Training lower abs for men over 50

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It has been said that abs are made in the kitchen. Nowadays they tend to say the more accurate statement that abs are revealed in the kitchen. But first, you have to have something to reveal and in the case of our lower abs, there is a simple test we can do to see how strong they are.

All you have to do is lay on your back and bend your knees then raise your legs up into the air to create a 90% angle with your torso. This should give you a posterior pelvic tilt. With your low back flat on the floor. Now keep your head back and fold your arms in front of you like a genie with your elbows up in the air and away from your body.

At this point slowly lower your legs down toward the floor this should take at least ten seconds. Now in order to pass this test your lower back must remain in contact with the floor the entire time once it loses contact the test is over.

Now Don’t feel too bad if you didn’t get that far down before your low back lost contact with the floor. Especially for us guys over fifty we’ve had a lot of years working at a desk and as we get older, we tend to be less active. All contributing to a weaker core. One of the most common side effects of weak lower abdominals is low back pain.

Of course, we can fix this because we can get fit and build muscle at any age!

The first step in improving our lower abs is to stay away from doing the cool gym exercises like hanging leg raises or even knee raises. We’ll get to them in a bit. It’s just that isn’t where you start. The reason for this is that our hip flexors are very strong muscles and can easily overpower our lower abdominals. If you have ever done leg raises and your back started to hurt that is a sure sign you weren’t using your abs but your hip flexors.

The first exercise I would suggest you start with is the dead bug. The most important thing to remember with this exercise is that once you are in position to do the movement you make sure to tilt your pelvis forward to engage your core pressing your lower back to the floor and once your back loses contact with the floor that is failure and your last rep of the set. If you can do at least 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps at a slow steady pace then you are ready to do a more advanced exercise.

For the next exercise, I have chosen the reverse crunch or as I’ve been hearing it called lately the Lying garhammer. The easiest way to do this is with your knees bent and your hands under your butt. As you advance you will straighten out your legs at the bottom and top of the movement and then finally remove your hands from under your butt and lay them along your sides.

So when you put your hands under you butt your pelvis automatically tilts pressing your low back to the floor and engages your lower abs. And this is what you need to do to ensure you are engaging your lower abs once you remove your hands. Always making sure your low back is in contact with the floor.

When you first start doing knee raises and the same is true once you graduate to leg raises, you want to do them in a way that keeps your body stable eliminating swinging. Not only does this swinging motion use momentum to move the legs, but it also makes it difficult to keep the tension on the lower abs. So at first, you are better off using dip bars like my Leberts.

So far we have been talking about strengthening our lower abs through motion, but that isn’t the only job our abdominals perform its other job is to stabilize our body. We train this isometrically with planks being on the beginner end of the spectrum and dragon flags being on the advanced side.

If you are following the progression I’ve outlined in this video and you want to add dragon flags into your program. Then once you can properly do hanging knee raises time to add it in.

I like to set up lying on a bench with my hands holding the bench up by my head for support at this point I raise my legs and torso so they are straight up above me with the weight of them being supported on my upper back. Then I start to lower them down maintaining that forward or in this case upward pelvic tilt. Once I’ve lowered them down as far as I can, then I hold for time.

    50 replies to "Training Lower Abs For Men Over 50"

    • D. C.

      Thanks for your videos. Please keep them coming.
      Any suggestions to target the obliques?

      • Fit and 50

        My favorite exercise would be Russian Twists for the obliques. Stay tuned more to come

      • D. C.

        Fit and 50 thanks 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

    • Shantanu Sapru

      Interesting take! Most people would recommend the very exercises which you frown against (for beginners). However, what you say seems to make sense!

      • Fit and 50

        I would recommend you try the test Shantanu, when you do you will be able to feel the difference between what muscles are working when you have your back flat and in contact with the floor and when you do not. Once we develop that feeling we can use it to insure we are doing all of our abdominal work correctly.

    • David Jones

      Good vid Lawrence as always very interesting!
      How about some home workouts with just your bodyweight and a pull-up bar please 👌

      • Fit and 50

        Good suggestion David, I’ll see if I can make that happen.

      • David Jones

        Thanks Lawrence

    • Tom M

      Thanks so much Laurence. As always, a very informative and inspirational video. Your core strength is amazing!

      • Fit and 50

        Appreciate it, always working to improve.

    • Steven Barra

      Great tests to see what level of ab strength you have! I have never done “dead bugs” before … that is quite a movement. (I can actually do them!) Great job, Laurence!

      • Fit and 50

        I like dead bugs, they are a lot more challenging than one might think.

      • Steven Barra

        @Fit and 50 They are! I had to really focus on keeping the back flat!


      This is something really good especially in isolation now! Great tips for men!

      • Fit and 50

        I’ve Always trained at home so it isn’t that much of a change for me. Now I have a chance to share from all those years of training at home.

