The Lying Leg Raise targets the lower abs, but also involves the hip flexors to a large extent.
Lie flat on your back with your hands palms-down underneath your glutes to cradle your pelvis during the movement. Your upper back, arms, and hands will be all that is in contact with the floor throughout the exercise.
When I first started working out again back in November/December I'd avoid these as much as I could. I could barely lift my legs in and up and when I managed to do so I could barely do 10 reps per set.
I do the flat bench version which you can see at BodyBuilding.com. Over the last couple of months I've been able to increase to 12 reps and y range of mobility is getting better all the time. Today I was able to add the lift at the end...I haven't been able to do this, since, well, I honestly don't know when.
The worst thing about this exercise is that I KNOW it's effective. There's nothing worse then hating something that you know is good for you. So, with that in mind...I highly recommend adding the Lying Leg Raise to your routine. If I can do this exercise - anyone can!
I find the biggest encouragement is when I complete a highly challenging exercise. I end up feeling like I kicked it's butt instead of it kicking mine. I encourage everyone to do at least one exercise you hate and tackle it until you make it your *****!
Which exercise do you hate doing the most? What is your exercise nemesis?