The Lower Abs Exercise Myth

Can you really target the lower abs through special exercises? And make your gut go away? Here is the truth!

It Is A Myth!

“How can I target the lower abs?” is a question I see very often, especially from people who lost weight but still have some flab over that area. And numerous videos and websites seem to have the answer: “Do exercise xy to target the lower abs”.

But it’s all a myth, because you can’t target the lower end of the rectus abdominis muscle:

Picture courtesy of “Boss Tweed“.

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  1. The positioning of the Illopsoas makes it look like a very important muscle-supporter for the spine. Would continuing exercises like the hanging leg raise to keep this muscle in shape be important for the sake of spine/back support? I’m not sure what exact relation it has in terms of back-support.

    • Very keen observation! Indeed the illiopsoas plays an important role in keeping an upright posture and in older people with a sedentary lifestyle it can shorten which, as Moon said, leads to a increased pelvic tilt.

  2. Fraser: If they become too strong in relation to their antagonists they cause an anterior pelvic tilt(google images has pictures), which will cause the usual problems associated with poor posture. too weak, and they cause the opposite problem(you’ll be pulled in the opposite direction), and it again results in poor posture leaving you open to those posture related injuries again.

  3. I disagree on this one. The type of the curve of the abs depends on where you contract them. You can target-contract both lower and upper abs seperately (even middle ones). So even if they are one muscle, they can be targeted as if they were two or three.

    If they are trained hard enough, upper abs or lower abs can get more doms depending on the exercise used. Leg or pelvic raises target lower abs better than cruches. I also get lower ab doms from playing tennis sometimes, while normal crunches give me more upper ab doms.

    • I think you are confusing the transversus abdominis with the rectus abdominis muscle. Have a look at “stomach vacuum” exercises.