Lower Ab Exercises
The rectus abdominis muscle is split vertically in two by the linea alba; this muscle is also split horizontally by tendinous intersections => this is what we commonly refer as “six pack”
Hip raises are excellent to work the lower abs because they can be used to isolate the rectus abdominis without working the back muscles (as in Dragon flag) or the hip flexors (as in Leg lifts). The way to isolate the abs is bycrossing the arms over the chest (see Exercise Level III).
* The rectus abdominis muscle contracts as a single unit in any exercise that requires spine flexion, but by bringing the hips closer to the trunk we focus on the lower part of this muscle, while if we bring the trunk towards the hips the upper part of rectus abdominis is working more.
With hands stuck to the body, focus on lifting the hips as high as possible in an oblique direction. Push against the floor with your arms to help raise the hips. This works to a lesser extent the lats, posterior deltoid and triceps, which hyperextend the shoulder joint as you push against the floor.
Go back down AS SLOWLY AS POSSIBLE.
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Lower Ab Exercises
With hands perpendicular to the torso, focus on lifting the hips in an oblique direction. With arms in this position is more difficult to push against the floor to help raise the hip (in shoulder transverse extension latissimus dorsi is in mechanical disadvantage). Go down as slowly as possible.
Important: To make the exercise effective, lower back and hip must get off the ground.
With hands crossed on your chest arms cannot help by pushing against the ground so the muscles of the back aren’t working here.
The rectus abdominis lifts the hips by flexing the spine, with little contraction of the hip flexors. Go down as slowly as possible. Remember that is very important that the lower back and hip get off the floor.
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