Training Muscles of the Abdominal Wall to Optimize their Function Essay

Training Muscles of the Abdominal Wall to Optimize their Function Essay

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According to Fredrick Hatfield, the abdominal wall has three major muscles. These are the internal oblique, external oblique and the rectus abdominis. However, other muscles exist for example the transverse abdominis, spinal erectae and muscles in the pelvic girdle. Each of these muscles in the abdominal wall has a specific function and utilizes specific forms of exercise to optimize its functions. In this paper, I will explore the functions of these muscles and how they can be trained in order to optimize their function.
The rectus abdominis, also referred to as the ‘six pack’, is the most prominent of all muscles if well developed. This muscle enhances the flexion of the torso through contraction. This is because it joins the pubic bone to the lower side of the chest thereby flexing the torso towards the hips upon contraction. In order to optimize the function of this muscle, I will use exercises such as leg lifts which allow it to contract in an isometric manner thus stabilizing the pelvis from moving forward. The stabilization of the pelvic region helps to ameliorate back pain. Other exercises that I will use include crunch exercises (moving the torso to the hips) and reverse-crunch exercises which involve moving the hips to the torso repeatedly. However, Hatfield discourages abdominal crunches for obese people as they cause psychological torture. Furthermore, inability to perform repeated movements such as sitting down or getting up is embarrassing for overweight people. This may contribute to or worsen psychological torture.
The external oblique muscle attaches the ribs to the hips and the rectus abdominis. This muscle allows the spine to rotate and twist. Together with the internal oblique, they can be optimized by uti...

... middle of paper ...

...ercises, and there are just as many abdominal exercise devices”, it is necessary that I make the appropriate choices during training to meet the needs of my family, clients and friends.

Body and Fitness: Inspiring Beyond Sports. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from Your Abdominal Muscle Anatomy. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from
Hatfield, F. (2010). Fitness: The Complete Guide. International Sports and Sciences Association.
Hatfield, F. (2005). Fitness: The complete guide to dumbbell training. International Sports and Sciences Association. Oblique Abdominal Muscle Exercises. Retrieved October 18, 2011, from

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