Whenever you’ve joined a gym, started your home-workout session, or tried a new diet plan, you must have dreamt about developing a 6-pack “abs.” This “six-pack abs’ ‘ everyone has been dreaming about since the first day of your fitness journey, and some of you who have successfully developed them is known as the Rectus Abdominis muscle. The rectus abdominis muscles constitute one of the most superficial muscles that form your core. The muscle is built with connective tissue that separates into six (or sometimes 4-8) short, muscular sections resulting in the famous “six-pack” look. Rectus abdominis exercises are the best way to develop these muscles and flaunt the shredded abs look.
However, the function of the rectus abdominis muscle is beyond the aesthetic presentation of your abdominal structure.
SpineGym, a scientifically designed spine exerciser, helps you activate and strengthen the transverse and rectus abdominis.
Functions of the Rectus Abdominis Muscle
- The Rectus Abdominis muscle fundamentally functions as a stabilizer and flexor of the torso and spinal column. It helps in movements such as bending forward, lifting your hips, etc. Through a variety of flexion and extension movements, it stabilizes your entire body.
- The Rectus Abdominis also functions collaboratively with your internal and external oblique, lower back muscles, and hip flexors to maintain the natural curvature of your spine in an upright posture.
- The Rectus Abdominis, the connective tissue, and surrounding structures help to transfer force uniformly between your upper and lower body, thus helping you move. Exercise for the Rectus Abdominis strengthens the muscle for better coordination and posture.
- The Rectus Abdominis also constitutes a vital muscle involved in Abdominal Bracing during most strength and endurance building exercises for protecting your spine.
Structure of the Rectus Abdominis Muscle
Rectus Abdominis Origin
This superficial abdominal muscle originates from the pubic symphysis located at the center of the frontal pelvic region.
Rectus Abdominis Insertion
The muscle is attached to the xiphoid process present at the bottom of the sternum and to the costal cartilages of the 5th-7th ribs (connective tissue lining).
Rectus Abdominis Exercises
Various rectus abdominis exercises engage the abdominal muscles. We’ve explained the simplest and the easiest exercise that can help you develop and strengthen these muscles.
However, before you begin your exercise, consider the following:
- If you’ve recently or previously undergone any surgery or were involved in an accident concerning your spine, back, hips, knee, or pelvis, consult your doctor before starting with any new movements.
- Introducing resistance in your exercise movements using resistance bands, free weights (dumbbells, kettlebells), or the scientifically developed spine exerciser SpineGym (suitable for all age groups).
One of the most prevalent and effective exercises for the Rectus Abdominis activation. prevalent
- Lie flat on your stomach (prone position) with your face pointed towards the ground.
- Now position your elbows at 90 degrees under your shoulders.
- Use your elbows and toes to lift up your entire body off the floor.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and stay in this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute or more (depends on your strength)
- The correct stance should form a straight line from your head to your heels. (No poking buttocks or bent knees)
You can introduce various challenges to make your exercise routine more intense.
- Extended Plank
- Forearm Side Plank
- Plank with Hip Dip
- Plank with Leg raises or Arm Raises
- Shoulder Taps
Standing Rectus Abdominis Contraction
You can use resistance bands or SpineGym exercises to perform this exercise.
- Stand straight and place a resistance band parallel to your lower back, hips or buttocks. Placing the resistance belt lower down your back introduces higher resistance and yields a better outcome.
- Now contract your abs and start bending your upper body (torso) slowly and smoothly in the forward direction.
- Keep your pelvis, legs, knees, and ankles as motionless as possible.
- Bend until you feel the tension in your abdominal muscles (especially rectus abdominis). However, do exert excess force.
- Always remember to breathe in during the relaxation phase and breathe out during the contractions.
The abdominal crunch is a modified stance of generic sit-up exercise. This exercise for rectus abdominis focuses on lifting the shoulder blades from the ground utilizing the abdominal muscles.
- Lie supine with your back on a yoga mat, knees bent, and feet placed flat on the floor.
- Brace your core and pull your chest towards your knees. Avoid making contact.
- Concentrate on flexing at hips and contracting your core muscles to lift the torso towards your legs.
For beginners, it is recommended to keep weight over your feet to prevent them from moving off from the floor while you lift up your torso.
To build a storm core, practice these exercises at least 3-4 times per week. After all, a strong body is defined by a strong core. With these simple exercises, start your journey towards a healthy and active life.