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Anatomy: There are four main muscles that combine to completely cover the internal organs and shape the outer appearance of your abdominal:

  1. Transverse Abdominis – is the deepest lying muscle located under the internal obliques. It wraps around the center of the trunk from front to back to support spine for stability. You use your transverse when you breathe in.

  2. Rectus Abdominis – is located along the front of the abdomen. This is the most well known, often referred to as the ‘six pack’.

  3. External Oblique Muscle – is on each side of the rectus abdominis. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist, but to the opposite side of whichever external oblique is contracting. For example, the right external oblique contracts to turn the body to the left.

  4. Internal Oblique Muscle –is located under the external obliques and flank the rectus abdominis. They operate in the opposite way to the external oblique muscles. For example, twisting the trunk to the left requires the left side internal oblique and the right side external oblique to contract together.

How To Make Your Abs Show - Most people find it difficult to believe they already have a six-pack. It’s there but you don’t see it, because it’s normally covered with fat. We all have a six-pack – all we need to do is develop them and make them show. To make them show, the fat has to go.

"Trim" is a word used frequently in ab products advertisements. In reality, no exercise equipment will trim or reduce your waist. You cannot spot reduce fat. So don't believe ANY abdominal toning equipment advertisement that promises to decrease fat around your waistline. Doing ab exercises will train your abdominal muscles, but not remove the layer of fat sitting on top of those muscles.

Fat can only be lost by burning more calories than you consume. No amount of sit-ups and crunches will ever remove the fat. Diet is 70% of your six pack, with exercise being the other 30%. To drop the body fat, you have to eat right and cut the junk food from your diet, and introduce cardiovascular exercise and weight training. Only once you do this, the fat will start to come off and the muscles of your abs will start to show through. The shape of the muscles beneath will depend on how well you train them.

Training Your Ab Muscles: Daily abdominal training is unnecessary because muscle tissue of the abs is the same as the muscle tissue in the rest of the body. They also need time to rest and recover after each workout. The abdominal muscles react to resistance training just like any other muscle group. Doing 100 crunches is not the proper way to work the abdominals. Effective exercise will fatigue muscles in less than 20-30 repetitions and will produce better results.

The shape of the abdominal muscles including whether you have a four pack, six pack or eight pack – and whether you have even or uneven rows of abdominal muscle are genetically programmed. However, with the proper exercises, you can improve the abdominal muscles.

What Is Core And How Is It Different To Abs:  

To put it in simple terms, if you ignored your arms, legs and head, what you’re left with is your core!

Abdominal training is exercising the abdominal muscles but core training is not just targeting the abs but also a group of more than a couple dozen muscles in the lower back, abdomen, pelvis and hips.
A movement that works your core is going to work more than one muscle group. These muscles work together to keep the spine stabilized and to keep the body upright. These muscles are always working, in every movement you do.

You can essentially work the abdominal muscles without working the rest of the core, but a good core workout "includes" work on the abdominal muscles.

Strengthening Your Core: The core muscles are important because they connect the upper and lower body together, co-ordinating the movement of the whole body. Strengthening these core muscles is vital for performing everyday activities. They are critical for: bending forward and backward, any rotational movements, and twisting from side to side. Your core works in every movement you do, therefore a stronger core means you’ll be able to move better.

A strong core reduces the risk of injury, improves your balance and posture and helps increase power and strength in other muscles by acting as a strong base. Think of you core as your foundation. If a house is built on a solid foundation, it will be strong and more durable. A stronger core will also help you get stronger in other areas. The core muscles support the spine and if your spine is supported solidly, then you’ll be able to lift more weights and maintain proper form. A strong core also leads to good posture, which means less back pain.

Flat Belly OR Toned Abs OR Six Pack Abs

We crave them, we obsess about them and we’re constantly holding them in. The stomach is the major problem area for men and women. With a solid diet plan and workouts you too can achieve a head turning midsection. There are many different types of look of abs in bodies and many different opinions as what one prefers and what looks good.

A women with flat abs symbolize peak physical fitness and a yardstick for sex appeal. For a flat belly, women need to go down to 17-20% body fat. If women want to have visible abs it usually takes getting down to about 15-16% body fat. Once you do that you will have some great looking abs. If you want to get more of a ripped look then you are going to have to get down to 12% to 14% or lower.

A man with ripped abs is probably most satisfied with his body image because of the attention he gets. Most men start to show excellent muscle definition when they hit 8-9%. To see that six pack shining through, men have to get down to 5-6% or lower.

It is difficult to put an exact number on fat percentage for the abs to show since everybody shows differently at different percentage. However, when it comes to getting  a six-pack ab or firm flat abs, whether for men or women, same rules and principles apply, the absolute most important one being the diet.

No body part can be toned or maintained by a periodic pursuit but rather by a daily commitment of making conscious little steps on a daily basis. Living healthy is a full time and lifetime pursuit. Having a flat belly is exactly that!

Ab Exercises on the Ball - One piece of simple exercise equipment highly recommended is a Swiss ball also known as a Stability ball. Swiss balls are very effective and they improve balance and also challenge your neurological system more intensely than any fancy machine ever will. It's one of the safest and most effective training devices for the abs and low back. Lying on the exercise ball, your hips curve down so you start your exercise at a greater range of motion than you would lying flat on the floor. This means more of the abdominal muscle gets trained.

Some to the notable exercises for abs are Plank, Side Plank, CrunchReverse CrunchDecline CrunchHanging Leg RaiseCable CrunchLying Leg RaiseBicycle CrunchStability Ball crunch, and Flutter Kicks.

Cable Crunch

Chair Leg Raise



Flutter Kicks

Bicycle Crunch