When you think of your core and abs, do you see them as the center point of your body structuring your top to your bottom? Your core and abs are more then just a set of "6-pack" abs that look great slathered in lotion and baking under the summer sun. They are a complex group of muscles consisting of the deep skeletal muscles thru the obliques and quadratus lumborm to the external spinal flexors. Together they work to keep your body balanced and stabilized. It is very important to focus on the strength and stability of your core, rather than the physical appearance. No point in having 6-pack abs if your lower back is cramped and pain-filled, generally making your everyday life terrible.
Get to Know Your Muscles
- Pelvic floor muscles; these are the muscles that support your bladder, bowel, and uterus if a woman
- Transversus abdominis; aka the TVA, they are the deepest and innermost layer of all the abdominal muscles
- Multifidus; contain a number of fleshy and tendinous fasciculi
- Internal Obliques; they lie just below the external obliques
- External Obliques; is the most superficial of the three flat abdominal muscles
- Rectus Abdominis; aka the "abs" is a pair of long flat muscles at the front of the abdomin
- Erector Spinae (sacrospinalis) especially the longissimus thoracis, and the diaphragm. Minor core muscles include:
- Latissimus Dorsi; name means broadest muscle of the back
- Gluteus Maximus; largest of the three muscles of the buttocks
- Trapezius; pair of large triangular muscles extending over the back or the neck and shoulders
Abdominal Muscles Anatomy
Abs Workout Plan
IllustrationsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Put it all Together
To effectively work your core you will want to complete a series of target specific exercises.
- Focusing on the internal and external obliques as well as the transversus abdominus will pull in your waist line, for women giving the hour glass effect, while for men the structured and stacked abs effect.
- Targeting the rectus abdominal, located right underneath the breast will lengthen the torso