Have you been focusing only on upper or lower abs? You’re doing it all wrong!
It’s pretty controversial in the fitness world; especially amongst some celebrity trainers who promise the holy grail of ‘toned lower abs’ to get that six-pack look.
But I’m sorry to say that I need to bust a few myths that are perpetuated by certain individuals and companies selling the latest equipment or exercise regime that guarantees improved lower or upper abs in a crazy short space of time…
Your upper and lower abs are the same thing!!
It is one whole wall of muscle and, just like other muscles in your body, you can’t technically work one section of them without working the whole muscle. Think about it, have you ever heard of working the upper vs lower triceps??
That’s not to say that different parts of the same muscle can’t show different results based on the workout you’re doing, but the actual muscle will all be worked at the same time.
Muscles work on an all or nothing principle; they contract when a signal is sent from our nervous system, and then relax. This contracting and relaxing is what happens when you work on any muscle – whether it’s a crunch, a plank or a squat.
Also, our bodies don’t like waste – so why would you want to focus on just one area of your physique when you can work multiple??
The confusion with upper and lower abs probably stems from the way the muscle – rectus abdominis – looks. This long, flat muscle goes all the way down the abdomen, divided vertically by connective tissue (linea alba) and horizontally into smaller sections (tendinous intersections).
These ‘sections’ of the muscle can often be seen on the outside of the body and are usually visible as a six-pack, but it’s not uncommon to see four, eight and even ten-packs. While I understand where the misinformation might come from for those not involved in the medical or fitness field, anyone who is helping someone attain a better body shape or fitness level should know their facts.
The rectus abdominus muscle works as one, even if you think you’re working on just the upper or lower abs!
The way your abs look on the outside also depends on so many variables too – your body shape, your fitness goals, injury history, fitness abilities, nutrition and of course your motivation and mind-set.
So, before you rush out and buy the next gadget promising the best upper or lower abs (or any other part of your body for that matter) – just take a moment to think about whether it makes sense and if the person or company trying to make money off you really knows what they’re talking about!