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Home :: Bodybuilding Exercise :: Abdominals

Abdominals - Lower Ab Workouts

A well-toned and defined lower ab reflects lean fit body. It is the result of hard graft in the gym as well as cardio training and proper nutrition(for more information refer to our Nutrition section). Together, they all produce strong abdominals and low body-fat levels.

Well-defined abdominals are mainly the product of low body-fat levels, which explains why even untrained people can possess washboard abs. If you are after a rippling six-pack, you need to reduce your abdominal fat layer for the muscles to show through. Increasing their size alone through exercise will not be enough. For these muscles to become visible, men need below 10-12% body fat and women need below 15-18% body fat - ranges that are below those considered healthy among the general population but which, are compatible with improved sports performance.

Strong abdominals help you perform virtually every strength-training exercise and sports movement, improving core stability. Abdominal training is also important for the prevention of lower-back injuries, since these muscles help stabilize the pelvis which, in turn, helps maintain proper spine alignment.(For more information on Lower Back injuries, their occurrence, treatment, prevention...Click here).You should add a lower-back exercise such as back extensions to your abdominal routine to help balance abdominal strength.

Gadgets and machines are unnecessary ­ you can develop great abdominals from the basic exercises that require nothing more than the floor and perhaps a bench or bar. The secret to effective abdominal exercising is mental focus and technique. You should concentrate on each part of the movement, keeping it slow and controlled. That is most important. The most common error people do is to perform the movements too fast, aiming for a high number of repetitions. High repetitions will only build endurance. They will not work the important FT muscle fibres that give your abdominals visible shape, nor will they increase definition or melt away fat.

The abdominals are the same as any other muscle and should be trained in the same fashion: no more than every other day and no more than 12-15 repetitions per set. So slow down, visualize your abdominals working and focus on feeling the contraction through the full range of motion. When it starts to hurt (not to be confused with actual pain), take a short rest; then complete the exercise or move on to the next.

The drawback with many exercise programmes is that they isolate muscles, training them in ways that are not related to sports or everyday activities. For example, abdominal training is typically performed lying face-up on the floor with the knees bent. But no sport or activity requires you to be in this position. Similarly, using an arm curl machine in the gym trains your biceps independently of all the other muscles you would use to stabilize, and control your arm in everyday life. But the power needed, say, when sprinting for the ball in a football match is actually generated in the core of the body and transferred out to the pumping arms.

Back strain?

Weak abdominals are often associated with back problems. This is because slack abdominal muscles can become overstretched which, when combined with tight hip flexors (connecting the thigh bone to the lower vertebrae), cause the pelvis tilt forwards (lordosis) creating an excessive arch in lower back and potential back pain. Strong abdominals support and stabilize the pelvis and lower back. Strengthening these muscles (and stretching the hip flexors) will eliminate excessive arching in the lower back, give good posture and minimize potential back problems.

Click here for more information on back strain - it's treatment, occurrence, symptoms and it's prevention...

Core Stability

'Core stability' describes the ability to control and link the upper- and lower-body movements and postures. It involves exercises that' mimic your sport or activity and training movements. Pilates is one of the best-known stability programmes and tends not to use much equipment. Others involve exercising from an unstable base such as a wobble board or Swiss ball, which place a higher demand on the deep muscles in the core - or trunk - as well as on your motor control system because you constantly have to stabilize yourself as the ball or board rolls around. It also changes, the way your neuromuscular system coordinates movement as you're using your legs to hold you up and your abdominals and back to keep your whole body stable. Doing, abdominal exercises on a ball therefore works the muscles more effectively and more emphasis is placed on the obliques and transverse abdominis.


Training for muscle growth involves performing 8-12 reps.

What Are Good Abdominal Exercises?

The upper abdominal exercises and lower abdominal muscles are not really separate muscles and as such cannot truly be isolated by a single abdominal exercise, exercises stress the whole abdominal region. However, some exercises will tend towards developing upper abdominal muscles and some towards developing lower abdominal muscles. Good Abdominal exercises are those exercises which give the results fast (i.e. give shape to your abdominals fast) and are easy to do. Some of these good abdominal exercises are listed below.

What's the best way to build Abdominal Muscles?

This is the most frequently asked question I get.

Abdominal muscles are the most wanted muscles by any male or female.

Usually, abdominal questions are followed by a comment such as, "I do 100 sit-ups a day and I'm not seeing any results." This article will outline the information you will need to improve your abdominal muscles.

The abdominal region musculature is made up of many different muscles and groups. To target the entire abdominal region we must concentrate on each of these muscle and groups and prescribe exercises for each of them, which correspond to improving not only shape of the body but also their working.

Exercises are extremely important. They are not only important for keeping the abdominals in good shape but are otherwise also important to keep the body fit and fine. Everyone has abdominal muscles, however, most of the population never sees them due to their fat stomachs. The solution for viewing their abdominal muscles is simply a good abdominal region conditioning program coupled with a fat loss tips (For more information and fat loss tips refer to our fat loss tips section) and nutritional tips (For more information and nutritional tips refer to our nutrition section). If you want to see your abdominal region the fat has to be decreased.

By making a couple of adjustments to your current diet and cutting calories you can have those abdominal muscles which you wanted from years back. In addition to this you have to follow a well planned exercise program. You will be getting all these just in couple of weeks or months if you follow the program sincerely.

Now these are some of the abdominal exercises which will enhance your exercise program of building up abdominal muscles.

Exercises for your Abdominal Workouts


Swiss Ball Crunch.

Reverse Crunch.

Oblique Crunch.

Side Crunch.

Hanging Leg Raise.

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Exercises for your Abdominals.