"Abs" workout: Abdominal muscle exercises for health
Published: January 13, 2017
A quick glance at magazines arranged on the shelves at your local supermarket and you may come to the conclusion that the only benefit to “working your abs” is to improve your body shape and get that “six-pack” look.
However, there is more to your abdominal muscles than aesthetics since performing abdominal muscle exercises regularly can increase your core muscle strength and endurance which can benefit your health.
Abdominal muscle function
Your abdominal muscles, along with several other muscles, are referred to collectively as core muscles. These muscles provide structure to your central torso as well as protection for several of your internal organs.
Your core muscles help you maintain posture whether you are sitting, standing, walking, running, and dancing, and are involved in all kinds of movement.
In addition, your abdominal muscles are also involved in less obvious essential body functions.
Your abdominal muscles, as part of your core muscle group, are required to perform on a daily basis and will naturally have some functional strength and endurance.
However, a sedentary lifestyle will lead to less than optimal strength and endurance in your abdominal muscles which may leave you at increased risk for back pain and back injuries. This may lead to increased difficulty with daily activities which require stabilization of your trunk.
Structure of abdominal muscles
Unlike your thoracic (chest) cavity which is supported and surrounded by your skeleton, your abdominal cavity which houses your stomach, small and large intestines, liver, pancreas, spleen, kidneys, bladder, and components of your reproductive system is not.
Instead of a skeleton, the walls of your abdominal cavity are surrounded and supported by three layers of muscle which comprise your abdominal muscles.
Closest to the surface of your body are yourexternal...link to the full article to learn more.
Corbin, C.B. & Lindsey, R. (1994). Concepts of Physical Fitness. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Communications Inc.
American Council on Exercise (1996). Personal Trainer Manual. San Diego, CA: American Council on Exercise