After watching several different internet videos from people with different bodies, I've noticed that their abs are different shapes.

Discounting whether they have a 4 pack, 6 pack or 8 pack, what I mean is that the shape of the abs is different. I don't mean if it is big or small, for example they have abs big and they have 4 pack but their appearance is different. I have seen abs that are more horizontally spread.

What I want to say is that the abs of two athletes will not be the same, when they reach the visibly results. Is this caused by their different exercise selection or has their bodies genetics given them a different shape?

1 Answer 1


This is caused by their exercise which different or their bodies genetics has given them different shape?

The latter. This is entirely genetic. There is really nothing you can do to grow more "heads" of the abdominal muscles. It could be that if you get to a sufficiently low bodyfat percentage, you "unveil" more than you thought was there, but nothing has changed. In that case, it was always there in the first place, just not visible.

  • I would say exercise type is going to shape them differently. I do squats, deadlifts and standing shoulder press, all working on my abs, they look much different than someone just doing crunches all day. It's the same thing for gymnasts bicep shape is different than a bodybuilder since the exercises they perform are waaay different.
    – PmanAce
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 3:51
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    @PmanAce - That's just because your abs are already shaped differently than theirs. It's not something you adjusted yourself.
    – Alec
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 11:55
  • So someone doing push-ups only compared to someone bench pressing will have different pectoral development. Same thing pretty much.
    – PmanAce
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 12:42
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    The shape of the abs is determined by the shape of the connective tissue anchoring the muscle, which as Alec says, is genetic.
    – JohnP
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:07
  • I agree it's genetic. For muscles that have multiple attachments (such as triceps), it's possible to achieve a different visual look depending on what exercises you do to work the particular 'heads' of the muscles, but others like biceps although they have two heads, it's hard to work them differently since they're so close together anyway. Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 15:24

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