Shredding the lower belly takes more than crunches-n-bunches. You are going to have to show some commitment with these lower ab exercises and a few nutritional tips I’ll be covering. They take some work to shine but it’s well worth it! If you can stay consistent, you’ll see the results. Let’s talk about how to get lower abs.
We will cover:
- 5 of the best lower ab exercises
- Nutritional tips you need to follow
- a 4 week complete ab programs!
The wrong approach
Starving yourself + thousands of crunches = frustration. The other common mistake is neglecting the big exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc. Don’t be that girl or guy! Get your squat on.
Just as important as ‘what’ exercises to do is ‘how’ you do the exercises. If you perform these moves poorly you will not get the desired results. The abs require a lot of time under tension to change. This means slow and smooth reps.
Here are the exercises to start incorporating today.
1. Hanging Leg Raise
If I had to reduce my ab training to one or two moves, I’d pick variations of this or the Ab roll out. Scale to hanging knee raises or captains chair knee raises
2. GHD or decline sit ups.
If you are serious about a home gym or have your own, this is piece well worth the money. It’s an incredible exercise. Start with short sets to get acclimated to the high demands of the movement. If you go blasto out of the gates without experience on this, you’ll be sorry. Go slow on this exercise and make sure you are maintaining tension on your abs. People often complain of low back pains from GHD sit-ups. They are either not ready for the advanced exercise or they are not keeping tension on their abs. No ab exercise should cause back pain. Ever.
3. Ab wheel
The ab roll out is my favorite. Keep your abs engaged – don’t let your back arch. You’ll see this mistake often. Hyper extending the back means your abs are not firing, which can lead to injury. These are super cheep. Ad this to your arsenal!
The next two are more oblique exercises but are vital to getting that complete cut.
4. Scissor Crunches
Trade the bicycle crunch for this exercise immediately. It is a big upgrade. It is the same motion as the bikes but with straight legs. Each rep should take to less than 1 second.
5. Shoulder taps from a plank position
Squeeze your core (quads, abs, glutes) and breathe steadily the whole time. If you are shaking, that’s good. tap your hand to your shoulder WITHOUT raising your hips up.
Another one to try is a pike on the stability ball.
Include lower back exercises
It is a big mistake to not work the opposite muscles. Add some stiff legged deadlifts and back extensions into the mix. Here’s an example routine
12 Stiff legged deadlifts
12 back or hip extensions
4 Week Ab routine
Perform each workout once per week.
A. 3 round circuit:
10 hanging leg raises. 30 scissor crunches. 10 ab roll outs.
Rest :15 between exercises and less than 1 minute between sets
B. 3 round circuit:
10 GHD sit ups. 20 spidermans. 10 Hanging leg raises
Rest: same as workout A.
Next week advance reps to 12 leg raises, 40 scissors, 12 ab roll outs. 12 GHDs, 30 shoulder taps, 12 Leg raises
Week 3 advance to 3 workouts using the same rep scheme. If you feel you need to
Week 4 advance to 14 Leg raises, 50 Scissors, 14 ab roll outs. 14 GHDs, 40 shoulder taps, 14 Leg raises
Keys to the workouts
1. Do the movements correctly
2. Do the movements slowly
3. Do not exceed the rest periods prescribed
Do not skip over this!!! It is commonly said, ‘abs are made in the kitchen’. Unfortunately , there’s a lot of truth to this. Sorry but the ab routine won’t work if you don’t fix the holes in your diet. Follow this and you’ll be solid.
Reduce your sugar intake. Sugar spikes insulin. Insulin converts sugar into fat, which usually gets stored as fat in the gut.
Eat fibrous foods. This is important for many health reasons but it relates to burning fat simply because it helps you feel full. You are less likely to over eat when you go to town on the greens.
Consume 1/2 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or up to 35% of your caloric intake. Any more than 35% and you are probably wasting the protein, as it gets stored or converted to sugar.
Drink 80oz of water every day. Some recommend more than this. The point is, drink a lot of water. The exact amount is really dependent on how active you are. I’ve found 80 to take care of most peoples’ needs. If you are constantly peeing, it is a sign your water intake is obnoxiously high. You do not have to put down a gallon jug every day.
Prepare your meals! By preparing your meals ahead of time you are canceling the risk of spur of the moment bad choices when you get hungry. There is no more Big Mack temptations when everything is ready for you. Please, don’t give me the ‘I don’t have time excuse’. If you use that, I can’t help you.
This means fasting for 12-15 hours every day. This is the easiest thing no one is doing that has been shown to dramatically improve your health and speed the fat burn. Without even changing the content of your diet, this will help with fat loss and a slew of other health related things.
Dial in on your macro profile. This is a dicey thing to cover, as there is a library of battling literature for your reading pleasure. It deserves several more blogs but for now I’m just going to give you a standard I have found to work very well. Trainers and nutritionists will argue different things. This can be exhausting for people who just want to know ‘what the hell do I eat!’. The truth is there are several methods that have been proven to get you great results.
Here is a profile that Like. I’ve found it to be highly successful for myself and my clients. It is 30% carb 35% pro 35 % fat. If you are thinking ‘damn that’s a lot of lard!’, I understand your logic. I agree, it seems counterintuitive to eat a high fat diet to burn fat. But, that is exactly what will happen.
Contrary to what you may believe, you do NOT have to count calories to be successful! No one likes counting calories and it is NOT necessary. More on that later, but the gist of it is, eat in the restricted window mentioned above, cut sugar, eat healthy fats, and drink a lot of water. To track progress, all you have to do is look in the mirror and assess your performance. That will tell you if you need to cut the volume of your food down or not.
If you are dedicated to the ab mission, think about the ketogenic diet. Nothing will burn the fat faster. However, it takes a lot of sacrifice and a rough adjustment period. It’s not for everyone but research is pouring in that suggest there are benefits from lowering the risk of cancer to better moods, fat loss and improved cognitive function. It’s worth looking into. It is extremely effective for fat loss because it regulates insulin and forces the body to use fat for fuel.
Abs don’t just show up. It will take the diet+exercise equation. If you can add this up, I guarantee you will love the results. Sacrifice the sweets and show your abs some love!
Also, – take before and after pictures and let me know how it goes!
I hope this was helpful! If you have any questions or would like to make a comment (good or bad) please do so! I’m happy to help any way I can. Thanks for reading!