Biomechanic Insight

NB – Lower Abdominals

lower abdominals

The Mind – Body of Lower Abdominals


Where you are standing right now, and if you are not standing, then quickly stand up and do this simple test…..

Stand in a slight anterior pelvic tilt: Gently activate your lower abdominals, WITHOUT THE ACTIVATION OF YOUR GLUTEUS MAXIMUS, and draw your pelvis through to a neutral position or posterior pelvic tilt. Were you able to do this successfully without the following occurring?

  • Rounding the upper back
  • Squeezing your gluteus maximus
  • Externally rotating the hips

Could you really feel the lower abdominal activation taking place and are you aware of what the rest of your body is doing throughout this small movement?

Our lower abdominals form a fundamental part of movement stability as well as pelvic and lumbar spine stability. We have to develop the mind-body connection to this area in order to encourage efficient hip flexor – abdominal co-ordination as well as hip disassociation. 

If you look at postural correction, the amount of work required from the Lower Abdominals to correct the postural posItion for anterior pelvic tilters is MINIMAL, but the awareness is VITAL. 

Creating this awareness without compensation, is going to prevent numerous injuries and pain within the lumbar spine area, especially if you are extremely active. 

However, the lower abdominal MIND BODY connection has to be INVOLUNTARY!

Lower abdominal training is usually performed very poorly with numerous compensations occurring i.e.

  • use of the arms on the floor
  • use of the neck
  • anteriorly tilting the pelvis
  • squeezing of the gluteus maximus

It all makes sense right? BUT CAN YOU ACTUALLY SEE THESE COMPENSATIONS and can you correct them?

  • What cues do you use when these compensations occur?
  • Have you taken your clients body weight into account?
  • How tight are their hip flexors?
  • What is their hip flexor – abdominal co-ordination like on a good day?

What is the natural position of their abdominals on a daily basis? Concentric or eccentric?

At the end of the day, we need to develop the mild activation of these muscles. In that way, we are developing a lifelong healthy habit. 


  • Scoop your belly – they will SUCK IT IN
  • Squeeze your abs – there is nothing to squeeze


  • Draw the pubic bone to the ribs
  • Contract the lower abdominals and pull the pubic bone towards the naval
  • Press the pubic bone into a surface i.e. 65cm ball without the use of the glutes
  • Activate the lower abs

This will bring you one step closer to hip disassociation, injury prevention and lumbar stability.

That is the HEALTHY TRUTH! is dedicated to Movement Post Education through Client Specific training and precision in functional training for rehabilitation and movement enhancement.

Tanya Thompson – CEO Of-CourseOnline and Pilates Unlimited – the Art of Movement



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