For those unfamiliar with the millennial term “on fleek,” it means to be perfect or on point. Okay, now that we feel just a touch more hip, let’s talk about the muscle group above your hips–abdominal muscles. Most people want a flat stomach and are happy enough stopping at achieving that. But if you want a nice and solid-looking core, you’ll want to work on your obliques as well. Let’s take a look at the anatomy of our abdominal muscles in order to understand how to work that group better.
In the previous blogpost, I mentioned the term rectus abdominis, which is known as the six pack muscle. It’s responsible for the forward movements of your trunk (like bending over to pick up that top scoop of your ice cream you ruefully dropped from over excitedly licking the treat). Our oblique muscles are located on both sides of the rectus abdominis. While there are two layers of oblique muscles (external and internal), we actually have four obliques because there are two of each type. The external obliques are the superficial ones you can see, and the internal obliques are about one layer deeper.
These oblique muscles are tasked to rotate your torso from one side to the other for certain things like swinging a golf club, a baseball bat, etc. They also flex your torso when you bend over sideways.
Now under the rectus abdominis you will find two layers of the trasversus abdominis which is the deepest abdominal muscle responsible for core stability. Put your hand on your tummy and try to cough; that’s what it feels like when your transversus abdominis contracts.
While there are definitely effective exercises for better-looking obliques (I’ll blog about that really soon), don’t mistake it to mean that these exercises alone can tone your abs. Regular cardiovascular exercise plus strength training (weights) can help you burn fat, thereby making it easier to build up your abdominal muscles. The key is to burn more calories through exercise than you take in through eating (which sucks because I love to eat).
80% of fitness and bodybuilding is nutrition because if you don’t eat clean and healthy, it’ll show on your body. So eat right, feed those muscles and gains, and exercise regularly.