The abdominal muscles are located in the abdomen, which is the cavity, which is located below the chest and above the pelvis. The abdominal muscles, serve of support the trunk higher, allow the movement of the same (rotate, fold up and down) and keep the internal organs within the abdominal cavity thanks to the pressure of the abdominal muscles.
Look at the following image of such as are the abdominal muscles:
Groups of abdominal
In the center of the abdomen is located the belly button, which serves to locate the upper abdominal muscles above the navel, and lower by beneath.
We have 4 groups of abdominal muscles which combine between them to cover internal organs and it allows all type of movement.
The rectus abdominis, is the group abdominal which has the famous ‘package’ or six pack, so characteristic. Its main function is to allow the movement of the body between the ribcage and pelvis.
We also have transverse muscles in the abdomen, they are very long and triangular, are located on the sides of the abdomen and are called abdominal oblique. They are divided between external and internal.
The transverse abdominals are the deeper muscle layer. Its main functions are to stabilize the trunk and keep the inner abdominal pressure.
We also have muscles between the centerline of pubic reaching just the edge of our chest, this group of muscles is called linea alba.
In the attached picture you can see the groups of abdominals.
Basic muscle groups
The deep abdominal muscles, along with the muscles of the back, constitute the so-called Group of “basic” muscles that help keep the body balanced and stable, and protect the spine.
This group of muscles are composed of deep abdominal muscles and some back muscles, those who touch to the spine and pelvis. Some of these muscles include the transverse abdominal, pelvic floor muscles and oblique muscles.
Another muscle is the multifidus. It is a deep muscle of the back that runs along the spine. Together with the transverse muscles of the abdomen, it serves to increase the stability of the spine as well as to protect us from back injuries. Usually they train together with the abdominals, although is not a abdominal muscle.
What are the best abdominal exercises?
You must be careful with the training that you choose. It is best do exercise that involving several groups, that those than just are directed to muscles separately.
The pilates, for example is a spectacular training to develop your abdominals, others of them are those who incorporate large balls (called stability ball) and are wonderful because they also improve balance.
In any case a qualified fitness instructor can help you develop your abdominals with a safe and effective program. For example this.
If you have an injury or a problem of column you should consult with a physiotherapist before you get on your own. The most common causes of injury are due to extreme stretching of abdominal groups, a violent movement, or poorly carried out exercises.