T Nation

Middle/Lower Abs

Ok,

My upper abs are ok. THe top/top (layered on the ribs) is good…the (2) below that is good also.

HOwever, the remaining 4 suck. If I put a ruler into my lower abs and measured to my upper abs, the difference may well be about 1/4-1/2 Inch.

(Too many ab exercises in Martial arts by instructors who didn’t know much about exercise).

So, could some people suggest some ways I can target these two groups specifically/primarily?

thanks

Use the “search” function.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
Use the “search” function.[/quote]

Also, use the “stop eating crap” function. You can’t target your abs to take away fat, unless you have a doctor on speed dial to give you a quick lipo.

Apparently I didn’t explain well enough.

I’m not referring about fat.

I’m talking about LBM.

My upper abs have a LOT of LBM while the lower 4 have very little LBM.

I’m looking for some suggestions into how I can target the lower 4.

[quote]Matgic wrote:
Use the “search” function.[/quote]

Already tried.

i was under the impression that the abs were one solid sheet of muscle, that there wasnt an upper lower or middle to them, and that would mean that the whole sheet gained muscle not just one part of it?

You do realize your “six pack” is just ONE muscle, right? You can’t divide your abs into 6 parts.

“My upper left ab is smaller than my mid left!” :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t care what those guys say, I think it is possible to differentiate between upper/lower RA, at least in terms of training. Check out ‘21st century core training’ by Mike Robertson.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459822

Yes, abs are one muscle.

Read this:

Lower Abdominal Myth

It is widely believe the lower abs are exercised during the leg raise or other hip flexor exercises. It can be misleading to judge the mechanics of an exercise based upon localized muscular fatigue. The primary muscle used in hip flexion is actually the Iliopsoas, one of many hip flexors. The Iliopsoas, indeed, does happen to originate deep below the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominis. During the leg raise the entire abdominal musculature isometrically contracts (contracts with no significant movement) to:

Posture the spine and pelvis
Supports the weight of the lower body so the lumbar spine does not hyperextend excessively
Maintains optimal biomechanics of the Iliopsoas
Hips are kept from prematurely flexing if the lumbar spine and pelvis does not hyperextend excessively

Iliopsoas can contract more forcefully in a relatively slight stretched position
Bent knee (and hip) situps actually place Iliopsoas in a mechanical disadvantage
Counteracts Ilopsoas’s pull on spine

Many people with weak abdominal muscles are not able to perform hip flexor exercises without acute lower back pain or discomfort
The combination of the local muscular fatigue, or a burning sensation from the isometrically contracted abdominal muscles, and from the working hip flexors produces fatigue in the pelvis area which we mistakenly interpret as the lower portion of the Rectus Abdominis being exercised.

In movements where the Rectus Abdominis does Isotonically contract (contracts with movement), it flexes the spine by contracting the entire muscle from origin to insertion. The spine is not significantly flexed during the leg raise. Incidentally, both the spine and hip flexes during the Sit Up and Hip Raise.

See Spot Reduction Myth above.

sure there are differnt training methods to do to train your RA but there is no such thing as an upper RA and a lower RA just like there is no lower bicep and no upper bicep etc its one big sheet of muscle, sure doing leg raises you may feel it more down lower, but its working the whole muscle not just a small part of it

Genetics.

and yes i love that website you got that quote from, for the leg raises you gotta make sure your raising your hips up too not just your legs if you understand what i mean?

[quote]Jonny James wrote:
I don’t care what those guys say, I think it is possible to differentiate between upper/lower RA, at least in terms of training. Check out ‘21st century core training’ by Mike Robertson.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459822[/quote]

Yeah, I agree. As I said earlier, it’s one muscle and not 6 individual muscles, but I still do believe it’s possible to target upper/lower RA. Or maybe not, but heck, Robertson sure knows his stuff and it’s working. I can definitely feel the difference between doing crunhes and leg raises.

[quote]Haban wrote:
Jonny James wrote:
I don’t care what those guys say, I think it is possible to differentiate between upper/lower RA, at least in terms of training. Check out ‘21st century core training’ by Mike Robertson.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459822

Yeah, I agree. As I said earlier, it’s one muscle and not 6 individual muscles, but I still do believe it’s possible to target upper/lower RA. Or maybe not, but heck, Robertson sure knows his stuff and it’s working. I can definitely feel the difference between doing crunhes and leg raises.[/quote]

Haban, read my quote above, it explains why you feel the difference in the second paragraph.

[quote]john-lennon wrote:
and yes i love that website you got that quote from, for the leg raises you gotta make sure your raising your hips up too not just your legs if you understand what i mean? [/quote]

Precisely. Otherwise it’s a bit like doing a quarter squat.

Could it not also be misleading to judge the muscle building potential of an exercise purely in terms of biomechanics?

Now if the abdominals are one sheet muscle, then does anyone have any suggestions or ideas as to why only my top 2 have developed? The lower 4 are ridiculously underdeveloped.

Just as others have noted, Leg-Hip Raises, with emphasis on the hip portion. You’ll know you’ve got to the good part when the spine begins to flex.

Leg-hip raise variations:

Lying on back

Hanging from bar

Headstand (my favorite) - Get in a headstand with hands out in front of the body. Slowly lower legs to the floor, then slowly raise again. That’s one rep.

It’s true, there is no such thing as an “upper” or “lower” rectus - however, there’s a HUGE difference between using your rectus to promote movement (e.g. crunches) and using your rectus to promote stability (e.g. leg lowering type exercises). I think this is a better explanation than upper or lower ab dominant movements, etc.

If you want to learn how to better use your rectus (and external oblique) for stability, check out my “Core Training for Smart Folks” article.

Stay strong
MR

www.robertsontrainingsystems.com

[quote]Kailash wrote:
Just as others have noted, Leg-Hip Raises, with emphasis on the hip portion. You’ll know you’ve got to the good part when the spine begins to flex.

Leg-hip raise variations:

Lying on back

Hanging from bar

Headstand (my favorite) - Get in a headstand with hands out in front of the body. Slowly lower legs to the floor, then slowly raise again. That’s one rep.[/quote]

Ouch! Those handstands sound tough. Think I’ll try that one at home and NOT in the gym…could get ugly!