We won't win the fight with aging , but we will die trying !

Abdominal Strengthening

Everybody wants to have flat abs but aside from the pure aesthetics of a nice mid-section, there is something to be said for a strong and toned core . Abdominal muscles are a part of almost every move that you make. They are the core of your strength and power. They are essential for good posture, supporting the back and preventing lower back problems. These muscles control the movement of the body to allow the body to bend side to side, to twist right and left and to lower and raise the torso.

You need to know that ,abs is not just one muscle they are actually a group of muscles. Internal and external oblique muscles, an abdominus rectus and a transverse abdominus which is hidden.

Rectus abdominis

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The Rectus abdominis muscle -Nicknamed the “Six Pack”. Rectus Abdominis runs vertically from the sternum to the pubic bone. Its primary job is spine flexion, particularly in the supine  position. Exercises like crunches flex the upper spine, which move the ribcage closer to pelvis. Pelvic tilts and reverse rolls flex the lower spine, which move the pelvis closer to the ribcage.

External obliques

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The External obliques run diagonally down from the lower ribs and connects to the front top  of the pelvis and the pubic bone. External obliques aid in twisting the trunk. Right external  oblique is activated when twisting left.

Internal obliques

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The Internal obliques lie underneath the external obliques and run diagonally in  opposite  direction of the external obliques. The internal obliques run from the top of the hip lumbar region and connects to the lower ribs. Internal obliques aid in twisting the trunk in the same  direction as the side they are on. The left internal oblique twist the torso left. (Therefore the left internal oblique and the right external oblique work together to twist the torso left.

 

Transverse abdominis

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The Transverse abdominis muscle runs horizontally across the abdominal wall underneath the external and internal obliques. The transverse abdominis run from the top of the hip lumbar  region, across the pelvis and connects to the pubic bone. Transverse abdominis pulls the  abdominal wall inward, forcing expiration.

Transverse Abdominis are the deepest layer of the abdominal wall, and the most important for so desired  “flat stomach”. It’s fibers run across the abdomen and performs abdominal compression, which draws the belly inward, and narrows the waist. This muscle is the body’s “internal girdle.” Interestingly, unlike most skeletal muscles, the Transverse Abdominis does not move bone.

Contraction of the Transverse Abdominis acts like an internal splint, helping to close abdominal separation from the inside. It’s the body’s most important core stabilizer and is responsible for re-flattening the abdominal wall.

Transverse abdominis muscles are key to a strong abdomen and the ones that we have most difficulty in exercising . They lie the deepest of the four groups of abdominal muscles.

It is sad but  90% of trainees  train abs the wrong way . A critical component for restoring your abs and the development of core strength is learning to control the shape of your abdominal wall during exercise. To do this, you need to train your abs to pull back in toward your spine during exertion.

You have  to work from the inside out. This is done by first building strength, and then functional control, in the deepest abdominal muscle, the Transverse Abdominis. When  you do crunches  avoid  engaging  the rectus abdominis and obliques muscle, which strengthen these external layers. it’s all too easy for these external layers to overpower relatively weaker Transverse Abdominis . This causes the abdominal wall to bulge outward during exertion.

In sports training, what you practice is what you get, i.e., muscle specificity theory. If you allow the abs to balloon during exercise, that is what you are unintentionally training your abs to do. And remember if you want to  see a visible six-pack, you have to  bring your body fat percentage down to a low enough level to where the abs become visible. It can be accomplished only as part of an overall weight-reduction program.