Move of the Week: Lower Abdominal Curl

January 11, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
Practice this exercise to develop a strong core. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)
Practice this exercise to develop a strong core. (Henry Chan/The Epoch Times)

Having lower abdominal strength is crucial for good posture, stable hips, and a healthy lower back. It is often challenging to find these muscles. To ensure proper execution of this movement, be sure to practice belly breathing first. It really helps to know how to breathe into your lower abdomen because diaphragmatic breathing helps one connect to the transverse abdominal muscle (internal abdominal muscle responsible for stabilizing the hips and low back, and for helping to keep the belly flat). Belly breathing also helps one connect to the lower abdominal muscles.

Action:

Lie on your back with your legs up (thighs remain perpendicular to the floor). As you exhale, draw your navel toward your spine and curl your pelvis under, lifting your hips off the floor. Many people bring their knees and thighs toward their chest as they lift their pelvis. The challenge here is to keep your thighs and knees pointing toward the ceiling instead. This exercise is for your lower abdominal muscles. If you do not feel them working, you are probably cheating.

Complete six to eight repetitions. Rest for one minute before completing another set. Work your way up to three or four sets.

Tip:

Perform lower abdominal exercises at the end of the workout, but at the start of the abdominal portion of the workout. Following lower abdominal exercises, one should perform movements targeting the obliques and then complete the abdominal routine with movements targeting the upper abdominal muscles.

Photo location courtesy of Fitness Results NYC