Who likes tight abs? You, me, we all do! Maybe you know, maybe you don’t but our ‘abs’ are comprised of more than one muscle. There are actually 3 main components to our abs. Not only does it look good to keep this area in check, having a strong core offers improved posture, spinal stability, shape and more.
The transverse abdominis is your deepest abdominal muscle. It helps the breathing process by assisting exhalation as its main function is to active the core muscles and stabilize the pelvis. It also helps resist lumbar flexion, assisting in proper posture.
The rectus abdominis (or 6 pack muscles) assist in flexion of the spine. We can also contract these muscles during bowel movements, breathing and laughing 😊
Obliques are split into your external and internal obliques. The internal oblique lay beneath the external oblique muscle. They have similar functions in that they assists the abdominal wall in respiration and torso twisting.
Serratus anterior are my favourite looking muscles. They are represented by a saw tooth pattern and don’t function the core despite their location. These muscles attach to the scapula holding it in position.
These exercises are great for anyone (Including pregnancy babes!).
Some great exercises to strengthen your core are:
You can perform a plank from your hands or elbows and knees or toes. You want to make sure you tuck your tummy and avoid a saggy lower back. It also helps to protract the shoulder blades to create a strong base.
This is similar to using an ab roller with more control and stability. Start with the ball 2 feet or so away from the body, and roll the ball forwards creating the end position seen in the photo. Remember to engage the core and tuck your tummy to avoid a saggy lower back.
Start in a table top (hands and knees) position and slowly lift the alternating arm and leg. Tuck the tummy and keep a strong core. Give a little extra squeeze at the top.
Great for the obliques! This one can also be done from hands or elbows. Make sure your shoulders stay stacked on top of each other and feet stay stacked.
Modified Boat pose:
If you’ve done yoga or Pilates this is no stranger to you! You can lift the feet or keep them on the ground as I have. You can use your hands or let them stay straight beside the outside of youe legs.