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What Are Abdominal Muscles (Abs)?

There are four main abdominal muscles:

Rectus abdominis.
Transverse abdominis.
External oblique.
Internal oblique.
Your abdominal muscles help to stabilise your core. This assists with breathing, they are allowing movement, protecting your internal organs and are the main postural support and balance.

This is what your abdominal muscles look like:

It is important to maintain strength in all these muscles to help maintain your posture. Keeping strong abdominal muscles can also help reduce back pain, this takes pressure from your back muscles and puts them onto the core. Therefore relieving back muscle tension and restoring balance between the muscles.

With a strong core you can also increase your flexibility, this is because your back muscles:

Strengthen
Increases flexibility on the spine
Become a better support for the body
Overall: Abdominal muscles are a great benefit to the majority of the bodies overall mechanism. They allow movement, provide stability, support and balance. Strong abs can prevent back pain and other muscular problems. This is due to the core being central of the body and taking a good amount of pressure similar to the back muscles.
Abdominal Fats Explained:

Subcutaneous Fat:
Subcutaneous fat is known as white fat. When we are young we store brown fat, this is to keep us warm but as we grow this eventually turns to white fat. This is the outer fat you can pinch, It is located between your skin and muscles.

Subcutaneous fat is not dangerous it is just not pleasant for physical looks. Subcutaneous fat releases hormones into the blood at a slow rate and much slower concentration, this then releases a chemical called adiponectin.

Adiponectin is a protein hormone that regulates blood sugar levels and also fatty acid oxidation, commonly known as the fat burning process. If you have small fat cells then they will stay small with this process. If you have larger cells, you would need to regulate your caloric intake and activities to help produce and speed up adiponictin.

Visceral Fat:
Visceral fat is known as deep fat, this is stored underneath the subcutaneous fat. It is surrounding and wrapping itself around major organs which include:

The liver
Kidneys
Pancreas
Visceral fat can be dangerous as the fat cells do not just sit and do nothing, they can change the way your body operates. This is due to the fat being considered toxic.

Visceral fat has the property to act almost like an organ all on it’s own due to the impact it has and the implications of assisting illnesses such as:

Diabetes
Coronary heart disease and other various conditions
Eating too many calories has a major impact on creating this fat.

Overall: There are two types of abdominal fat — subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat is more sightly whereas visceral fat releases hormones that have been linked to disease.

Having Strong Abs is Not Enough!

Exercising your abdominal muscles will strengthen them! However, twisting, crunching and side bending will not make your abdominal muscles visible if they are covered by a thick layer of fat.

When present in large amounts, subcutaneous fat will prevent you from seeing your abdominal muscles. If you have visceral fat as well then this will not be achieved until your diet is reducing fat size.

Once you have rid visceral fat, you then need to get rid of subcutaneous fat from your abdominal area in order to start seeing defined abs or a six pack.

Overall: Exercising your abs will help them become strong and muscular, changing your diet will help reduce the fats and eventually you should see muscle.
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