Six-Pack vs. Eight-Pack Abs: Truth Behind the Hype & How Athletes Get Real Core Strength

Nowadays, many teenagers are keen on “rolling with iron” and want to develop enviable “eight-pack abs”. In addition to being used to “show off”, they are also considered to be a symbol of strong athletic ability. However, apart from being “good-looking”, abdominal muscles are not necessarily directly equated with athletic ability and body function. The ability of the deep core stabilizing muscles of professional athletes is the most important, and the abdominal muscles are just an “extra gift.”
What “muscles” are abdominal muscles?

Abdominal muscles are the collective name for abdominal muscle groups. The abdominal muscles that can be observed with the naked eye daily are called external obliques and rectus abdominis. In addition, there are transversus abdominis and internal obliques. The “several abdominal muscles” we usually talk about are the rectus abdominis, and the so-called “mermaid line” mainly refers to the external oblique muscles. The abdominal muscles in the narrow sense refer to these two parts. The other two parts, the transversus abdominis muscle is located in the deepest layer of the abdomen, and the internal oblique muscle is located in the deeper layer of the abdomen. Unless human dissection is performed, it is basically invisible to the naked eye.

People like to use “pack” as the unit of quantity for abdominal muscles. There are 4 packs, 6 packs, 8 packs or even 10 packs. This is normal. The number of tendons determines the number of abdominal muscles. 3 tendon strokes equals 6-pack abs, and 4 tendon strokes equals 8-pack abs. It should be noted that the number of strokes is innate and has nothing to do with whether the abdominal muscles are developed or how you train them. If you are born with only 3 tendons, you will not be able to develop 8-pack abs no matter how hard you train. Genes determine that you can only have 6-pack abs. The number of strokes has no effect on the actual strength of the abdominal muscles. Essentially, the abdominal muscle mass is a whole muscle.

Regarding the shape of the abdominal muscles, some people’s abdominal muscles are symmetrical, like an ice cube grid; while some people’s abdominal muscles are different in size and asymmetrical, but this is just a matter of “appearance”. Abdominal muscles that are symmetrical and of the same size are indeed very good-looking. The “6-pack abs” of Chinese male sprinter Su Bingtian and the “8-pack abs” of Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo are very symmetrical and The size is also basically the same type.

Where did the abs come from?

In addition to increasing muscle volume, whether you can have visible abdominal muscles is completely determined by the proportion of body fat, especially the thickness of abdominal fat. This also leads to some athletes with extremely strong core muscles, such as boxers, throwing athletes, golfers and baseball batters, whose abdominal muscles will not and cannot be very obvious. Mike Tyson’s abdominal muscles are already more obvious among heavyweight boxers.

If it is simply to make the boxy feel of the abdominal muscles more obvious, just increase the circumference of the external obliques and rectus abdominis and reduce body fat as much as possible.

Many people say that “abdominal muscles are made by losing weight”, which makes sense to a certain extent, but it is not entirely correct. In long-distance endurance events that require a high body fat rate, most top athletes have more obvious abdominal muscles, but the lines are not necessarily so beautiful. Compared with athletes in other strength events and confrontation sports, their abdominal muscles are “looking”. Value” is often not that great. Because athletes in top long-distance endurance events mainly have slow-twitch muscle fibers that rely on adenosine triphosphate produced by aerobic metabolism for energy, they have excellent aerobic exercise capabilities and can maintain the same intensity output for a long time. However, the slow-twitch fibers themselves are thin, which makes them look slimmer. In addition, long-distance endurance athletes have extremely low body fat content (for example, track and field athlete Mo Farah is about 1.75 meters tall and weighs only 58 kilograms). Many people mistakenly believe that Thought they lacked strength, in fact their strength was amazing. Sprinters will have a higher proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which can achieve high contraction force and reaction speed during exercise. Fast-twitch muscles are much thicker than slow-twitch muscles, and they will look much stronger and have larger abdominal muscles. It’s also more distinct.

It’s good to love sports, but not everyone can use sports to develop “good-looking” abdominal muscles. We don’t have to pursue the so-called “good-looking”, after all, the existence of abdominal muscles does not prove anything. Moreover, teenagers who are in the stage of growth and development should exercise moderately, and should not maintain a body fat rate that is too low, and should not exercise excessively to avoid affecting their growth. Staying healthy is the most important thing.

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