How to Sculpt Lower Abs
Leave the bulk at the gym
If you're working out at a gym or with a trainer, you are most likely doing a low variety repetition of routine linear, mid-range movements that were designed to bulk-up a specific bundle of muscle fibers while stabilizing the rest of your body. You strap yourself in a chair like you're on an airplane and work one muscle while the rest of your body literally shuts down. The result is bulked-up lumpy muscles adjacent to weak underdeveloped ones, making you weaker and reducing overall strength, agility and mobility every time you work out.
That conventional model of fitness training deconstructs human movement into tiny one-dimensional slices, reducing the breathtaking complexity and broad range of movement our bodies are capable of to a narrow type of 'exercise' that can be mechanized and marketed. So stop exercising like a machine and start moving like a human.
Take a look around... and in the mirror
Look around. Is the average gym member lean, sculpted, agile, strong, defined, and toned? Would you be happy with the results of the average person pumping away endless reps on the machines at the gym? Are you happy with the results you see in the mirror?
THE game-changer that's missing in your workouts
This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps
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Why has nobody taught you the switch kick?
Most people shy away from multi-dimensional, curvilinear movement challenges in the thin zone at the edge of their capabilities. Don't be one of those people!
THE game-changer is dynamic holistic movement patterns that constantly present new physical, technical, and cerebral challenges with ever-changing alignments, loads, variations, and micro-adaptations.
Backing away in fear from your limits
No one has taught you this move because they assume it's beyond your capabilities. Conventional fitness training teaches you to back away in fear from your limits and never push into that thin zone at the edge of your capabilities. So the reason you're not seeing the results you love in the mirror and in selfies is that you've accepted the limitations others have placed on you.
If you want results, stop doing that
That ends today. Stop wasting your first 13 reps on boring, repetitive, closed-chain, linear isolation moves that are too easy, and not even feeling the burn until rep 14 or 15. Why not start making every second of every workout count where it matters - well-defined abdominal muscle lines you can see in the mirror and in selfies?
Start with a knee crunch
The knee crunch has to be powerful enough to lift you off the ground. It's an explosive upward move that generates momentum of your entire body weight in synchrony with the propulsion off the ground of the opposite glutes and hamstrings.
The lower abs and hip flexors work in opposition to gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction on the same side.
Stabilization is killing your results - let's fix it
Here's the problem: you strap yourself into a chair with handles, armrests, pedals and leg rests, stabilizing and shutting down as much of your body as possible. Stabilization is killing your results. Do you see those sharp, cut, defined abdominal lines in the mirror and in selfies? I'm guessing the answer is NO - let's fix that.
Suspending your body weight
See the blue lines in the images below? The reason you see those muscle definition lines is that in the switch maneuver the entire bodyweight is suspended in the air by an intense activation of all the core muscles, deep and superficial. There is absolutely no external stabilization to rely upon.
No chair, straps, armrests, handles, leg rests or pedals. No anchoring body parts like your feet, tailbone, back or shoulders. How long you can suspend your body weight in the air depends entirely on your core muscles, so they have to stay activated and engaged as you perform the switch maneuver.
The dynamic switch maneuver
This is a mid-air move consisting of synchronized eccentric (lengthening) contraction of the lower abs on one side with concentric (crunch) action on the other side. Since this move must be executed with the entire core activated isometrically to suspend the body in mid-air, it is one of the most powerful moves you can execute to define your lower abdomnals.
The leg coming off the ground first swaps positions with the higher knee in the air, then the rising leg executes a high snap-kick while the body is still airborne. Since this motion works against both gravity and the eccentric gluteal contraction, it gives you definition of the lower abdominals and the glutes.
Learning to push your own limits
The most astonishing gains are made within the thin zone at the edge of our capabilities, when we are challenged not only physically, but also technically and mentally.
I incorporate at least one challenge move that is beyond the threshold of my abilities into my interval training every day. That forces me to acknowledge and confront my limits and make an effort to push beyond them every day. It is also a powerful way to focus the mind.
How high can you propel your knee? What about your kicking foot? Since the knee crunch leads the foot kick, the upward momentum of the knee will give you more vertical, and allow you to kick higher. So practice crunching your knee tight to your chest first, then work on the switch, then the powerful snap kick. Each one of these moves can propel you higher.
Pick a spot in the sky - I use the top of a plam tree in the distance or a cloud. Then try to aim the toes of your kicking foot above it.
The biomechanics of intensity - lower abdominal activation
This Awesome Move in 5 Easy Steps
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Bruce Lee could kick a tiny lightbulb out of a chandelier without even rattling the chandelier. He's my inspiration when I'm working on my switch kicks. If you've never tried a move like this you will be astonished at how quickly you will gain strength, agility, and stamina. You will also start seeing results in your abdominal muscle definition that will convince you to never waste time with standard crunches and machine exercises again.
Start seeing the only results that really matter - the ones you love to see in the mirror
The movements involved activate the entire range of muscle fibers in multiple dimensions, linear and curvilinear, over their entire length, so the results in muscle definition will be quick and dramatic compared to the standard crunches and squats you're wasting your time and energy with now.
Looking Great Naked isn't Magic ... It's Science
These moves are designed to maintain an intense isometric contraction of the entire core while you are in the air, so you will always feel the burn, and all of your time and effort will be laser-focused on results - those sharp, cut, abdominal lines you want to see in the mirror. Once you feel that intense burn with every millimeter you progress and you start seeing the results in the mirror, standard crunches will start seeming like the boring, useless waste of time that they are.
Face it - if you can't dance naked in front of a mirror and love what you see from every angle then your workouts are a waste of time. Stop wasting time and energy and start seeing results - learn how to make every move and every second of every workout count.