Core Muscles Defined: Rectus Abdominis

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Last week we talked a bit about how important your core is. If your core is weak, then essentially YOU are weak. This weakness causes other muscles in your body to compensate and make up for the weakness, thus giving you an unbalanced body. Each week I’m addressing all the core muscles and giving you tips on how massage can help.

Rectus abdominis: is probably the most recognizable core muscle. This is your six-pack.  These muscles are attached to your pubic bone and stretch all the way to your sternum and ribs. Despite a lot of people’s beliefs, we all have a six-pack. Be proud! We just can’t always see it.

What does it do?  Flexes the lumbar spine, like when you do a crunch situp exercise. It helps with posture and stability of the pelvis as well. They help you walk (proper gait), assist with keeping you upright, and also are vital for childbirth. They also assist when you go to the bathroom.

How does massage therapy help? As you begin to strengthen these muscles with exercise and stretch them, massage can help with soreness and with pushing the old blood/lymph out of the muscle and bringing new blood/lymph in. Blood & lymph are vital to your muscles’ healing.

Although not all therapists incorporate abdominal massage, we’ve all been taught to do it. Ask your therapist what they recommend and work from there. I’ve had several clients who were constipated say abdominal massage helped.

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