The rectus abdominis and the erector spinae are both extremely important muscles in your body and, as such, it is vital for you to keep them supple and as toned as possible. Says M. Gideon Hoyle: “The primary purpose of the rectus abdominis is to allow you to move the portion of your body between your pelvis and ribcage.” The erector spinae, says Nick Ng, works to extend your torso and plays a part in lateral flexion. In this article, we’ll look at the functions of each of these muscle groups and exercises that you can do in order to keep them ship shape!

Where is the rectus abdominis located in your body?

The rectus abdominis is found in your abdominal region connecting your pubic bone to your sternum. This is the muscle that is responsible for you having a toned look to your abdomen as the rectus abdominis is activated when you perform crunches.

Where is the erector spinae located in your body?

Whereas the rectus abdominis is located to the front of your body, the erector spinae is located towards your back. It runs on either side of your vertebrae and connects the base of your skull to your pelvis. The erector spinae plays a crucial part in helping you to bend forward as well as returning you to an upright position.

Exercises to work the rectus abdominis

The crunch

The crunch is a classic exercise that works the rectus abdominis. To perform this exercise, you would lie on the floor, on your back with your hands behind your head and your feet on the floor. Engage your abdominals and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. There are a number of variations that are possible to make to the crunch that will ensure this exercise is even more effective, such as twisting your torso as you come up.

Exercises to work the erector spinae

Bird Dog

Get down on the floor on all fours, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Your feet must be the same distance apart as your hands. Slowly lift your right arm out in front of you with your right thumb pointing at the ceiling. At the same time lift you left leg out behind you so that it is parallel to the floor. Hold for two counts and repeat on the other side. It is advised to repeat this exercise eight to 12 times.

Prone Superman

Lie on the floor on your stomach. Slowly lift your arms and legs together, using your back muscles to do the lifting. If you can’t lift all of your limbs together, start by lifting one arm and one leg at the same time and then work up to lifting both arms and legs together.

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