The rectus abdominis: We commonly refer to this as our “six-pack.” We work the rectus abdominis (RA) through torso flexion. The RA can be broken up into the upper RA and the lower RA. When you perform an abdominal exercise, the entire RA will fire up. But depending on the exercise, you can “target” one section more than the other. Exercises that target the upper RA focus more on shoulder-to-hip flexion (e.g., a traditional crunch or sit-ups). Exercises for the lower RA focus more on hip-to-shoulder flexion (e.g., reverse crunches or leg raises).
The oblique’s: We have both external and internal oblique’s. You can activate those oblique’s when you practice torso flexion and rotation (e.g., bicycle crunches or Russian twists).
Important note: We all have abs to help our bodies. Studies have shown that those muscles can provide serious benefits, even if your six-pack isn’t visible. A strong core can prevent back pain, help your posture, and protect your spine for everything from carrying groceries to flipping tires. If your aim is to get your abs to “show,” the key is eating healthy, as well as targeting ab exercises. Be sure to anchor your workout regimen with some high-intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) for maximum calorie burn. (Try this equipment free, total body 10-Minute HIIT Workout). This quick ab routine will do your body good, whether your goal is showing off washboard abs or strengthening your core.