Why Can I Only See My Upper Abs? Find Out Why Here

Why can I only see my upper abs?

Why Can I Only See My Upper Abs? Find Out Why Here

Are you sick of seeing only your upper abs after months (or years) of working out? You’re not alone! Many people experience frustration when their abdominal muscles seem to be unresponsive despite hours at the gym.

But why is this happening, and what can you do to get those elusive six-pack abs? In this blog post, we’ll discuss why it’s possible that your lower abdominal muscles are lagging behind and provide some tips on how to bring them up to speed.

So read on if you’re looking for an answer to finally achieve the midsection of your dreams!

Why can I only see my upper abs?

It all comes down to body fat. As mentioned earlier, your abdominal muscles may be responding just fine to the exercises and diet you’ve been following – it’s simply that they’re being covered up by a layer of fat. The reason why your upper abs may be visible while the lower ones remain hidden is that most people carry the majority of their body fat in their lower abdomen. This is due to evolutionary reasons, as the human body has adapted over time to store fat around the torso and hips for use as fuel during times of famine. So if you’re looking to start seeing definition in your midsection, it’s important to focus on burning off that excess fat first. One way to do this is by practising intermittent fasting and increasing the intensity of your workouts. Intermittent fasting involves eating all of your meals within a certain window, usually 8-10 hours, while extended periods of fasting help to reduce overall body fat levels over time. Additionally, it’s important to focus on high-intensity exercises that incorporate explosive movements. This will help to burn calories and increase your metabolic rate more effectively than steady-state cardio exercises, such as jogging on the treadmill. Finally, it’s important to consider lifestyle factors when trying to reduce body fat levels. Eating a balanced diet rich in whole foods is essential for maintaining good health while reducing stress levels and getting adequate amounts of sleep will help to maximize your body’s fat-burning potential.

Cracking the code to unlocking those elusive killer six-pack abs can be a challenge…however, by following the tips outlined below, you can make sure that your midsection looks its best. 


The human body through the ages has adapted to store fat around the torso and hips for periods of famine. This is why the fat around your lower abdomen is particularly resistant to diet and exercise.

In days gone by there would be long periods when food was scarce and our bodies would turn to stored fat for fuel. As a result, it is much harder to burn off the fat in this area because of its evolutionary purpose.

It can be frustrating because, evolutionarily speaking, the human body hasn’t changed much since then and is unlikely to.

This means that most people tend to carry more body fat in the lower abdomen, which can explain why only your upper abs are visible and most of us can relate to the difficulty of toning that stubborn region.

As such, it’s important to make sure that you focus on burning off your body fat levels first before attempting any exercises specific to the midsection.

In order to start seeing your lower abs, you need to focus on reducing overall body fat levels first. 

The best way to do this is to combine a balanced diet with intermittent fasting and high-intensity workouts.

Body fat

Fat distribution and body fat percentage play important roles in the visibility of your abdominal muscles. In order to see definition in your lower abs, you need to reduce your overall body fat levels first.

Subcutaneous fat, or the fat that lies just below your skin and above your abdominal muscles, can be resistant to both diet and exercise.

In order for your lower abs to start popping, you need to ensure that you’re engaging in activities that target fat loss and shed the excess body fat covering them up. 

To make your abdominals visible, you need to lower your body fat percentage down to 15-20% for men and 20-25% for women.

This can be done in various ways by making dietary changes, such as reducing your caloric intake and eating a balanced diet, as well as increasing the intensity of your workouts.

Intermittent fasting can also help to reduce overall body fat levels by decreasing the amount of time you eat each day (more on this shortly).

The other thing to consider is that it’s not going to be easy to get rid of that stubborn lower abdominal fat, so patience and dedication are a must.

Why can I only see my upper abs?

Practice fasting

Intermittent fasting is a great way to reduce overall body fat levels and can help you to see your lower abs.

Intermittent fasting involves eating all of your meals within a certain window, usually 8-10 hours, while extended periods of fasting help to reduce overall body fat levels over time.

There is a variety of fasting protocols and schedules that you can follow. For example, some people opt for a 16/8 fasting schedule where they eat all of their meals within an eight-hour window and fast the other 16 hours of the day. 

By reducing your caloric intake during these periods of fasting, you’ll be able to reduce overall body fat levels more effectively

When coupled with dieting and exercising, intermittent fasting can help to reduce your body fat percentage and reveal those elusive lower abs.

