Your abdominals, commonly called abs, consist of several muscle groups, all located in the midsection, sitting between your lower chest and your pelvis. Your abdominal muscles are called:
- Rectus abdominis - commonly referred to as the 'six pack'
- Transverse abdominis - lying below your six pack
- Obliques - side ab muscles
The rectus abdominals are responsible for flexing the torso forward or helping you curl your trunk forward as you would when doing crunches bending down to pick something up.
The transverse abdominal muscles run horizontally below the rectus abdominals and are the deepest muscular layer of the abs; they act as a natural girdle to your mid-section and also help compress and support internal organs.
The obliques are actually made up of two smaller muscles called the internal and external obliques, which both help you bend sideways and perform twisting movements.
Below are a number of exercises which will allow you to exercise each area of your abdominal muscles. Simply click on the name of an exercise to watch a free video demonstration of that exercise.
Abdominal exercises: Video demonstrations
Hanging leg lifts
Raised leg crunches
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