The lower abdominal is the most sought after goals in fitness. And in order to get a great looking lower abdominal you will have to have a the correct mixture of cardiovascular training, strength training, diet and not to mention the most efficient lower ab exercise.
The diet, cardiovascular training and resistance training portions of your fitness routine I going to leave for another post. If you want more information about your diet visit diet for abs blog. In this article I would like to give attention to one thing. And that thing is the most efficient and best lower abdominal exercise.
Before I give the best lower abdominal exercise I would like to share you a secret. You can apply this to any abs exercise that you are currently using. The key is to have your hip flexors fully engaged when executing an abs exercise. Let me give you an example.
The crunch. Typical you lay down on your back with your feet on the ground. You then push your lower back into the ground and tighten your abdominal muscles. You make sure that you are not pulling on the head and that there is at least a couple inches between your chin and your chest to avoid injury to your neck. You perform the crunch and momentarily hold and return to the starting position. This puts more emphasis on the upper abs than lower abs.
Now here is the basic crunch with the hip flexors engaged. Begin by lying on your back and bring your feet up off the floor. Start by having a 90 degree angle at your hips and your knees. Now slightly move your legs away from your chest (about 4 inches) while keeping your shins parallel with the floor. Now perform the same crunch. You should feel a little more in the lower abs.
To really feel it in the lower abs, start in the same position with your feet off the ground and your knees bent. Now have your exercise partner or a band pulling your feet away from your chest. This really forces you to engage your hip flexors. You will experience a greater contraction in the lower abs and you will not be able to do as many reps as if you were doing a regular crunch. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself.
So in knowing what we know now, what is the most effective lower abdominal exercise? The best exercise is the hanging leg raise. This is a difficult exercise and you may not quite be at that level yet. But in working the lower abdominal muscles it is the greatest exercise out there. Here is how to do it.
Start by hanging from a pull-up bar. Contract your abdominal muscles and pull your feet up around six inches keeping your legs straight. This is the beginning position. Elevate your feet so your body is is in the shape of a L. This will make you to full engage your hip flexors. Once you reach this position further tighten the abs so your spin flexes as in a crunch and your feet raise slightly above eye level. Hold this for one second and slowly lower your legs to the starting position with your feet 6 inches forward. Performing this exercise is not a swinging up motion and each movement is controlled. If you find yourself swinging you may not be strong enough for this exercise or you will have to concentrate on control.
Give this lower ab exercises a try, if done correctly you will definitely feel it working.
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