The abdominal muscles are the most easily noticed .. when they are not there ! An overgrown belly some may consider “a little more to love” ,but the most of us remember in the spring that we want “that summer body” ,which includes a 6 pack ,or at least a 4 pack .
To achieve that goal we’ll have a better chance if we know the abdominal muscles structure and function.Knowing how it works means we will work efficient and achieve greater results with the minimum effort.
The muscles of the abdominal region are: rectus abdominis ,external obliques ,internal obliques ,transverse abdominis.
Rectus abdominis is the muscle you want to work to see that 4-6-8 pack asuming you have an enough low abdominal fat. It is located between the ribs and the pubic bone and is made of 8 separate muscle bellies. It is responsible for a good posture and helps regulating breathing and protects the organs by creating intra-abdominal pressure. It’s function is to flex the spine.
The external obliques This is the muscle that performs the twisting of the trunk– this is controlled by the external oblique muscle on the opposite side of the direction that you’re twisting.
Internal obliques Are located just inside the hip bones. They are also responsible for twisting and turning but they control the movement on the same side as the movement ,opposite to the external obliques.
Transverse abdominis It is the most profound muscle that holds all the organs together and creats internal abdominal pressure. You can’t work this muscle with conventional exercises, most people haven’t even heard of this muscle.
This muscle is responsible for giving a flat belly when trained . The transverse abdominal helps to compress the ribs and viscera, providing thoracic and pelvic stability.
The transverse abdominis is a muscle responsible with exhaling.
Seratus anterior.This muscle may not be part of the abdominal region but it sure helps define the region if it is worked.
They are located between the anterior face of the scapula and the 1-8 ribs.
Their function is to pull the scapula forward opposed to the action of the romboids.
Sit-ups for the upper part of the rectus abdominis and crisscrosses are great for the whole muscle.
IMPORTANT: always contract the abs and not the hip flexors which tend to take up the slack from the abs when they get tired or are too weak. Do less reps ,and try to contract only the abs.
Lift your trunk 10 degrees and move from touching heel to heel .
Exhale to feel this muscle ,and by keep that complete exhale to work this muscle.Try to “touch” your abs with your spine.