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Abdominal Muscles Anatomy

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Updated May 21, 2014

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Abdominal Muscles Anatomy - The Rectus Abdominis
The Rectus Abdominis Muscle

The Rectus Abdominis Muscle

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The most well-known and prominent abdominal muscle is the rectus abdominis. It is the long, flat muscle that extends vertically between the pubis and the fifth, sixth, and seventh ribs.

A strong tendinous sheath called the "linea alba," or white line, divides the rectus abdominis down the middle, and three more horizontal tendinous sheaths give the muscle its familiar "washboard" look in very fit athletes.

The rectus abdominis helps to flex the spinal column, narrowing the space between the pelvis and the ribs. It is also active during side bending motions and helps stabilize the trunk during movements involving the extremities and head.

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