Use this effective workout to get a stronger midline from absolutely anywhere.
What are the Benefits of a Strong Core?
Having a strong core is essential for overall health and fitness. The core muscles include the muscles of the abdomen, back, and pelvis, and are responsible for providing stability and support for the spine, pelvis, and other parts of the body. Here are some benefits of having a strong core:
Improved Posture: A strong core helps maintain good posture and alignment, which reduces the risk of developing back pain, neck pain, and other posture-related issues.
Better Balance and Stability: A strong core helps improve balance and stability, which can reduce the risk of falls and injuries, especially in older adults.
Enhanced Athletic Performance: A strong core is essential for many athletic activities, such as running, jumping, and throwing. It helps transfer power from the lower body to the upper body and vice versa, improving overall athletic performance.
Increased Flexibility: A strong core can help increase flexibility, as it allows the body to move more freely and with greater ease.
Reduced Risk of Injury: A strong core provides a stable foundation for movements and can help prevent injuries during activities such as lifting heavy objects or playing sports.
Improved Breathing: A strong core can also improve breathing, as it provides support for the diaphragm and allows it to move more freely.
Overall, having a strong core is essential for maintaining good health and fitness. Incorporating core-strengthening exercises into your workout routine can help you achieve these benefits and improve your overall quality of life.
Jeremy Ethier is a certified personal trainer, kinesiologist, and the owner of Built with Science, a fitness brand that provides evidence-based workout and nutrition programs. He is also a popular fitness YouTuber who creates educational content on various topics related to health, fitness, and nutrition.
Video – Six Pack Workout with Zero Equipment
What are the Muscles of a Six Pack?
The “six-pack” refers to the rectus abdominis muscle, a long, flat muscle that runs vertically down the front of the abdomen. However, the six-pack appearance is not just due to the rectus abdominis alone. Other muscles contribute to the abdominal region and help support and stabilize the core. These muscles include:
- Rectus Abdominis: The rectus abdominis is a long, flat muscle that runs from the pubic bone to the sternum, and is responsible for the “six-pack” appearance.
- External Obliques: The external obliques are located on either side of the rectus abdominis and run diagonally down towards the pubic bone. They are responsible for rotating and bending the trunk.
- Internal Obliques: The internal obliques are located underneath the external obliques and run in the opposite direction. They are also involved in rotating and bending the trunk.
- Transverse Abdominis: The transverse abdominis is a deep muscle that runs horizontally across the abdomen and is responsible for stabilizing the core.
- Erector Spinae: The erector spinae muscles are located in the lower back and help support and stabilize the spine during movement.
All of these muscles play a crucial role in supporting the core and maintaining proper posture and alignment. Exercises that target these muscles can help develop a strong, defined abdominal region and improve overall core strength and stability.
Why is a Low Body Fat Percentage Important for a Six Pack?
A low body fat percentage is important for a six-pack because it allows the underlying abdominal muscles to be visible. The rectus abdominis muscles are located beneath a layer of fat, and when this layer of fat is too thick, the muscles are not visible. The lower the body fat percentage, the less fat there is covering the abdominal muscles, which makes them more visible and pronounced.
The exact body fat percentage required to have visible abs can vary depending on factors such as genetics, muscle mass, and gender. However, in general, a body fat percentage of around 10% or less for men and 20% or less for women is typically required for a visible six-pack.
Reducing body fat percentage to achieve visible abs requires a combination of a calorie-controlled diet and regular exercise, including both cardiovascular exercise to burn calories and strength training to build muscle. It’s important to note that while having visible abs can be a desirable aesthetic goal for some, it is not necessarily an indicator of overall health or fitness, and should not be the sole focus of a fitness program.