Updated: Mar 13
Ever wonder why some ripped athletes have a classic “Six Pack” of symmetrically spaced abs while others have a less evenly spaced four-pack, or even an eight-pack? That is purely a matter of genetics, not training. In actuality everyone only has ONE “ab,” the Rectus Abdominis! That is one, long muscle connecting your sternum and lower (front) ribs to your pelvis. Its sole function is to bring your rib cage closer to your pelvis. The “rows” of abs you see are made by the Tendinous Intersections (thin bands of tendons) that cross the Rectus Abdominis horizontally. (The long, vertical “cut” down the middle is made by the Linea Alba tendon.) The number and spacing of these intersections is solely determined by genetics.
While you cannot determine the number or spacing of “abs” you have you can develop the rectus abdominis muscle as fully as possible so that it pushes out past the tendons in clearly visible “blocks.” This is, by the way, best accomplished using heavy resistance, not hundreds of reps. Additionally, it is no use worrying about any of this if you are not lean enough for the muscle to be seen. Great abs start in the kitchen.
About the Author:
Tony DiCosta is a freelance writer and successful Master’s bodybuilding competitor. Tony has appeared both as a writer and model in numerous magazines including Iron Man, Planet Muscle and Muscular Development. He can be reached at www.tonydicostafitness.com.