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Understanding Your Abdominal Muscle Anatomy

Posted Nov 15 2012 6:12pm

Everyone talks about abs and how a six-pack makes you look sexy and toned. However, people don't always know how to target the abs. For strong toned ab muscles, you really need to focus on all the muscles in that region.

The rectus abdominis: The long vertical muscle we refer to as the six-pack.
The transverse abdominis: The horizontal muscle which runs around the torso. The obliques:  The pair of diagonals which run down your sides (internal and external).
Knowing the various abs muscles helps us know how to target each. A lot of the floor crunches people do tend to target the rectus abdominus, but may not work the obliques or the transverse abdominus. It is important to do exercises that work all the ab muscles to get the complete look and feel.
Here is one exercise you can try for each today:
Rectus Abdominis As you see in the image above, these muscles go all the way down to your pelvis, and so pelvic exercises work well here. One awesome one you can do is the bicycle. It's a crunch so it's not my favorite, but it really works you out.

Transverse Abdominis You use this muscle when you suck your stomach in and hold it tight. So do exercises where you require your core to balance. One example is the single leg lift. Use one leg for balance and raise the second knee towards your abdomen, holding your abs tight.

Obliques The obliques really require a lot of controlled twisting. Luckily, I wrote about this a few weeks ago with a video too! Check that out here and try the plank oblique.
In no time, you'd be an expert working out your whole abdominal region.
Cheers Eights & Weights!
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