Your Six-Pack Doesn’t Guarantee You Have Nice Abs
Six-pack abs are seen as a sign of strength and excellent physical fitness that many women and men find attractive. The fact that elite athletes often sport a visible six-pack perpetuates that belief, but we also have movies, TV and social media to thank for it. Being exposed to those rock-hard abs on men and women encourages many people to work hard and manage their diet to develop ‘nice abs’ because they like the way it looks. As core and pelvic fitness specialists, we have a different idea of what it means to have nice abs, and it’s not all about the aesthetic. There are several benefits of having a strong core that make your six-pack worth the effort if you’ve developed it in the right way.
The Other Benefits
Your core contains several muscle groups, but it is the rectus abdominis at the front, which we know as the six-pack. These muscles naturally have a tendon that separates the right and left sides and three tendons that segment it horizontally into six smaller segments. If you are lean enough, the contours of the segments are what can be seen and make up your six-pack. Even if you can’t see them, a healthy six-pack as part of your overall core fitness does a whole lot for you.
While other parts of your body are responsible for balance (that’s the job of your inner ear), your core plays an active role in assisting, providing stability and control over the movement of your limbs. A fit core helps to keep you from stumbling or falling when navigating uneven terrain and provides endurance for holding you upright when standing. Many people who lack core strength find that they can’t stand for long without feeling tired and achy.
Adds Power to Movements
Your core supports your spine and hips to create a solid foundation for movement in your arms and legs. Your core helps to transfer energy from one part of the body to another so that you can do things like swing a tennis racquet, kick a soccer ball or even bend over to pick up your child. With a strong core, you can do all of those things much more quickly and with greater force, which is arguably good for tennis but unnecessary for picking up kids.
Prevents Chronic Back Pain
Lower back pain after standing or sitting for prolonged periods is a classic sign of a weak core. A nice set of healthy abs supports your spine and keeps you vertical for longer.
Supports Deep Breathing
The ability to take a deep breath relies on the ability of your diaphragm, a muscle located below your lungs, to expand. When your core is functioning well, there’s lots of room in your torso for the diaphragm to expand as you take a deep breath. If the support isn’t there, you may only be able to take shallow breaths.
Nice Abs – Whether You Can See Them or Not
You may be surprised that having a visible six-pack doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a strong, healthy core and enjoy all of the benefits above. To function optimally, your ab muscles need to be activated and working in balance with the other muscle groups that make up your core – including your pelvic floor muscles, internal and external obliques, transversus (at the back) and rectus abdominis (in the front). It can take a lot of dedication to workouts and learning to understand and control your body to get there. Or you can give us a call and find out about a simpler way to achieve nice abs – without the sweat and concentration – in only a few short sessions. Which method will you choose?
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