Abs Anatomy 101
Our core is our body’s powerhouse! Every exercise, and every workout regime is improved by good core strength. The abdominal muscles stretch far beyond the six-pack, and they allow us to do a lot more than we realise. Having a strong core will benefit your life and wellbeing more than you’d ever imagine!
By taking a closer look at the abdominal muscles and their functions, we can better understand how they benefit us, and uncover the best ways to strengthen them.
The anterior core consists of three layers, the deep, intermediate, and superficial layer. These muscles are found on the front of your body.
The deep layer lies beneath, and consists of the muscles that work together to create stability. They’re important for stabilising your spine and pelvis, which is vital for arm and leg muscle building exercises.
The intermediate layer lies between the deep and superficial layer, and consists of several muscles including the internal oblique. Our internal oblique assists in respiration and torso rotation.
The well-known superficial layer includes the external oblique and the rectus abdominus, and is often referred to as the six-pack. The external oblique provides stability to the pelvis, and helps to tilt it to a neutral position. The rectus abdominus is the sheet of muscle that inserts into the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs. It is separated by three or four bands of connective tissue, which creates the separation of the muscle into a six-pack.
TRX Fallouts and Pallof Presses are ideal for sculpting your six-pack and oblique muscles, whilst building strength and resistance.
Who knew we had ab muscles hiding out in the back! However this doesn’t mean they’ve taken a back seat. They’re important for controlling the muscles we use during exercises including deadlifts, and squats. The posterior core has three muscle groups called the multifidus, the quadratus lumborium, and the erector spinae.
The multifidi are small muscles that are invisible to us, but are important as they control movements throughout the spine.
The quadratus lumborium are located between the hips and lower back, and are important for controlling side motion.
The erector spinae assist with maintaining extension, and run from the sacrum, through the ribcage, to the top of the skull.
Suitcase Deadlifts and Dead Bugs are great for strengthening these muscles and promoting controlled torso rotation.
By increasing core strength, you’ll not only smash out ab day, but you’ll benefit more from upper and lower body workouts! Training your stomach muscles will allow you to lift more weight, will reduce the chance of injury by promoting stability, and will of course uncover the washboard abs you’ve been searching for.