Three areas of muscles make up the abdominal region:
- Rectus Abdomininis. This is the most visible muscle of the abdomen. It is often referred to as the main core of the "abs" and consists of the muscles that form the "six pack."
- Enternal Obliques. These muscles are located on each side of the torso.
- Intercostals. These muscle and tendon fibers run from the upper pectoral muscles to the lower latissimus dorsi.
Work all three areas to develop you midsection. On all ab exercises, focus tension on the abs without cheating by using body momentum to bounce into the movements. Always squeeze the abs for a few seconds during the tension element of an exercise before releasing the tension.
No ab exercise will remove the layer of fat over the abdomen. This must be removed using diet and calorie-burning aerobic exercises. Without losing this fat, ab exercises may make your abdomen look larges since the stronger muscle wall may push the fat outward. The stomach muscles become visible at 10 percent body fat and pronounced at 6 percent body fat, but most men cannot maintain 6 percent body fat for very long. Attaining a "six-pack" abdomen requires hard work plus the proper genetic make-up. Without the genes, you may still improve your appearance but six-packs are out.