• Ben Banbury

Your Ultimate Guide to Abs

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Let's be honest. We all want at least some form of Ab definition. This definitive AB guide will answer everything! (Simplified)


lean woman in gym wearing a sports bra
ben banbury blog bio





To effectively work the abs we need to very briefly understand how they move and function


Well, at least a little bit!


Unfortunately just doing mindless crunches at the end of a training session just isn't going to cut I'm afraid


We need to know how to effectively work the whole core region and which exercises we should be doing to get the best results possible

I'll be honest, this post is pretty in-depth and quite advanced


But if you're serious about getting great results, let's read on!



man on olympic rings with 6 pack abs



WHAT ARE THE STOMACH MUSCLES?



Rectus Abdominus (Abs): These are the juicy ones you see on men on the front of the magazines. The 6-pack. These flex the spine.


Transverse Abdominus (TVA): Maybe you’ve heard the term in a Pilates class? These are the deep, trunk stabilisers. Strong TVA muscles will improve your posture and reduce lower back pain.


Internal & External Obliques: These are the horizontal lines you see on really lean people, located on the side of their bodies. These are the rotation muscles.




abdominal anatomy



HOW DO WE WORK THEM ALL?



Later I'll share a super simple workout for you to add to your weekly routine, but first I want to quickly cover exactly how to work your stomach muscles.


When I'm running a Primal Bootcamp, I tend to end most sessions with some sort of core training


Usually for around 5-7 minutes before we start stretching down


I’d say 90% of the time I'm the first person to stop in agony grabbing my abs in pain


You see, it's common that most people can't really ever feel their abs working, or even, know how to properly engage their core

But why is this?


So there are a few reasons;



1. WE SIT A LOT


As a society, we sit. A LOT.


In fact, the average Brit sits for around 10 hours a day and that doesn't include sleeping!


We also drive more and lots of us sit at desks to work (like me right now) and then after a long day of working and commuting we slouch on the sofa in front of the TV


Sitting is very convenient, but it's not great for our health or ab