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The most common ab-isolating exercises are variations of a Crunch or Sit-Up—flexing the torso by raising the shoulders off the ground toward the knees while keeping the hips and feet on the ground. They work the abs and create a burning sensation that you must battle through to complete a set. But to fully develop the core, you must add variety to your ab routine.
Shoulder-based flexion exercises are limited in that they predominantly engage the upper ab muscles. For power production, athletes need all of their ab muscles. To target the lower abs, perform exercises that originate from the hips.
Andre Johnson, Houston Texans wide receiver, develops his lower abs with Rockies. This exercise propels the hips upward, primarily engaging the lower abs, in contrast to the upper ab activation of a Crunch.
Training the abs is important to core strength, but remember that the core is more than just abs. Include Rockies in your total core program to add critical strength to your lower abs.
- Lie on back with arms behind head and legs straight in air above hips
- Drive hips into air, keeping legs straight
- Lower to start position; repeat for specified reps