Upper Ab Exercises versus Lower Ab Exercises
Free Ab Workout Routines
Upper Ab Exercises emphasize the top portion of the rectus abdominus (6 pack abs muscle).
If you understand abdominal muscle anatomy, then you know that the abdominal muscles all work together in a coordinated fashion to move and stabilize the pelvis and spine.
The rectus abdominus is the muscle that makes up the 6 pack, and it runs straight down the abdomen.
The rectus abdominus does have an upper part and a lower part, and when you do ab exercises both parts of the rectus abdominus contract.
However, if you want to emphasize the upper part a little more over the lower part you would focus on ab exercises where your trunk moves towards your pelvis.
Upper ab exercises emphasize the upper part of the rectus abdominus, but all of the abdominal muscles will work together.
Some of the best upper abdominal exercises are stability ball crunches, sit ups, and incline crunches.
Lower ab exercises focus on moving the pelvis towards the trunk or moving the legs while the pelvis remains stable.
You cannot isolate the upper abs (upper rectus abdominus) from the lower abs (lower rectus abdominus) because it is all the same muscle. But, you can emphasize which area works a little harder by focusing on different ab exercises.
Moving your trunk and upper body focuses a little more on the upper abs; whereas, moving your pelvis and lower body focuses a little more on the lower abs.
Now don't forget that you cannot spot reduce fat from any section of your abdominal region. Spot reduction is the #1 Ab Exercise Myth.
For a complete list of all the ab exercises on this site, visit the Directory of Abdominal Exercises.
Also try some of the free ab workouts on this site.
I hope that helps give you a better perspective on upper ab and lower ab exercises.
Keep working hard.
Yours in Health,
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