
Low Body Fat is ideal for those 6-packs to show, But doing proper excersises where you are focusing on your stomach and not your back or hips, can develope the abdominal muscles stronger and increase size, leading to more viewable abs with your body fat at a maintainable %
Here are a few excersises to Try:
Exercise #1 : Lay flat on the floor, legs drawn up at an angle, feet flat on the floor. This is similar to the "oldstyle" situp position. Place your hands on opposite shoulders, elbows pointing at the ceiling. Now try to touch your elbows to your hips by "curling" your upper body into a ball. You probably wont be able to get all the way there (At least I cant....), but you should feel a tension in your midsection just below your breastbone down to about your navel. Hold this for a second or two, then slowly relax back down. These muscles respond just as well to a slower movement, so there is no need to thrash back and forth like a whale trying to unbeach itself. ;-)
Exercise #2: This is similar to the first exercise. Lay on your back with your hands palm down on the floor along your body (Or extended out in a cross type fashion.) Bring your knees and legs up to your body (Think of the old cannonball dive position, except don't wrap your hands around them.) Now "curl" from the bottom up, trying to drive your knees through your shoulders. Hold and relax.
dickwootton, sorry to say, but EMG studies etc. have shown you CAN preferentially emphasize lower vs. upper or vice versa. it is one sheet of muscle, but it has different enervation (sp?) points, and it has been shown to be possible, with trained athletes, to do so, with different exercises.
One problem with isolating the abs, ESPECIALLY the lower abs, is that you are mostly recruiting the hip flexors, those mucles at the very top of your leg and at the bottom of your hip. Doing lots of leg raises will develop strength in the lower abs, but it will still be mostly hip flexor work that is done.
One way to remedy this is to to the movement, whichever one, with the knees bent and pointing at either side of the body. Now that makes the whole thing a *LOT* harder but you will notice that while you are doing it, the angle between the upper thigh and the hip is not changing very much. The work is all transferred to the lower abs.
People might look at you funny doing that, but it gives best results IMO. You may even find that doing crunches on those large balls with your legs in that position is very much enough.
these are the best lower ab exercises i have ever seen.
put your butt on a exercise ball( maybe closer to your lower back), stretch your arms back grasping the bar (all the way down on a weighted smith machine bar), so your body is completly horizontal. you can stretsh big time with this. lift your legs straight up until you feel your abs completely contract. let your legs back down to the floor and stretch . this will bring your legs past horizontal for a brutal stretch....
find a cable crossover machine, with a lower pulley set up. Go grab those padded hoops people use for hanging leg raises, put them on your feet. scoot back and lay down on your back, make sure you hold on to something solid, bringing your legs to your chest while bringing the weight up also.
oh and, I was 20% body fat and could still feel major hypertrophy, from hella core work.
your abs are like any other muscle, work it, it will grow.
Here's one I do for lower abs that seems to work for me. Sit at the end of a bench press, place a dumbell between your feet and raise it off the floor with your knees bent. Now, bring your knees to your chest and back out. This does incorporate your hip flexors like Luna has said. f you position yourself right, you can bring more of the focus on the lower abs. You just need to play with it to find your form.