First of all we will emphasize that the abdominal wall is composed of a series of external and internal muscles that are those that contain the organs that are in this part as intestines, stomach, esophagus, liver … From this base we all have abdominals. The difference is whether they are seen or not. But we want to go further and emphasize the important role of having a full-blown abdomen, since it is a fundamental part for the strength and stability of the rest of the body. Not only your aesthetics is what should concern us.
To understand what the abdominals are, we must first know their muscular anatomy:
- Transverse of the abdomen: it is the deepest muscle of the abdomen. Its origin is in the iliac crest, the lumbar fascia, the inguinal ligament and the cartilages of the six lower ribs. It is inserted in the pectineal line, linea alba and the crest of the pubis.• Internal oblique: It is directly above the transverse. It is inserted in the pectineal line, in the linea alba and in the lower edge of the ribs. It is located above the transverse but has completely different functions.
• External oblique: It is larger than the internal one. It originates on the outer face of the 5th to 12th rib. It is inserted in the edge of the iliac crest, in the lumbar ligament and in the tubercle of the pubis.
• Previous rectum: Covers the entire lumbar area in front. It originates in the symphysis and the crest of the pubis.
• Lumbar square: It is located in the back of the abdominal wall. It is integrated in the last rib and in the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae.
Importance of abdominal work
Once the different muscles that make up the entire abdominal wall are known, it is necessary to take into account the importance of working all the muscles equally. It must be remembered that some of them, such as the transverse, the internal oblique or the lumbar quadrate, are more internal and with the traditional exercises are hardly worked. That is usually one of the mistakes that we usually make when working the abdominals, and that is that we always focus on the external ones, which are the ones that are seen, but that can end up being so strong to the detriment of the internal ones that can bring us problems.
Abdominal prolapse and imbalances
One of these problems is the internal weakness of the muscles that causes tension to develop in the abdominal area. This tension can end up generating abdominal prolapse, which consists of the displacement of internal organs. This can be avoided by forging strong abdominals at all levels. For this it is necessary to control all the training techniques and vary them to tone the muscles in the proper way.
A belief with respect to abdominal work is that there are abdominal parts such as the upper or lower abdominal parts and that they must be worked separately. As we have seen the muscles run the entire abdominal wall and do not differentiate between upper or lower. Yes, it is large muscles and when working, with the different exercises and techniques we tend to influence more in one part of them than in another. That is why it has always been spoken of upper and lower abdominals.
At the time of working the abdominals we have at our disposal different techniques focused on a series of results or parts in which we will influence more or less. Here we will treat them in a general way, without stopping in routines or exercises about it.
Abdominals traditions or conventional
The conventional abdominals or those that have always been carried out to tone and hypertrophy the abdominal muscles. They are the most common and are what we see that most people do in training rooms. These abdominals are mainly based on working the strength and strength of the outer muscles of the abdominal wall. For this, what we do is contraction exercises in certain parts of these muscles.
As we say, they focus on the work of the anterior rectum and the external oblique. These are exercises such as pelvic lifts, pelvic lifts, shrinkage in the floor, the bicycle on the floor … Any exercise of this type is focused on working the most aesthetic part of the abdominal wall, since when it comes to External muscles are those that will first be noticed and those that will give us the look of six-pack that we look for.
We must not forget that the internal muscles must be well worked also to maintain a balance. To exercise the internal muscles such as the transverse and the internal oblique, we have other different techniques such as the hypopressive abdominals. They are low pressure exercises, as the name suggests, but they strengthen the inner part of the abdominal wall. It is a technique that we must work every day, and that is very common in yoga and pilates for many years, as in mothers along with the work of the pelvic floor.
The hypopressive abdominals can be performed by anyone and its effect is not so much aesthetic, but more physical. By working the internal muscles maintain a balance with the external, we will achieve greater stability and abdominal power and better placement of internal organs. What we will end up noticing externally is the decrease in the perimeter of the waist.
Another technique that we have at our disposal to work the abdominal wall are the isometrics. Like the conventional abdominals, the external muscles work, only this time it works more completely. This training technique involves all external muscles, since it is based on tensioning the entire core through specific postures and exercises.
The isometric exercises can be done in many ways and will help us achieve greater balance and control, in addition to making us acquire more resistance throughout the abdominal wall. Therefore it is highly recommended to mix all the techniques to work conscientiously this important part of the body.
Some general considerations about abs
Once we have seen all this we do not want to overlook some general considerations about the abs:
- Genetics play an important role at the time of being noticed more or less. But training and dedication is also very important. Especially in this case we must bear in mind a correct diet. Specifically, a fat-free diet that facilitates the digestive process is essential to achieve a flat and toned belly. Almost 80% of the results depend on the diet. If we add aerobic exercise and specific abdominal exercises, we will get a heart attack.
• Movement is essential to avoid accumulation of fat in the abdominal area. By nature this part of the body is a store of fat, and this is accentuated if our life is sedentary and we spend many hours sitting. Walk, get up, exercise, all this will compensate the hours we spend sitting and therefore it should be in our daily plans to do this type of action.• Whenever we work the abdominals it is advisable to do the same with the lumbar part, since these are antagonistic muscles that must be in equal conditions to avoid imbalances and the problems derived from this.
• The abdominals are like any other muscles, they need rest. Therefore, it is not advisable to train them every day. It is true that their power to recover is greater, but that is not why we must abuse and work tirelessly.
• When it comes to working them, it is important that we focus on the quality of the repetitions. We must concentrate on the exercise and the incidence of it in the part worked. The repetitions and the number of them in this case is not the important thing and it is necessary that we keep this in mind always.