Here is a quick overview of the muscle groups associated with your abdominal area.
The primary functions of the abdominal muscles are to stabilize your body, keep the abdominal organs in place and to bear down in movements such as child birth, coughing, elimination, etc. There are four layers of abdominal muscles:
1. The outermost layer of the abdominal muscles is the rectus abdominis. When this muscle shows it is commonly referred to as a 6 pack. It runs from the pubic bone to the breast bone and middle ribs. The primary function of the rectus abdominis is flexion of the torso and also assists other muscles in compressing the abdomen.
2 and 3. The next layer of muscles are the internal and external obliques. These muscles run diagonally on the sides of the torso from the top of the hips to the middle ribs. Their primary function is twisting, side bending and rotation of the trunk. They also assist in flexion of the trunk. They also assist in flexion of the trunk.
4. The transversus abdominis is the deepest layer of abdominal muscle. This muscle goes around the midsection – front to back with fibers running side to side. The lower portion attaches to hip area (front and back) and the upper portion attaches to the to the lower ribs. Contraction of the transverse muscles pulls the belly in. These muscles are more associated with autonomic nervous system functions such as coughing, bearing down, elimination and childbirth. An easy way to connect with these muscles is to place your hands on the sides of your of your abdominal area and cough.
In my book “ABS! 50 of the best core exericses to strengthen, tone, and flatten your belly” you will find ab and stomach exercises that work all four muscle groups. Click on the book below to learn more.
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