The rectus abominis is known as the six-pack and is located on the anterior side of the abdomen. If you have low body fat, roughly under 15% you should see the majority. To increase the muscle fibre size I suggest you do abdominal exercises under a lot of force in order for the muscle fibres to increase in size. I have found doing interval training at a high intensity helps the body reduce body fat quicker than doing steady state exercise.
However, you want to make sure your core muscles are strong on the lateral (obliques), posterior (multifidus, erector spinae, quadratus lumborum), inferior (Pelvic core muscles), superior (diaphragm), as well as the TVA. A balanced core programme will help make sure these muscles work together when completing specific movements. An imbalance could cause postural issues and dysfunctional anatomy slings.
Benefits of Core Stability
- Improved posture.
- Improved balance.
- Improves power to and from the extremities.
- Muscles working together in a more effective biomechanical way.
- Aids the prevention of injury.
- Strengthens and improves the torsos stabilisation.
- Improves stabilisation of the spine, ribs and pelvis which also helps the biomechanics of the body.
- Improves neuromuscular efficiency.
- Building strength in the core does not always require using free weights or resistance machines.
- Interval Training at a very high intensity reduces the body-fat quicker around the abdomen.
- Hill sprints are a good example of High Intensity Interval Training for the core muscles.
- As well as doing your High Intensity Interval Training, building the rectus abdominis up through slow and controlled movements helps increase the size of your muscle fibres. To do this you need to make sure there is resistance to help increase the muscle fibre size.
Exercise examples include, superman, single leg hip extension, downward dog, russian twists, lateral side bends, crunches, tailbone lifts and reverse lunge and twist.
Selected Six-Pack Articles
- Abdominal Strengthening Exercises found at Human Kinetics.
- The best abs exercises – Coaching Mag
- The three most effective abdominal workouts – Independent
- Core stabilisation and coordination. Full article found at Alinenewton.
- Functional Training – Science Daily
- Group exercise improves quality of life, reduces stress far more than individual work outs. Full article at Science Daily.
See the latest core videos at SKF