Understanding the Anatomy of your Abdominals

Are you one of those people who work out regularly, eat healthy, and drink plenty of water yet still cannot seem to create those six-pack abs that workout guru’s tell you to aim for? Well there could be a very good reason for this; you may not be working the abdominal muscles correctly. It takes more than thousands of crunches and sit-ups to achieve sculpted six-pack abs. It takes an understanding of the layout and functionality of the abdominal muscles so that you know which directions and exercises work which areas effectively.

Why Crunches Alone won’t give you Six-Pack Abs

The short answer to why you will never achieve six-pack abs through crunches alone is that you are not working all of the abdominal muscles and only working the abdominals in one direction when you do crunches and sit-ups.

The long answer is that there are six muscles that make-up the abdominal region and these six muscles all perform different actions in various directions in order to provide movement and structural support of the body’s trunk. Within these six muscles, only one is referred to as the six-pack, the Rectus Abdominus; which is often referred to as both the upper and lower abs. The common mislabeling of the abdominal muscles has led many people in search of being physically fit and tone in the wrong direction by making them think they are working muscles that they are not.

Abdominal Make-up

The abdominal region is made-up of the Rectus Abdominus (that runs down the front of the torso) which is divided into five vertically aligned compartments, with only three of the compartments being visible due to the other two compartments being located deep within the pelvis attaching to the pelvic bone.

Next are the four oblique muscles that wrap around the sides of the torso with two running internally beneath the two external oblique muscles that are most visible. These are the muscles that when toned properly create the hourglass shape that most women hope to achieve. They are also some of the hardest to work.

Finally you have the Transverse Abdominis muscle that runs along the abdominal cavity beneath the other abdominal muscles. It is this muscle that is responsible for providing support to your lower back. Unfortunately since this muscle is not a visible muscle it is easily and often overlooked when working out leaving individuals wondering why they still have low back pain even though they are working their core.

How to Work All of the Abdominals

Working all of the abdominal muscles takes a workout regimen that includes various core and leg movements. Leg movements are vital to working the lower and deeper abdominal muscles that attach directly to the pelvis. Varying movements to include exercises such as lunges, reverse lunges, inverted leg lifts, inverted sit-ups, twists, and Roman chair movements work those muscle areas that sit lower and deeper within the body sculpting the complete abdominal region in turn creating six-pack abs.

By understanding your body’s anatomy better and working your muscles accordingly, especially those located within the core, you will get more out of your workout and be better equipped towards achieving your six-pack abs fitness goal.