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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Abdominals - A quick anatomy lesson

The abdominal region is actually comprised of a number of components and muscles which work in unison. We don't really need to know about the specific functions of each of these muscles other than they act to stabilize your trunk, as well as enable you to flex, twist and extend your body.

In a quick nutshell, the abdominal region is made up of just a few muscle groups:
  • The Rectus Abdominis which is the section that people commonly refer to as the "six-pack", although in actual reality, it consists of 8 heads. The 7th and 8th heads are generally only visible when an individual has extremely low body fat, which is why you will sometimes see pictures of people with 8 packs!
  • The Obliques are made up of the External Obliques on the side, and the Internal Obliques underneath them. Both run diagonally and are only really visible when the muscles are well developed and subcutaneous fat deposits are very low (more on that later).
  • The Transversus Abdominis which is located deeper within the abdominal complex and is not nearly as visible to the naked eye as the other muscles.
It is important to train all of these muscle groups just as thoroughly. Without a strong core to support you, you are bound to experience back problems later on in life, and you will find that your other lifts (i.e. Deadlift) will suffer. These core muscles play a key role in supporting your lower back therefore you should make sure that you don't neglect them. In future posts we will outline an abdominal workout routine that hits each of the muscle groups that we have discussed so that you can get six-pack abs and maybe even an eight-pack if you're willing to work hard enough! Situationally speaking, you will definitely be turning heads on the beach!