Abdominal Muscles

The Abdominal Muscles

The abdominals are the stomach muscles on the front side of your upper body. The word abdomen is latin and means "belly". The rectus abdominis is the paired muscle in the middle of your stomach. When bodybuilders refer to the "Abs", they usually mean all the muscles on the front side of the upper body (including the obliques). This article is about the following abdominal muscles: Rectus Abdominis, External Obliques and Anterior Serratus. Find exercises and information about other muscle groups at weight training main.


  • Rectus Abdominis
    The rectus abdominis is the paired muscle in the middle. Because the rectus abdominis is crossed by three fibrous bands, it has its colloquial names: 6-Pack and Waschboard Abs. However, some people have 8 packs and in some cases the rectus abdominis even looks like a 10-pack. Typical exercises for lower and upper rectus abdominis: Crunch, Incline Sit-Up, Leg Raise
  • Obliquus Externus - External Obliques
    The external obliques are the muscles on the sides of your trunk.
    Exercises: Dummbell Side Bend, Cable Side Bend
  • Serratus Anterior - Boxer´s Muscle
    The anterior serratus (serratus anterior) connects the shoulder blade with the rib cage (ribs 4,5,6,7 and 8). It helps stabilizing the shoulder blade (scapula) when you shrug your shoulders forward. It's also called boxer's muscle because when you throw a punch and shrug the shoulder forward, it is the anterior serratus which does a great part of the work. That's why martial artist often have big visible anterior serratus muscles.


  • If you want six-pack abs, you don't just need bigger abdominal muscles. What makes your washboard abs visible is a low body fat index. You need cardio in order to burn fat.
  • Strong abdominals are important for gymnastics and martial arts.
  • You can stretch your abdominals with the bridge, the seal stretch, etc. Check the stretching section for more info.