How to Build Incredible Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch (and Two Other Special Exercises)

Optimise your abs and core.

With a bit of determination, you can forge great lower abs with the reverse crunch exercise. This article and video will show you how.

It will additionally provide you with two other great lower abs exercises for your training. These movements have been chosen and explained by Jeremy Ethier.

Build Incredible Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch

“When it comes to how to get six pack abs, you cannot neglect your lower abs as they are key to achieving well developed 6 pack abs. But as you probably know by now, getting the lower abs to pop is no easy task.”

“And although nutrition does play a huge role to flatten the lower belly, you can actually develop the lower abs to make them appear more visible and defined. That’s why I’m going to show you 3 of the best exercises for lower abs you can incorporate into your next intense lower ab workout. If you’ve been putting yourself through lower abs workout after workout without any results to show for it, then you need to watch this video.”

hanging knee raises Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch

Bottom Up Exercises are Best for Lower Abs

“Now first off, for those saying that the upper abs and lower abs can’t be selectively targeted, research clearly indicates otherwise.”

“In fact, multiple EMG analyses have concluded that “top down” abs exercises will preferentially target the upper abs whereas “bottom up” abs exercises will preferentially target the lower abs. So, if you want to develop your lower abs most effectively, you need to choose the best bottom up abs exercises to do so.”

Forging Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch

“And one of the best lower abs exercises is the reverse crunch. However, most people just don’t perform it in a way that actually works the lower abs. A mistake I commonly come across is that many people would aimlessly swing their legs up and down. What this does, essentially, is turn the reverse crunch into a hip flexor exercise.

Proper Form for the Reverse Crunch

“If you want reverse crunches to target your lower abs, you need to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt before initiating the movement and then simply focus on curling your pelvis up towards your shoulders.”

“Visualize the lower abs working as you perform each rep while avoiding using momentum. You will then want to progress this lower ab exercise overtime for the best results, which can be done by adding a weighted ball between your knees and/or performing the exercise on a decline.”

Additional – Hanging Leg Raise

“The second exercise that needs to be included in your lower abs workout is the hanging leg raise. As with the reverse crunches, its effectiveness on targeting the lower abs depends on how you perform it.”

Athlete-performing-hanging-leg-raisesSource: Depositphotos

Proper Form for the Hanging Leg Raise

“When done incorrectly, it can quickly become a hip flexor dominant movement as well. Once again, you need to maintain a posterior pelvic tilt before starting the movement by contracting your core and pushing your hips forward.”

“Again, here you’ll want to simply focus on curling your pelvis up towards your shoulders rather than just swinging your legs up. This helps ensure that you’re targeting the lower abs. These can be done hanging off of a bar and then progressed by adding weight between the feet. Alternatively, these can be made easier by doing these on a Captain’s Chair leg raise or performing them with bent knees at first.”

Ab Wheel Roll Out

“The final lower abs exercise – also one of the best exercises for lower abs – is the ab wheel roll-out. And of course, its effectiveness depends on proper execution.”

Proper Form for the Ab Wheel Roll Out

“Before performing this exercise, you want to move into a posterior pelvic tilt by thinking about pulling your belly button into your spine and pushing your hips forward. This will enable you to have a slight flexion to your spine.”

“Not only will you be better able to engage the lower abs, but you’ll also put your lower back in a safer position during the roll-out. Then, as you roll out and back, make sure you don’t cheat by bending your knees on the way back. The hips should not move further back than where they started from each rep.”

The Importance of Form

“I hope that you were able to see that when it comes to how to get lower abs and a well-defined six pack, you need to not only choose the right exercises, but you need to ensure you’re performing them optimally as well.”

“Doing so, together with the implementation of the right nutrition plan, is going to be the key to dropping your body fat, and developing those much-coveted six-pack abs.”

Video – Build Incredible Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch

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Muscles of the Abs and Core

Your core is the centre of your body and allows you to maintain balance, stability, and posture.

A strong core allows you to lift heavy objects without becoming fatigued. Now we discuss the muscles that form the abdominal region: rectus abdominis (the “six-pack”), external obliques, internal obliques (which run diagonally across your abdomen), and transverse abdominis (deepest muscle layer that wraps around your waist like a corset).

Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch – Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis is the longest and most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It originates from all six costal cartilages, the lower four ribs, and the sternum. It inserts on the pubic symphysis and xiphoid process.

The rectus abdominis is divided into two parts:

  • The upper portion or rectus abdominis muscle which originates at each fifth costal cartilage (the lowest rib) and extends to its attachment on either side at an oblique line extending through both iliac crests. This part of this muscle serves to flex or bend forward your torso when you lean forward.
  • The lower portion of this muscle called transversalis fascia attaches below your umbilicus to form a sheath for other muscles in front as well as behind your abdomen including transversus abdominus, internal oblique & external oblique; all together forming an anterior wall that supports organs inside from falling forward.

Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch – External Obliques

These muscles are on the side of your abdomen and help with flexing, rotating, and bending to the side.

Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch – Internal Obliques

The internal obliques are located on the side of your abdomen and are responsible for twisting and flexing the trunk.

They also help to bend your body to the side, as well as rotate it. They’re located under external obliques, so when you’re working out or playing sports, you’ll want to make sure that both sets of muscles are getting enough attention!

Lower Abs with the Reverse Crunch – Transverse Abdominis

The transversus abdominis is a deep muscle that connects to the lumbar vertebrae, pelvis and ribs. It helps you lift your legs off the floor when doing crunches, it assists in lifting your torso off the floor during a crunch and it also helps you twist your hips from side to side.


The core muscles are an important part of a healthy and balanced body. They help you stand up straight and walk with confidence, which can be especially helpful if you deal with back pain or other chronic illnesses related to posture.

Use the exercises in this article, perform them correctly within a structured periodised strength and conditioning program and you will improve you core strength and lower abs.

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