Ab Training

April 16, 2016

Targeting the Lower Abs

I was recently interviewed for an article by Men’s Health Magazine on how to target the lower aspect of the abdomninals. As discussed in the article, there is evidence that you can increase activation of the lower abdominal region by initiating a posterior pelvic tilt during performance of exercises such as the reverse crunch and hanging knee raise. Here is a video depicting proper performance:

Now what isn’t clear is whether the increased activation of the lower abs translates into greater muscle development over time. There is emerging research that muscle growth is correlated to the region of greatest activation, but the evidence is far from conclusive at this point. Taking all things into account, there is a potential benefit to performing targeted lower abdominal exercise for those seeking to maximize development in this region. It probably won’t make much of a meaningful difference for the average gym-goer, but for those who aspire to develop their physique to the utmost (i.e. bodybuilders) it may well provide a tangible benefit.


  1. Interesting. Thanks Brad.

    Comment by Etienne Juneau, PhD — April 16, 2016 @ 8:39 am

  2. Great article Brad, thanks for sharing!

    I love learning more about awesome and effective ab exercises.


    Comment by Dan Western — April 27, 2016 @ 2:58 pm

  3. Cheers Dan!

    Comment by Brad — May 1, 2016 @ 7:31 pm

  4. Hey Brad, I remember awhile back you had facebook post regarding training the abs directly for most general gym goers and how for most it wouldn’t make a huge difference. For just the general want to look good at the beach but not be a bodybuilder are structural exercises like squats and deadlifts enough to strengthen the core area and look good once low bodyfat is achieved?

    Comment by Jason — June 4, 2016 @ 11:41 am

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