Can anybody suggest some good “lower ab” exercises in which you can increase the load? I’m currently using the standard knee-ups, and leg raises, etc, but I have yet to find a way to add weight. Moreover, all of the machines at my gym are “crunch” machines. I realize that some people may not distinguish between upper and lower abs; nevertheless, does anybody have any exercise that they use to focus on the lower abs, or do I need to become more proficient at holding a 25 lb plate between my feet while doing leg raises? Thanks.
Low Cable Knee Ups:
You’ll have to purchase some ankle straps (you can find them almost anywhere). Attach tne straps to the the Low Cables and your ankles. Lie on the floor then do knee ups like you’ve been doing. (To add intensity, “roll” your hips off the floor at the top of the movement!)
Hope this helps!
Holding a plate between your feet while doing leg raises might be problematic (right now I have a mental image of someone losing their grip on the plate at the top of the movement, and dropping it directly on their face). However, you might want to try holding a dumbbell between your feet on this exercise. It takes a little getting used to, but this has become a staple in my ab workout.
Leg lifts, and any movement like them (where you are lying on the floor) are guaranteed to damage the lower back. It’s just a matter of time. All they really do is cause hypertonicity of the iliopsoas complex, which further predisposes the athlete to lower-back injury. Leg lifts must NEVER be done. If you do the same type of movement, with the body perpendicular to the floor, however, you will feel good things happening.
I would try to find some straps large enough to place high on your upper thighs. By keeping the weight closer to your pelvis, you’ll be able to maximize lower rectus abdominis involvement while minimizing hip flexor involvement. You got me thinking, and now I’m gonna have to try this one myself.
I’ve also been wrapping a physio-band around my feet and having a partner hold the end. I do leg raises this way. Works pretty nice.