Six pack has 54M results on Google. Not everybody but a lot of people desires a “six-pack”, others simply need to strength their middle section to relief or avoid pain or bad postures.

AbdomenThe transverse abdominal muscle (TVA) is a very important core muscle which is vital in maintaining good posture. It helps to compress the ribs and viscera, providing thoracic and pelvic stability.

The transverse abdominal and the segmental stabilizers of the spine work in tandem.

Without a stable spine, the nervous system fails to recruit the muscles in the extremities, and functional movements cannot be performed.

The TVA is vital to back and core health. Also has the effect of pulling in the abdomen. Training only the rectus abdominis muscle will not and can not give one a “flat” belly. This goal is achieved only through training the TVA.

Recently, the transverse abdominal muscle has become the subject of debate between kinesiologists, strength trainers, and physical therapists. The two positions on the muscle are:

  1. The muscle is effective and capable of bracing the human core during heavy lifts.
  2. It is not.

Anyway, how to do a stomach vacuum:


  1. Front of the iliac crest.
  2. Inguinal ligament.
  3. Costal cartilages of the lower 6 ribs.
  4. Thoracolumbar fascia.


Linea alba.

Rectus Abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It is this muscle which forms the six-pack shape! It is a paired muscle running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of the abdomen. There are two parallel muscles, separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba.


  1. Crest of the pubis.
  2. Pubic symphesis.


  1. Xiphoid process (base of the sternum).
  2. 5th,6th and 7th costal cartilages.
The six-pack flexes the lumbar spine, as when doing a so-called “crunch” sit up. The rib cage is brought up to where the pelvis is when the pelvis is fixed: or the pelvis can be brought towards the rib cage (posterior pelvic tilt) when the rib cage is fixed, such as: The Rectus Abdominis assists with breathing and plays an important role in respiration when forcefully exhaling. It also helps in creating intra-abdominal pressure, such as when exercising or lifting heavy weights.
Pain and symptoms associated with the Rectus Abdominis muscle
– Pain that runs horizontal across the mid back under the shoulder blade
– Pain that runs horizontal across the low back
– Pain around the sternum between the breasts (not shown)
– Pain in the low abdomen
– Feeling bloated
– Heartburn and indigestion
– Testicle pain
– Pain in the pelvic area
Activities that cause rectus abdominis pain and symptoms
– Over exercising muscles (sit-ups and leg-ups)
– Shallow breathing
– Chronic coughing
– Sitting for long periods of time
– Sitting in a twisted position
– Childbirth
– Abdominal surgery
– Scars from abdominal surgery
– Chronic Constipation
– Carrying a heavy backpack

The external oblique is situated on the lateral and anterior parts of the abdomen. It is broad, thin, and irregularly quadrilateral. It is the largest and the most superficial (outermost) of the three flat muscles of the lateral anterior abdomen. The obliques wrap around the trunk on each side to form our waists and join to the linea alba, a band of connective tissue running down the front of the abdomen.


Lowest 8 ribs.


  1. Front 1/2 of the iliac crest.
  2. Linea alba.
The external oblique pulls the chest downwards and compresses the abdominal cavity, which increases the intra-abdominal pressure. It also has limited actions in flexion and rotation of the vertebral column.

The internal oblique muscle is the intermediate muscle of the abdomen, lying deep to the external oblique and just superficial to the transverse abdominal muscle. The internal obliques wrap around the waist and insert into the linea alba, a cord-like strip of connective tissue running down the center of the abdomen.

The internal oblique performs two major functions. First, as an accessory muscle of respiration, it acts as an antagonist to the diaphragm, helping to reduce the volume of the chest cavity during exhalation. When the diaphragm contracts, it pulls the lower wall of the chest cavity down, increasing the volume of the lungs. When the internal obliques contract they compress the organs of the abdomen, pushing them up into the diaphragm which intrudes back into the chest cavity reducing the volume of the air filled lungs, producing an exhalation.

Also, its contraction rotates and side-bends the trunk by pulling the rib cage and midline towards the hip and lower back, of the same side.


  1. Iliac crest.
  2. Inguinal ligament.
  3. Thoracolumbar fascia.


  1. Lower 3-4 ribs.
  2. Linea alba.
Pain and symptoms associated with the External and Internal Oblique muscles – Pain in the side, in the waist area – Pain in the groin area – Pain in the low abdomen – Heartburn and indigestion – Testicle pain – Bladder pain and incontinence – Pain in the pelvis area Activities that cause obliques muscle pain and symptoms – Abdominal scars from surgery – Over exercising muscles (twisting and side bending exercises) – Rowing – Raking leaves – Lifting using tools like shovels or pitchforks – Chronic coughing – Sitting for long periods of time – Slouching posture

The Quadratus Lumborum, or QL, can perform different actions:

  1. Lateral flexion of the vertebral column, with ipsilateral contraction.
  2. Extension of the vertebral column, with bilateral contraction.
  3. Elevates the Ilium (bone), with ipsilateral contraction.


  1. Posterior iliac crest.
  2. Iliolumbar ligament.


  1. Twelfth rib.
  2. Transerve processes of L1-L4.
This muscle is a common source of lower back pain. The QL connects the pelvis to the spine and is capable of extending the lower back when contracting bilaterally. When the lower fibers of the erector spinae are weak or inhibited, the QLs pick up the slack. Given their mechanical disadvantage, constant contraction while you are seated can overuse the QLs, resulting in muscle fatigue. A constantly contracted QL, like any other muscle, will experience decreased blood flow. In time, adhesions in the muscle and fascia may develop, the end point of which is the muscle spasm. Pain and symptoms associated with the Quadratus Lumborum muscle – Pain in the low back, constant deep aching even at rest – Pain in the hips and buttocks – Groin pain – Pelvic pain – Pain down the front of the thigh – Low abdominal pain – Stabbing back and or abdominal pain when coughing or sneezing
Activities that cause quadratus lumborum pain and symptoms
– Lifting heavy objects
– Twisting while lifting
– Sleeping on a mattress that is too soft
– Horseback riding
– Golfing
– Kayaking
– Leg length discrepancy – one leg shorter than other. This can be the way you were born or due to injury. It is often seen after a leg has been in a cast or splint.
– The QL muscles are often affected when you slip and or fall

39 thoughts on “Six-pack”

    1. Nice to meet you Shona!! I love your blog, you earned a regular visitor here :-) Thanks for your kind words, you’re a terrible liar ;-) Only a few more muscles, I promise! Big hug, David

      1. LOL! That cracked me up! That is so sweet of you to say about my blog David! I’m SO GLAD you and your WILD sense of humor are here!!!!! I look forward to learning with you and from you! Light and Love, Shona

      2. I was a little bit nervous about my sense of humor :) I had thought an apologie, just in case :D Learning from me? Girl, you are inspiring!! I´ll do my best. The other way, learning from you is much more possible. Big hug, David.

      3. See? Where is the fun if I don´t reveal my little dirty secret? Really appreciate your sense of humor! Big hug, David.

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