“Six Pack Abs” Make You Less Efficient in Weightlifting
Training the abdominal muscles for a purely aesthetic goal is common in athletic training today. Traditionally, core work is often based on developing musculature for a “six-pack” rather than balanced training for strength and stabilization. Overtraining the abdominals by performing excessive sit ups and other abdominal exercises can create an unnatural tightening resulting in an imbalance, where the rectus abdominus muscles are stronger than the transverse abdominus and the spinal erectors.
The rectus abdominis is a muscle running up and down on each side of the abdomen separated by a connective tissue called the linea. The rectus abdominis is a central muscle used to aid in posture, stabilization, and balance. The rectus abdominus is crucial for movements of flexion and extension of the lumbar spine. Balanced musculature of the abdominals and trunk area are necessary when receiving a weighted load in a stable position and support and stabilization of an overhead load.