How to Work Out the Vertical Line in Your Abdominal Muscles

Your linea alba is a vertical tendon that separates your ab muscles.
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Whether you have a pot belly or a washboard, the make up of your abdominal muscles is exactly the same. The tough muscles that protect your organs are separated down the middle by a tendon called the linea alba. Horizontal tendinous lines cross the linea alba, which create that six-pack look. To allow the vertical indentation of your linea alba to show, you need to amp up both your exercise routine and your diet. Adequate hydration is key to avoiding belly bloat and creating definition in your abs.

Core Exercises

    Bicycle crunches are an all-over ab exercise.

    Perform bicycle crunches to develop your oblique muscles and upper and lower abdominals; these will define your linea alba. Wear comfortable gym clothing and lie flat on your back on your exercise mat. Have your legs bent, feet flat on the floor and hands behind your head. Tighten your abs as you straighten your left leg. Bring your right leg into your chest and twist your upper body so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Return to the starting position and repeat on your opposite side. Aim for at least one minute of crunches three times a week.

    Done properly, your body will form a V, or a boat shape.

    Lie flat on your back on your mat. Lift your legs and upper body off the mat so your body forms a V. This exercise is called the boat. Hold your arms straight and parallel with the mat for balance. Breathe slowly and hold this position, working up to one minute.

    You can perform your plank while resting your weight on your hands or your elbows.

    Do the plank for a tight core. Get into a pushup position on your mat, resting your weight either on your hands or your elbows. Your legs should be straight and your body should form a straight, even line from your shoulders to your feet. With your stomach tight, hold this position for one minute.

Additional Steps for Defined Abs

    Run for cardio exercise.

    Perform moderate- to high-intensity cardio, such as running, swimming or elliptical exercise, at least three times a week. The most developed abdominals in the world won't show through a layer of subcutaneous fat, and there is no way to selectively burn fat from one part of your body. The only way to showcase a linea alba indentation is to reduce your body fat percentage.

    Hot dog meat is processed and full of preservatives, and fries contain salt and starch.

    Avoid processed foods, refined carbohydrates and salt. All of these foods will lead to bloating and water retention. This will hide all of the work you've done for your abs.

    As its name suggests watermelon is a super-hydrating fruit.

    Incorporate lean protein, such as fish, chicken, very lean beef and soybean products, into your diet, along with water-rich vegetables and fruit. All fruits and vegetables contain water, but ideal options include watermelon, cucumbers, avocado or grapefruit. Enjoy starchy vegetables, like potatoes, in moderation.

    Learn to love pure water.

    Make water your beverage of choice. The carbonation in both diet and regular sodas will result in belly bloat, and adequate hydration will keep you from retaining excess water. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses of cold water every day.


    • Always consult your physician before starting an exercise routine or diet.

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