How do the abdominals work?

Many people think that the abdominals come down to the famous chocolate bar (the famous "six-pack"). However, contrary to what we think, everyone has abdominals, but making them clearly visible is a matter of fat-muscle ratio. We know that the abdominal strap is composed of several muscles, the main ones being: the large right (called the "six-pack"), the transverse of the abdomen as well as the external and internal obliques. The abdominal muscles are part of the central muscles of the body, and they obviously perform several functions essential to posture and the spine. Thus, to be able to work well these central muscles of the body, it is essential to know how they work. The point on the abdominal muscles.

The role of the abdominals

abdominal functioning The role of the abs, and more particularly of the abdominal strap, is to maintain posture and standing. And for good reason, without these essential muscles, we could not stand. Indeed, the abdominal cavity contains the viscera, and it is the abdominals that support these viscera and this cavity for a good maintenance of the viscera. But you should know that the role of the abdominals is not only to maintain the viscera. These central muscles also perform many other functions, such as:

  • The protection of the viscera of the abdomen and the maintenance of the liver, kidneys and spleen. Of course, these different organs are fragile, this protective role is vital to absorb shocks and to protect them in the event of a fall or accident.
  • Intra-abdominal pressure control: the contraction of the abdominals allows them to carry out several physiological processes, such as childbirth, vomiting and defecation.
  • Opposition to gravity: it is the abdominal muscles that make it possible to stand by countering the sagging of the trunk, an element naturally attracted to the ground by gravity. Bodybuilding often uses this role of the abs to ensure certain intense exercises such as squatting.
  • The role in breathing: the abs play an essential role in breathing, because by relaxing, they facilitate inspiration, and then contracting, they contribute to exhalation. The abs can also block breathing to maintain the end and to withstand heavy loads.
  • Transmission of forces and movements between the upper and lower limbs.
  • Trunk movements: The muscles of the abdominal strap contribute to trunk movements, such as forward flexions, rotations and lateral flexions.
  • Finally, abs are essential in aesthetics: they define the famous "six-pack", which all bodybuilders want to wear proudly.

The respective roles of each abdominal muscle

As you will have understood, the role of the abs is not limited to simply decorating the belly. These central muscles ensure many in the functioning of the body. In everyday life, they maintain good posture and prevent back pain. In addition, each muscle of the abdominals participates in specific functions to ensure a better transmission of muscle chains between the upper and lower body. Each abdominal muscle thus indirectly participates in the optimization of performance in the context of a slimming sports activity or not.

The right muscle of the abdomen

abdominal muscles The best known and most important abdominal muscle is undoubtedly the large right of the abdomen. This is the long flat muscle that extends vertically between the pubis and the fifth, sixth and seventh ribs. The large right of the abdomen connects to the xiphoid process, a bony landmark at the bottom of the sternum.

A strong, tendon sheath called simply "white line", divides the large right of the abdomen in the middle, and three more horizontal tendon sheaths give the muscle its familiar appearance of "six pack" in athletes.

Among its roles, the right muscle of the abdomen helps to flex the spine in order to narrow the space between the pelvis and the ribs. It is also active during lateral flexion movements and helps stabilize the trunk during movements involving the extremities and head.

The external oblique muscle

Also called the "great external oblique", this group of muscles is located on either side of the large abdominal right. The muscle fibers of the external oblique extend diagonally downwards and inwards from the lower ribs to the pelvis, forming the letter V. He can be located by putting his hands in the pockets of his coat.

The external oblique muscle extends from the fifth to the twelfth rib and inserts itself into the iliac crest, inguinal ligament and white line of the great right of the abdomen. It ensures the flexion of the spine, the rotation of the torso, the lateral flexion and the compression of the abdomen.

The internal oblique muscle

For its part, the internal oblique muscle is a pair of deep muscles that is positioned just below the external oblique group. The internal and external oblique muscles are perpendicular to each other.

The internal oblique attaches from the three lower ribs to the white line as well as from the inguinal ligament to the iliac crest, then to the lower back (thoracolumbar fascia). The lower muscle fibers of the internal oblique muscle extend almost horizontally.

Just like the external oblique muscle, the internal oblique muscle is involved in the flexion of the spine, lateral flexion, rotation of the trunk and compression of the abdomen. It is he who is responsible for the vital movements of the spine.

Because of their unique alignment, at right angles to each other, the internal and external oblique muscles are called opposite-side rotators. Both form a lateral flexion on the same side, but the external oblique on the left rotates the trunk/spine to the right, while the internal oblique on the left rotates the trunk/spine to the left.

The transverse muscle of the abdomen

It is considered the deepest layer of the abdominal muscles. Indeed, the transverse abdomen wraps around the torso from front to back and from the ribs to the pelvis. The muscle fibers of this muscle extend horizontally, like a corset or weight belt.

Unlike other abdominal muscles, the transverse muscle does not play a special role in body movements, such as the displacement of the spine or pelvis. On the other hand, it is essential in the contractions of the abdomen, a process essential for inhalation and exhalation.

Indeed, it is the transverse muscle that facilitates the forced exhalation of air from the lungs, stabilizes the spine and compresses the internal organs. It also helps to support the abdominal wall and compress the abdomen.

Hip flexors

Hip flexors are a muscle group that unites the legs and trunk in a bending motion. Hip flexors are not technically abdominal muscles, but they facilitate movement during several abdominal exercises. The muscles that make up the primary hip flexors are:

  • the large psoas muscle;
  • iliac muscle;
  • the right femoral muscle;
  • and the small psoas muscle.

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