However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a quick fix, but rather a lifestyle change and make sure you consult a medical professional before making any dietary changes.

Fasting can work really well for some people, but others may find it difficult to sustain for longer periods of time, so see what works best for you.

Increase intensity 

A great way to target stubborn abdominal fat is by increasing the intensity of your workouts. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is an excellent way to burn calories, increase aerobic capacity, and promote fat loss all at once.

Studies have shown that HIIT can help to reduce overall body fat levels more effectively than steady-state cardio and is much less time-consuming.

HIIT involves short bursts of intense activity followed by a recovery period, where you’ll be pushing your body to its limits each time. This type of training increases the heart rate and burns calories quickly, making it an ideal choice for those wanting to target lower abdominal fat. 

Focus on exercises that are explosive and involve multiple muscle groups in order to increase the intensity of your workouts and burn more calories. Some examples include box jumps, burpees, mountain climbers, and lateral lunges.

In addition to HIIT, resistance training can also help to reduce body fat levels and reveal your lower abs. 

Related: Why do lying leg raises hurt my legs more than my abs?

Be explosive 

In order to really target those lower abdominal muscles and burn the stubborn fat, you should focus on exercises that involve explosive and dynamic movements. 

These high-intensity exercises will help to increase your heart rate and burn more calories in a shorter period of time, making them an ideal choice for reducing overall body fat levels. 

Compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups are also effective for targeting stubborn abdominal fat, as they require more energy and create a bigger calorie deficit. Some examples include squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench press and burpees. 

These exercises can all be done without the need for any additional equipment or weights and provide an intense workout that will really help to reveal your lower abs.

Sprints and other explosive exercises, such as jump squats and box jumps, are also great for targeting stubborn abdominal fat.

In order to get the most out of this type of training, focus on short bursts of explosive activity followed by a recovery period. This will help to keep your heart rate up and really target the lower abdominal muscles.


You can’t out-train a bad diet, so it’s important to consider the non-exercise factors of getting visible six-pack abs. 

You know how the old saying goes…you eat rubbish, you get rubbish results (or something like that). I have to say I agree, especially as I’ve become “more mature”…

The type of food and drink I consume, early nights, regular exercise, yoga, sauna and meditation…all contribute to my overall health and well-being. 

If one of these things is missing or lacking from my weekly routine, I can pretty much guarantee my results will suffer too. So if you want to see those lower abs, you need to make sure your lifestyle is in check first.

I know my lifestyle choices might not be for everyone, but find what inspires you to be better, eat better and just generally feel better.

Getting enough sleep is key if you want to reduce abdominal fat. Research has shown that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a night tend to have higher levels of abdominal fat than those who get more. 

In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, make sure you are getting enough sleep and eating the right foods.

If you really want to see results, consider your lifestyle habits as well as your diet and exercise routine. For example, reduce the amount of alcohol you consume, eat nutrient-dense foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and get plenty of sleep.


In order to reduce stubborn abdominal fat, it’s important to make sure your diet is in check and that you’re eating the right kinds of foods. 

The key to reducing body fat levels and revealing those lower abs is a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise. 

This means cutting down on processed foods, refined carbs and sugary snacks as well as increasing your intake of lean proteins, complex carbs and healthy fats. 

High-fibre foods are important for weight loss as they help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Foods such as oats, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

It’s also important to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals, as these will help to fuel your workouts and keep your energy levels up. 

In addition to this, practice fasting occasionally. This will help to reset your metabolism and burn fat more efficiently. 

Also, remember to stay hydrated. Water will help to flush toxins from your body and keep you feeling full for longer. It will also help to prevent bloating and keep your stomach flat. 

Bloated stomach and posture

A bloated stomach can be caused by several things, including an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and poor posture. 

When sitting down to eat, make sure your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed. Avoid slouching, as this can cause bloating and lead to an unsightly bulge.

In order to reduce bloating, it’s important to watch what you eat and make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Avoid processed foods, sugar and refined carbs as these can cause bloating. 

In addition to this, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water helps to flush toxins from your body and can help reduce bloating. 

Posture is another important factor when it comes to reducing stomach bloating. Make sure you practice good posture throughout the day, whether you’re sitting or standing. This will help to prevent any extra tension in your abdominal muscles which can cause bloating and make it harder to see results. 

