Ever wondered how the core muscles are formed and if there are significant difference whether you have an eight-pack abs or a six-pack? Checkout this great explanation on achieving 8 pack vs 6 pack abs by Jeff from ATHLEAN-X™.
Any discussion of getting 6 pack abs or even 8 pack abs should start with the hard core truth, and that is, if your nutrition sucks…your abs will too! That being said, if your body fat is low enough to reveal the abs you have inside then determining whether or not you’re rocking a six or eight pack will depend on a few things.
In this video, I show you the two biggest things that determine whether you have six pack abs or eight pack abs. First, your genetic structure of your rectus abdominus muscle is going to play the biggest part. You’ve probably seen all kinds of abs that look slightly different from each other. Some six packs are very thick and prominent while other abs look spread apart. Some abdominal muscles are perfectly aligned while others are uneven and not perfectly symmetrical.
The differences in how the abs look, and ultimately the number of “packs” you can see is going to be determined by the formation of the linea alba. This connective tissue acts like a suture that pins down to the tissue below and acts to separate the rectus abdominus into compartments or the washboard that you are familiar with. If the linea alba is thicker than usual, you’ll have more spacing between the visible abs. If the alba is more prominently sutured down, for lack of a better term, then you’ll see deeper grooves between the abs. Of course, this can be influenced a bit by causing abdominal hypertrophy through weighted ab workouts as well.
Whether or not the lower two, or 8 pack abs, show is going to be determined solely by the fact of the presence or absence of the linea alba extending down below the belly button. In most people, it does not. In some however, this connective tissue extends down and acts to further separate the abs into two more “packs” so to speak. Of course, that body fat better be really low if you want to see this since this is the first place guys tend to put on fat when they accumulate it on their body.
Regardless of what ab workouts you’re following, if you want the lower two abs to show you better be doing some focused lower ab exercises as well. Due to the different nerve innervations that act to serve the abdominals, you can influence portions of the abs more than others (never isolate) based on the direction of the movement you’re doing. Top down ab exercises tend to hit more upper ab fibers while bottom up ab exercises tend to hit more lower ab exercises.