Lower Abs Workouts For A Six-Pack – Not A Two-Pack

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If you spend a few weeks working hard in the gym and eating right you’ll quickly start to notice the emergence of a solid set of upper abs. At this point you’d be forgiven for making the assumption that the rest of your abs are set to follow in a similar timeframe and start planning how you’ll make best use of your washboard six-pack in the next few weeks, if not days.

Unfortunately, that’s not normally how things go. The upper abs are always the first to show and they are also easier to target, since most common core exercises like crunches hit that area of your midriff. If you want to sculpt a complete six-pack, though, you need to plan your workouts to hit the lower abs and obliques too. Alternatively you can leave all the planning to us and use the two workouts below, both of which are designed to ensure you carve out a full complement of rippling abs, rather than just a two-pack.

The two workouts each contain five moves, grouped into a two-move superset and a tri-set. The workouts are designed to keep your abs under tension for long periods, so they’re not going to be a fun ride, but the results will be worth it. The workouts are similar but will hit the abs and obliques from slightly different angles, so add both to your workout programme and make sure to do the exercises in order, following the sets, reps and rest instructions given, to get the best results.

Lower Abs Workout 1

Superset

The key to turning a two-pack into a fully-fledged six-pack is to work your lower abs and obliques (side abs) harder than ever before. This superset hits both those regions of the abdominals, but you need to make sure you maintain tension on the working muscles for every rep of every set to reap the rewards.

1A Hanging knee raise

Targets Lower abs

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 10sec

Hang from a pull-up bar or rings with your feet together and legs straight. Brace your abs, then draw your knees up towards your chest. Pause in this top position for a second, then lower your feet back towards the floor.

1B Hanging knee twist

Targets Lower abs

Sets 4 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Start at the top of the hanging knee raise position. Keeping your abs braced, twist to one side, then back across to the other side. That’s one rep. Don’t let your knees drop during the set.

Tri-Set

This three-move mini-set is based on three challenging variations of the standard plank to fully test those deep-lying stabilising muscles of your core, but with the added bonus of movement to work the lower abs and obliques too. As with all plank moves, engage your abs and glutes at the start of each set, and keep your hips raised without letting them sag.

2A Shoulder tap plank

Targets Entire core

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 10sec

Start in the top of a press-up position with both hands under your shoulders. Brace your core, then raise one hand to tap the opposite shoulder, then do the same with the other hand. That’s one rep.

2B Superman plank

Targets Entire core

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 10sec

Start in the plank position, resting on your forearms with your core tight. Raise one leg and the opposite arm and hold them out straight. Return to the start position, then repeat with the opposite leg and arm. That’s one rep.

2C Plank jack

Targets Lower abs and obliques

Sets 4 Reps 20 Rest 60sec

Start in the plank position, resting on your forearms. Keeping your core braced, jump both feet out to the sides, then back to the start position. Keep each jump smooth and controlled without letting your hips sag during the set.

Lower Abs Workout 2

Superset

The first part of this workout is a pre-fatigue superset. The tougher hanging leg raise comes first to really test your abs, so when you move on to the slightly easier hanging knee raise, you will already be fatiguing so additional muscle fibres will be recruited to help with the reps. This means you work your abs harder in less time.

1A Hanging leg raise

Targets Lower abs and core

Sets 3 Reps 8-12 Rest 0sec

Hang from rings or a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Brace your abs and raise your legs, keeping them straight, until they are parallel to the floor. Pause for a one-count, then lower.

1B Hanging knee raise

Targets Lower abs and core

Sets 3 Reps 15-20 Rest 60sec

Hang from rings or a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Brace your abs, then draw your knees up until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause for a one-count, then lower.

Tri-Set

This tri-set targets your lower abs and your obliques. These reps should be fast yet controlled – the key is to get into a smooth and regular rep movement pattern while maintaining tension throughout your entire core. Be prepared: this tri-set is tough and your abs will burn, so extend the rest periods slightly if you need a little more recovery time.

2A Garhammer raise

Targets Lower abs and core

Sets 4 Reps 20-25 Rest 20sec

Start at the top of the hanging knee raise, then squeeze your abs to raise your knees higher. Lower back to the start, keeping tension on your abs throughout. Ensure these reps are fast but controlled.

2B Hanging knee side raise left

Targets Lower abs and obliques

Sets 3 Reps 12-15 Rest 20sec

Hang from rings or a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Brace your abs, then draw your knees up and to your left-hand side. Pause for a one-count, then lower.

2C Hanging knee side raise right

Targets Lower abs and obliques

Sets 3 Reps 12-15 Rest 60sec

Hang from rings or a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Brace your abs, then draw your knees up and to your right-hand side. Pause for a one-count, then lower.