The Truth About Abs
If the infomercials are any indication, people spend more money on their abs than on any other muscle group. And why wouldn’t they? Your abs play a role in nearly all your movements.
But you don’t need a credit card to reveal your abs. You need a smart diet—along with this boot camp workout, which will torch your belly fat and work your entire core. Abs still a mystery to you? Here’s a blueprint of your midsection muscles.
The rectus abdominis—six-pack—is the best-known ab muscle. Despite the nickname, it’s actually eight segments separated by dense connective tissue called fascia. By helping counteract the pull of the muscles that extend your lower back, the rectus abdominis helps your spine stay stable. Its other main duty is to pull your torso toward your hips.
This tough tissue weaves in and around all your body’s muscles to create an interconnective web. In terms of your abs, it’s what separates and connects each of the eight segments of your rectus abdominis, giving them their regimented appearance.
Running vertically and diagonally, these muscles originate at your rib cage and connect at your hip bone and linea alba. They help bend your torso to the sides and rotate your torso to the left and right. Perhaps most important, they also act to prevent your torso from rotating.
These lie beneath your external obliques. They assist in side-bending and rotating your torso, as well as in resisting rotation.
This long strip of fascia forms a line of separation down the center of your abdominals. It helps prevent your rectus abdominis from being ripped apart by your obliques.