There are several different muscles that make up the abdominal region. The actual 6-pack that usually shows through is the rectus abdominis, which is a single muscle that is flat and long and runs vertically from the hips to the rib cage. It is actually formed by the fibrous tendons that reinforce the fascia covering the muscle.
Functions Of Rectus Abdominis
The rectus abdominis has several functions. Anti-extension of the spine is one. Another function is to pull the hips closer to the chest or vice versa.
This long, flat muscle is made of slow-twitch fibers, which is primarily designed for endurance. As with most muscles, the rectus abdominis must also be worked with same muscle building principles.
Effective Ab Exercises
Lying Knee-Raises – This exercise is performed in 2 stages. Lie on your back on a flat bench, making sure that the half of your butt hangs off the bench. Grasp the sides of the bench very firmly. Slowly tense your abs. Bring your knees up until they point up to the ceiling. Then, bring your butt off the bench. Your finish position would be your knees must be touching your elbows. You can’t isolate the lower and upper abs so the first stage emphasizes the lower abs while the second stage will hit the upper abs.
Stability Ball Crunches – Put your lower back against the ball. Then, lower your butt whilst leaning back and place your arms over your head. Lastly, lean your head and arms at your back so you can feel a deep stretch in your abs.
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