Men's Abs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Visit any newsstand, and you'll see that mens abs make the cover of just about every fitness magazine. Not only are they prominently featured in photographs, mens abs are usually the subject of a feature story inside as well. Namely, these pieces focus on how to crunch them, shape them, sculpt them, rip them, and make them pop.

The technical name that weightlifters, anatomists, and doctors give this phenomenon is "striation," a word taken from the thrilling world of geology. Striae refer to the grooves or canals that may appear in rocks or shells after years of geologic pressure, but they also describe that "shredded" phenomenon that seems just out of reach for most committed fitness buffs. That's because this definition only comes from one of two things: a) genetic blessings, and b) tons of insane effort.

What Is It about Mens Abs?

Why is it that mens abs take center stage when it comes to fitness and weight training? Why the obsession with perfect obliques, a rip-roaring transversus abdominis, and a chiseled rectus abdominis? Could it be that they're simply in such high demand because they're in such short supply? That's undoubtedly part of it, but a strong midsection is also the hallmark of a solid "core," those muscles that make up the torso and help athletes excel.

A strong core pulls the weight, so to speak, for everything else, including the arms and legs. Ever seen a guy at the gym with ballooned out arms and a staggering chest, then looked down to find a couple of little peg legs? Men who start with a rock-hard core, which includes the muscles of the lower back, lay a foundation for a balanced physique. The "fireplugs" walking around the gym may think they're strong, but they can't stack up to athletes who concentrate on their abs and back first.

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