They’re hidden under there somewhere – honest.
The six-pack is the rectus abdominus, a paired muscle that runs vertically on each side of the abdomen, separated in the middle by a band of connective tissue called the linea alba, or white line. This line, and those that run horizontally across the muscle, create the six distinct parts of a six-pack.
It’s an important postural muscle responsible for flexing your spine forwards. It also assists with breathing, stabilises the torso during exercise and protects your internal organs from impact.
Everyone has a six-pack, but most people can’t see theirs for one simple reason: it’s hidden under a layer of fat.
Your abdominals perform three main functions – or four, if you count making your body look better without a top on.
They stabilise your body, keeping your trunk solid when external forces act on it, they’re responsible for forward bending and rotational movements, and they control side bending and back extension.
These are the four main muscles in the group:
1. Transversus abdominis
This deep-lying muscle runs across your torso from side to side, holding your ribs in place and stabilising your pelvic area.
2. Internal obliques
Your internal obliques lie on top of the transversus abdominus. These run upwards from your hip, allowing you to bend and rotate to the sides.
3. External obliques
The external obliques lie above the internal obliques, running in the opposite direction. They work alongside the others to bend and rotate your torso.
4. Rectus abdominis
This sheet of muscle is separated into segments, giving you the classic six-pack look when you,ve burned off body fat.
Photo Tom Miles | Illustration Shutterstock