Hanging ab exercises are challenging movements and beginners can try many of these off the ground by holding on to a bar behind their head.
They are must-do compound core moves though – especially if you want to improve your pull ups and target those LOWER ABS!
So just to clear up this whole “lower ab” thing too…
No you don’t have a separate lower ab muscle, BUT studies have shown that you can activate different segments of your rectus abdominis to different extents with different moves.
And one of those moves, showing not only the highest mean and peak activation of the rectus abdominis as a whole, but also a higher activation of the lower region, is the Hanging Leg Raise! (1)
That is why hanging ab exercises are so key to include if you want to not only build core strength, but also target those lower abs.
Remember though, you must slightly round your spine as you kick out or tuck (even in the bicycles I’m using a slight posterior pelvic tilt) if you want to really target those abs and not just work your hip flexors.
Simply moving at the hip will not get the same result. Our abs are worked by preventing flexion of the spine to stabilize or by creating it!
An added bonus of hanging ab moves, on top of the killer core activation, is that they will also improve your grip strength and your back strength.
AKA they are a great core move to include while working to improve your pull ups!
So trying adding in just one or two of these to your current workout routine each week and target those lower abs!
If you want to build KILLER core strength, try my 30-Day Killer Core program!
Learn more about how to ACTIVATE + INTEGRATE + USE HIIT to get a lean, strong core!