Abdominal Anatomy 101

How do the ab muscles work?

The second I read this title I think school! It sounds like it is about to be a boring blog on the body and I may just skip over it…right?

Well, I understand! Big long words about the body that I don’t care about…no thank you!

Lucky for you I love the body so I am going to break it down and make it simple for you, BUT you got to stay with me here!!!

There is  only one reason I want you to read this – because IT’S IMPORTANT!

If you want to get a tight, toned tummy you need to understand how it works – pretty much the basics of the abs. If you don’t learn it, it’s like trying to make a cake from scratch without a recipe, or trying to build a desk without the instructions…it is way more difficult and there is a lot more room for mistakes.

Ain’t nobody got time for that! Plus how frustrating is it to do it wrong over and over and over. Makes you want to give up, huh?

That’s what I am here to prevent! So let’s push forward and learn the basics of abs so we can get that flat tummy the first time! Who’s with me?

Alrightyyyyyy here we go!

There are 4, YES 4 different muscles that make up your core!


  1. Right in the front
  2. Runs up and down

How to work them?

Doing crunching exercises that move your hips and shoulders towards each other and rounds your back. For example, Crunches on a medicine ball or pillow.







  1. Lays on the Side
  2. Runs at an angle

How to work them?

The only way to work these muscles are twisting/rotating exercises. For example, Seated Twists are perfect to work the Internal Obliques.








  1. Lay on the sides over the Internal obliques
  2. Bigger than the Internal Obliques
  3. Area where muffin top fat lies
  4. Run at an angle

How to work them?

Just like the Internal Obliques – twisting/rotating exercises are the best to hit this muscle group.






Transverse Obliques

These muscles are the least known muscles of the four. Why? Because they are underneath all the others and they run horizontally. What? Horizontally? Yes, Horizontally! These muscles look like a corset around your trunk and help hold in your stomach, so the stronger the better! They are also the ab muscles that help you suck in and can actually shrink your natural waist. So, obviously, we need to work this muscle…right?

How to work them?

Don’t laugh…but it’s by actually focusing and practicing sucking in your stomach. This is actually an exercise to work that transverse muscle! You can stand in the mirror in the morning or before bed and practice sucking in your stomach 10 reps of 3 sets. When you suck that belly button in make sure to exhale all your air, DO NOT HOLD IT.

So, 1. suck in, 2. breath out while still sucking in and 3. hold it in for 2 more seconds. Try it out and work that Transverse Muscle!


Guess what!!!!???! You made it! Way to stick with me learning the anatomy of the abs. See it wasn’t that bad and now you are that much smarter!!!

Now you know how to target each part of your abs to get a tight, toned tummy.

If you need more tips on picking the good versus bad core workouts go back and check out my 5 Laws of Ab Exercises. And if you have already read that and you are ready to start burning that core, jump into my new 30 Day Ab Sculpting Program where I introduce over 100 different ab exercises in a progressive pattern to build up those abs and tighten that tummy!