Separating lower abdominal training and upper abdominal training is a great strategy for sculpting a six-pack. A recent argument has been going around the fitness world stating that a contraction of the ab region is a contraction of both the upper and lower abs since they are all part of one muscle group- the rectus abdominus. The argument is implying that you cannot target or isolate the lower portion of the abs since it is all one muscle.
While it is true that the rectus abdominus is technically all one muscle, anyone whose ever trained abs and felt the soreness concentrated and centered more around one area realizes the ab region has both an upper and a lower portion. Some days after training abs that the muscle soreness or tightness is more concentrated on the lower part of the abs. Muscle soreness, or DOMS, is a clear indication of concentrated muscle fiber breakdown of that area.
Have you ever felt more soreness on the lower part of the abs after training them on some days than others? This is probably because whether you realized it or not, the bb exercises you did the day or two before were more effective in working the lower part of the abs. You probably did exercises such as leg raises, Roman chairs, hanging knee raises, decline leg raises or bicycle kicks on days such as these. Each of these exercises force the body to begin and end each movement in a straight line, or a 180 degree angle, with the legs fully extended.
In this position, the lower part of the abs must work extra hard to keep the feet from falling below the straight line point. This is different from crunches and many ab exercises in that when the movement starts and finishes with the knees bent at any angle for most crunch movements, it takes pressure off the lower abs, therefore forcing more of the pressure on the upper part of the abs. I’d be surprised if you found any soreness whatsoever in the lower abs on days following an ab workout that consisted entirely of exercises that kept the knees bent at an angle throughout the entire range of motion.
Muscle soreness centered around certain areas is clear indication that even a muscle like the abs, which is technically considered by some to be one muscle group, consists of different parts when training them. This results in you having to target each part for maximum development of a six pack or washboard region.
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