Why Abdominal Muscles are Attractive

Protecting your midsection isn’t the most important point to winning a fight. At least that’s what this WikiHow article told me: WikiHow. However, if you think about it, our skeleton, the natural shock absorber of our entire body covers most of our body, except around our midsection.

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Figure 1: This midsection lacks bone, but also allows medial and lateral rotation

It seems strange to me that the layout of our lower organs is so readily accessible. Although it is certainly true that there is more muscle and less hollow organs there, (I’m thinking spleen, stomach, and intestines for hollow organs vs. lungs that occupy our entire upper body) it still seems entirely too simple to be injured around the midsection. Perhaps thats why we see fighting stances (like the one’s popularized by Bruce Lee!) with the midsection removed from the front of the fights.

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Figure 2: Bruce Lee, fighting like a “girl” (from the WikiHow article), positioning the midsection away from his adversary, standing in guard position.

In fact, as an aside, this might be why we find abdominal muscles attractive. On top of informing others of their perfect physique, the presentation of abdominal muscles might send a more visceral message: that the organism’s midsection is protected by a layer of harder muscle, and thus more likely to survive. Graham, the recent model put together by car crash and collision “experts” in an effort to create a human that can survive car crashes,  heavily protects the skull, ribcage, and legs, but again avoids this midsection. (Graham ) For whatever reason, perhaps the midsection has low rates of trauma, but from my brief stint as an EMT, I remembered always having to palpate the midsection to look for possible internal bleeding and pain.

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Figure 3: Graham, the man built to survive car crashes. Looks less attractive without abs no?

Of course, humans are somewhat sturdily built, but if we were to look at it from the perspective of a structural engineer- would our prototype be satisfactory? How can we retain mobility while keeping protection of our internal organs? Or even, if the midsection is so well protected- why are c-section surgeries for pregnancy increasing? If they were unnecessarily complex like cutting into the ribcage doctors would be more hesitant to perform them, but the fact that the surgery is on the rise seems to be somewhat suspicious (of course taking into account that the surgery is an easy money maker for doctors). These are all questions that engineers could think about when building prototypes for prosthetics, and for the rest of us to ponder, what makes abs so attractive?

Your friend,

Joseph

p.s. As always, taking advice and feedback from readers!

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