The abs are actually two parallel muscles than run along the front of the body. They have the appearance of having 6 or even 8 separate muscles due to the connective tissue that runs perpendicular to the two muscles.
The Function of Abs
The abdominal muscles have a few functions other than looking great.
1) The abs are very important postural muscles that help stabilize the spine and keep the body erect.
2) The abs are the muscles used when bringing the ribs toward your legs, such as when you are doing a crunch, or to bring your legs off the ground in leg raises.
3) The abs are used extensively during the process of breathing, contracting to forcefully exhale air out of the lungs.
Why You Need to Get Nicer Abs
It is important to stay healthy and fit because, for one a healthy person is much more attractive to the opposite sex, and two, keeping your body within the healthy range for body fat percentage will greatly reduce your risk for chronic health disease.
Staying active is your best bet for achieving nice abs and for increasing your life span, leading to a longer better quality of life.
The bicycle is arguably the most effective exercise at targeting the abdomen muscles, as well as the oblique muscles.
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Flex at the trunk and touch your right elbow to the left knee, as pictured below. Alternate sides for the desired number of repetitions.
The leg lifts are very good at targeting the abdomen muscles as well as the obliques. The exercise requires you to lie on your back with your arms to your sides. Slowly contract the abs, keeping your legs as straight as possible, and raise the legs upwards to a point where they are at or near 90 degrees to the floor. This exercise may require a yoga mat to be comfortable.
The ball crunch requires the use of the whole body to keep yourself balanced on the ball while performing a crunch, which makes it such an effective exercises for getting abs because it requires you t use your abs to both stabilize your core as well as flex your trunk.
Incorporate these three exercises into your ab workouts to see a very toned and balanced look to your abs. If you are interested at home and are looking for a great deal on a yoga ball to use for the ab crunches, check out this great deal on amazon. All these exercises can be performed at home and should only take 15 minutes out of your day to do, meaning nice abs are a lot easy to achieve than you probably expected.