Abdominal Anatomy Facts
- The transversus abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles (under the obliques and rectus abdominis) and is a very important "core muscle."
- All of the abdominal muscles have an attachment point at (or into a tendinous expansion of) the linea alba - connective tissue raphe formed between the rectus abdominis where the decussating tendinous fibers of the lateral abdominal wall aponeuroses. The linea alba is the region where we see conditions such as diastasis recti.
- It is very difficult to isolate abdominal muscles when exercising. Muscles function synergistically. When exercise specialists state "focus on the rectus abdominus," for example, there are movements that will improve that muscle's activation, but other muscles will fire as well. We often cue patients to activate transversus abdominus and minimize rectus or oblique firing. We cannot totally avoid synergistic muscle activation, but we can facilitate activating certain muscles more effectively.
- The term "core" is often times synonymous with abdominal muscles. The true "core" is made up of the pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, the diaphragm, and multifidi low back muscles.