Giving Your Upper/Lower Abs The Ultimate Workout

Posted by Shannon Clark on

Do you crave six-pack ab status? Want stronger abs that will defend against injury and let you perform every other exercise in your workout routine as best as you possibly can?

Don’t ever let your core be your weakest link. Sadly, for many people, because they have not taken the time to really develop their core strength, they find themselves suffering on their other key lifts. They can’t squat as much, thus their lower body suffers, and when they are doing the bench press, they feel pain in their lower back as their core isn’t stabilizing their body under the weight properly.

Technically there are no upper or lower abs, but what most people refer to as your upper and lower abs are scientifically known as the Rectus Abdominis. This paired muscle starts at the pubic bone and ends at the sternum. This is the main abdominal muscle most people think of when we talk about the core. It is what is going to make up the ‘six pack’ muscles as they have tendinous lines that run up and down them as well as straight across.

 

Let’s go over the function of this muscle, how to best work them out, and a few tips for maximum results.

The Function Of The Rectus Abdominis

So what do these abs do? They have two key roles. First, they help with posture. They are going to be recruited to help keep the body in the upright position whenever you are standing or sitting.

In addition to that, they also are responsible for the movement pattern of flexion and to some degree, extension. When you sit directly up from a laying position, it’s this muscle being called into play.

Likewise, if someone was going to push your shoulders back, trying to get you to lean back and you resisted that motion, it’d be your rectus abdominus doing most of the work.

This muscle is the most superficial muscles in the abdominal core as well, so it’ll be most visible when your body fat percentage is low enough that you can clearly see them. (quick side note...you basketballers, tightening up this muscle helps your vertical jump!)

How To Target Your “Six Pack”

So how do you target this muscle? While you could go the traditional route and perform a basic sit-up, crunch, or any other exercise that has you working in this basic flexion movement pattern, but that puts a lot of pressure on your lower back. We have something even more effective: the AbDominator. 

When asked about doing crunches and situps, Michael Barney the inventor of the AbDominator stated, "After 8 years in the military and a life of competitive basketball, I often performed situps and crunches to keep my core tight. After 3 back surgeries, my doctor said it was due to the super loading of my lower back while doing these exercises. He told me I would put thousands of pounds of pressure on my lower back. That is what led me to develop the AbDominator."