Many people have rounded shoulders and neck pain due to the overuse of devices, which can hinder their ability to maintain good posture. Make sure to stretch regularly and practice good posture while sitting, standing, eating and exercising.

Practice yoga or Pilates as these can help to strengthen your abdominal muscles, improve flexibility and promote better posture. 

Why can I only see my upper abs?

Stress levels

Stress can have a huge impact on your overall health and can prevent you from achieving the results you want.

When it comes to reducing abdominal fat, it’s important to reduce stress levels as much as possible. Stress hormones such as cortisol can cause your body to store more fat in the abdominal area, making it harder to see the results you’re working for. 

In order to reduce stress, try practising meditation or take up a mindfulness practice such as yoga or tai chi. Exercise is also great for relieving stress and will help to keep your hormones balanced. 

Make sure to get plenty of sleep as well – ideally 7-8 hours per night. This will help to reduce stress levels and keep your energy levels up. 

How often do you train?

In order to reduce abdominal fat, it’s important to focus on both cardio and strength training. 

For cardio, aim for 3-4 times per week for at least 20-30 minutes. Try different forms of cardio such as sprinting, cycling or HIIT (high-intensity interval training). This will help to increase your heart rate and burn more calories.

When it comes to strength training, aim for 3-4 times per week focusing on total body exercises such as squats, push-ups and lunges. These will help to tone your muscles and increase your metabolism. 

Having a strict and dedicated attitude to your workouts is important if you want to see results. Make sure to challenge yourself and increase the intensity of your workouts over time. Be explosive with your movements and focus on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts and presses. 

You will also need to spend time training those abs! Core exercises such as planks, sit-ups and bicycle crunches are great for strengthening your abdominal muscles.

Increase the time they are under tension and you will see more visible abs – don’t forget to incorporate some rest days as well. 

Related: Why Do My Hip Flexors Hurt When I Do Ab workouts?

What exercises are you doing?

If you have been trying to get that flat washboard stomach by doing crunch after crunch, even though good old Patrick Bateman was partial to them (My references are a little obscure), you will have no doubt been frustrated by the lack of results.

This is because you must focus your exercises on the entire core, not just crunching. This means doing exercises that target the transverse abdominis (the deepest abdominal muscle) and obliques, as well as hip flexors and lower back muscles. 

These multi-dimensional exercises include mountain climbers, leg flutters, plank variations, side bridges, reverse crunches and stability ball exercises. 

Hanging leg raises, while they may not look like core exercises, are excellent for reducing overall body fat and toning your abdominal muscles. If raising your legs is too hard, you can begin by doing knee raises – but make sure to keep your back and neck flat while doing them.

These are great for engaging all of the muscles in the abdominal area, which will help to create that strong, defined midsection you’ve been dreaming about. 

What are your goals?

It is important to set realistic goals when it comes to reducing stomach fat. What are the specific reasons you need to reduce your stomach fat?

Are you trying to look better aesthetically or are you trying to improve your health and overall fitness levels? 

You need to understand why it is important to reduce abdominal fat and set short-term goals that will help you reach those long-term targets. 

Some people walk around all year with a solid six-pack, while lots of people don’t because the reality of reducing body fat is complex and requires a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. 

The point I’m trying to make is that you need to have a clear understanding of why you want to reduce the amount of fat around your stomach. Once you know this, set goals that are congruent with your lifestyle. This way, they will be easier for you achieve.

Final thoughts…

In conclusion, there is no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to reducing abdominal fat. It requires a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Developing an understanding of why you need to lose abdominal fat will help you to create achievable goals. 

Remember, having a flat stomach is not an overnight process. Be patient and committed to your goals, focus on compound exercises and incorporate a combination of both cardio and strength training into your routine. 

If you stay consistent with these tips, you can be sure to see results in no time! Good luck! 

Can you only see your upper abs and have these tips helped? Let us know in the comments below.

If you enjoy sports and use CBD to help with your recovery in between gruelling workouts, then you are in the right place. Here at Sport CBDs, we train hard and recover the best way possible…

We have regular workouts (check out the YouTube channel), CBD news and CBD products to help you gain that edge! 

If you wanted to check out the reputable CBD we have on offer here at the site, then please head to the Sport CBDs Store (CLICK HERE). We also do fitness clothing and yoga accessories too. 

Until next time, all the best…

Beginners Upper Body Kettlebell Workout


Founder – Sport CBDs

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