The Four Ab Muscles And How To Work Them

The Four Ab Muscles And How To Work Them

Everyone wants a six pack. There have been multiple theories on how to get one. Despite popular belief, performing 100 sit ups a day won’t get you there. If the body fat percentage is low, then one can see visible results from working the core muscles. However, if one works the core, and a layer of fat sits on top, you will not be able to see the ‘six pack’. The key to working the core is to combine exercises with clean eating and fat burning cardio. Understanding the core will help you target all areas when working out to see amazing results. Learn about the four layers of the abdominals below and exercises to work them.
Internal Obliques

The innermost layer is the internal obliques. They allow you to bend from side to side and twist. These muscles give you a narrow waist, improve posture, and keep your back strong. One of the best exercises for this muscle group is bicycle crunches.

Bicycle Crunches

Lie on back and bend legs at 90 degree angle. Place hands behind head and curl body forward, as in a crunch. Bring right knee towards left elbow and extend left leg out at a 45 degree angle. Keep shoulders off the floor and repeat motion on opposite side. Continue left to right.

External Obliques

The external obliques are a pair of thin, wide set of muscles that lie on either side of torso. They are located on top of the internal oblique. Side crunches target both internal and external obliques.

Side Crunches

Lie on back with knees bent. Rotate hips and knees till both knees are turned to right side and touching ground. Lift shoulder blades off the floor and exhale as you come up. Hold for one second and lower to starting position. Repeat 15 times, then switch to opposite side.

Rectus Abdominus

This is the most superficial layer of ab muscles. It lies on top of all muscles. It is positioned vertically down front of body and helps flex the body forward.

Front Plank

Lie on stomach with toes on the ground and feet flexed. Place hands on floor directly under shoulders, extended fully. Keep back straight and head in neutral position. Hold for 30 seconds, then lower body and repeat.

Transverse Abdominus

The transverse abdominus stabilizes the spine. This muscle wraps around the belly, cinching in the waist.

Lying Torso Lift

To perform, lie on back with knees bent. Reach upwards while exhaling and lift shoulders and head off the floor and hold for two seconds. Return to floor, inhale and repeat.

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