Muscle Madness: designing the Pilates body
Superficial to the Internal Obliques is the pair of External Oblique Muscles that flank the Rectus Abdominus (6-pack abs) and form a "V" shape. Their primary function is rotation of the spine. For example, the left external obliques work synergistically with the right internal obliques to create spine rotation to the right. The left internal obliques also contribute to lateral trunk flexion to the left.
When the external oblique muscles contract bi-laterally, they assist the transverse abdominus and internal obliques in forceful exhalation and compression of the abdominals. They also contribute to forward flexion of the trunk.
ANATOMY OF EXTERNAL OBLIQUES
The external obliques are located on the lateral and anterior portion of your torso. They arise as finger-like projections from the inferior borders of the lower 8 ribs (ribs 5-12) and insert at the at the anterior lateral lip of the iliac crest, the inguinal ligament and the aponeurosis of the rectus abdominus.
EXTERNAL OBLIQUES AND PILATES
Criss-Cross on the Mat is an example of the external obliques performing their strongest function; rotation of the spine to the same side.
The External Obliques work bi-laterally to assist the rectus abdominus and internal obliques during Pull Ups on the Wunda Chair.
Plus, Cheryl's left external obliques are contracting concentrically as she lengthens her torso off of the Spine Corrector during Side Sit-Ups. They contract eccentrically as she rounds back over the barrel.
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