We do a lot of deep abdominal work in my programming. One of the biggest questions I get ask is, "How do I know if my lower core muscles are working?"
It's easy to tell if you top abdominals (rectus abdominis, or your six pack) is working because you can feel it, and sometimes see it flex. However, the core muscles in your lower abdomen are a little trickier.
The deep core muscles work to stabilize the spine and the pelvis, so you have healthy hips and an aligned low back. When they don't fire properly, your superficial core muscles can take over, and you may also experience low back pain and tightness.
This video explains what to look for and feel when you are working to improve the strength, stability, and activation of your lower core muscles. Look for for what is known as doming or bread-loafing. This is when you initiate a core exercise and your belly turns into a dome.
You want your belly to flatten when you perform core exercises. I walk you through different progressions of my favorite core exercise, the dead bug, so you can begin building a strong, resilient lower core.
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