A six pack is often seen as a sign of a strong, powerful core. Sculpting the abs requires tenacity and hard work – and not just in the gym either!

Are you sure that the hard work you’re putting into chiseling those tight abs is working?

 

Did you know that there’s actually a part of your abs that’s almost never trained? This muscle is called the transversis abdominis and it is located directly behind the rectus abdominis, so it’s not a visible muscle. The reason it’s not visible is because it’s positioned in the deepest layer of muscle tissue that makes up the abdominal wall.

 

Not seeing a muscle doesn’t mean you should neglect it, especially when it can help you develop a stronger and better-looking set of abs. So let’s discover together what the best exercises are for melting your middle and chiseling a rock-hard core.

 

 

  1. LYING SCISSORS KICK

Lie on a bench or a mat and place your hands slightly underneath your buttocks, to support your pelvis. Raise one leg up, with your knee nearly straight, simultaneously changing the position of your legs so that one leg is lowered while the other one is raised vertically. Continue alternating leg positions.

It is not important how high you raise your top leg during the kick. Holding your body stiff as a board helps develop strength primarily in the core – the muscles that connect the upper and lower body, as well as your shoulders, arms and glutes.

 

 

  1. PLANK

Get into a pushup position on the floor, with your knees and elbows bent at 90 degrees, resting your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from head to toes. Hold the position for as long as you can. The main goal is to hold it as much as 2 minutes – more if you can.

This exercise will help strengthen the abdominals, back and shoulders. The primary muscles engaged during your workout are the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis.

 

 

  1. RUSSIAN TWIST

Start seated. Raise your feet several inches from the ground and lean back slightly. Twist from side to side, keeping your core tight. The aim is to touch the mat or floor with your fingers on each side and with each repetition.

The strength you need for this exercise is generated in your core, not your arms and shoulders. Build incredible core muscles with this one simple move.

 

In order to improve the muscular endurance of your transverse abdominis muscle, perform two to four sets of 15 to 20 repetitions of each of these exercises, two or three times a week.