    • Matt Greggo

      Looking awesome! Keep motivating 🙌🙌

      • Fit and 50


    • J. Wadley

      Good information. I found your videos after doing several days of Chloe Ting’s abs challenge on YouTube. As a 52-year-old whose hashtag is #Fit@50, I’ll definitely incorporate some of your exercises, including being more aware of my form on the hanging leg raises. But, for my Instagram page, I’m still planning to post those “cool leg raises” from the bar because most guys our age can barely do abs workouts. LOL

      • Fit and 50

        I’m finding that more and more men over 50 are keeping themselves in great shape and for those of us that are, I feel we have a responsibility to help others gain a greater level of fitness.

      • J. Wadley

        @Fit and 50 Really? The guys I play basketball with three times a week (ages 40-70) don’t do any other exercises — and would struggle with workouts. Then I have guys I went to high school with and they look at least four months pregnant! LOL Maybe things are different in your state, but here in Michigan more guys struggle, especially during the winter. In any case, keep up the good work!

      • Fit and 50

        Over the years I have really seen a change Jared in how men age. 50 used to seem so old not as much now, there are like yourself a lot more examples of people that are in great shape over 50. I do masters sprinting and it blows me away the incredible shape some of the competitors are in even over 60 and it inspires me to keep training so that I can be at least their level once I’m that age.

      • J. Wadley

        @Fit and 50 Wow masters sprinting?! How cool. In high school, I ran track, but now I just do basketball and biking for my cardio. Speaking of running, last night I came across several YouTube videos about whether running or walking is better to be fit. (Walking, of course, is better for low impact). It reminded me that pre-pandemic I was able to get 10,000 steps in — and I think I’m going to do more walking (in addition to the other exercises). In fact, after lunch today, I’ll be getting my steps in.

      • Fit and 50

        We can never be to active. I mix up my cardio lots of walking and running. Lately though I’ve been getting out on my bike a couple times a week too. Really enjoying it.

    • R.K. Storm

      Thanks for excellent beginner instructions! One remark; maybe I don’t understand it correctly, but in the beginning of the instructions there is mentioning of a Posterior pelvis tilt , later on of an Anterior pelvis tilt. In my opinion, Posterior is the right one. Anyhow, many Thanks for your movie!

      • Fit and 50

        Yes it should be posterior

    • youhou2000youhou

      Your clarity of speech, elecution, sound is impressive. Most of all, each sentence is for saying something interesting. Inspiring…

      • Fit and 50

        Thank you I still make plenty of mistakes, but I am trying to keep my videos short and to the point .

      • Bob Bob

        In fairness they are very clear ,and to the point ,do u read from a pre thought out script

    • ಮೋಹನ್ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಗೌಡ

      your teaching skill is super sir , thank you.

      • Fit and 50

        Great to hear you are finding it helpful.

    • jedironin380

      Passed the first test, 20 seconds to lower my legs to the floor. Legs and back remained straight. 56 yrs. old, I’ve been weight training for about 5 months after kicking myself in the butt to get moving again! 🙂

      • Fit and 50

        Nice keep up the great work!

    • Alex Loh

      This guy is for real. I’m 47 and have been training for more than 20years. To have a body like him at 54 is extremely difficult with lower testosterone level as we age.

      • Fit and 50

        Thanks man! But you know if you do it right you don’t have to lose your testosterone levels as you age. There was a great study done on master athletes that I talk about in this video that shines a light on how we can keep ours high no matter what our age.

      • Alex Loh

        @Fit and 50 thanks. Will watch it.

    • Anthony Banks

      Great info. I tried the test and was able to do it without any issues.

      • Fit and 50


    • Robert Ellison

      Thank you for taking the time to clearly and succinctly teach great technique and a great workout with some style and humor😎

      • Fit and 50

        Appreciate it Robert.

    • Garage Gym Fitness

      Some really good advice I appreciate you taking the time to share. Thank you

      • Fit and 50

        Great to hear you enjoyed it.

      • Garage Gym Fitness

        @Fit and 50 being 50 myself I am doing my best not to use it as an excuse but a reason to get fitter. I wanna be the best physical version of myself I can be.

    • Jamie Somers

      Hello Sir im a fellow 50+er and despite being an ex Royal Ballet student and former catwalk model iv never felt happier in my fitness regime ..
      Now tho still on stage in pt also and wil with honour impliment some of your knowledge Sir.
      Pleasure to meet you/sub..

      Jamie #ScouserlivinginSpain 😎

      • Fit and 50

        Welcome to the channel Jamie!

    • Steve Swartz

      Great video. 👍 Will add these to my workout. I’m 51 and been struggling on what exercises to do to achieve my goals when it comes to abs. I also appreciate you being straight to the fact and not having to hear a sales pitch in the beginning, as well as having a slow, clear well explained exercises!!

      • Fit and 50

        Thank you Steve, I’m glad you found it helpful.

    • Richard Howard

      I appreciate your utubes so much! I am 56 year young and now starting to exercise and workout. Love and blessings

      • Fit and 50

        Thanks Richard! Keep working out.

    • Nigel Lawlor

      Wow your a fit man for 50 im working hard in gym last year and you given me hope that abs muscles are possible at 50 thanks subbed and liked vid lets support this channel

      • Fit and 50

        Welcome to the channel!! You can get fit and build muscle at any age.

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