Back when I was in high school we did these little warm-up exercises before every gym class. We got changed for gym class into something called a gym-suit, sort of a onesie for teen girls. This was a time before the development of sports bra technology and sweat-wicking fabrics. I suppose it gave us an illusion of equality since there was noting remotely attractive, let alone sexy about these garments. Or it made the gym teachers feel like matrons in a women’s prison….. But I digress.
The purpose of these warm-ups, set to some groovy 70’s pop tunes from groups like The Moody Blues and The Doobie Brothers, was to get our muscles ready for the intense square dance routines of gym class proper. These warm-ups included sit-ups for our abs. That’s what our stomach muscles were called back then: abs.
Today we don’t have abs anymore. We have a “core.” We have rectus and transverse abdominis. We have multifidis, inner abdominals, deep abdominals and obliques. Many baby boomers travel back in time to the land of lost abdominals by viewing old pictures of ourselves, over a glass of wine and some delicious cheese.
Don’t get me wrong: we should not give up and let our bellies go to pot. But can’t we return to a simpler time and just call them abs?
*RIP — Gym-suit died a righteous death back in 1976 when segregation in gym class ended and both boys and girls endured the embarrassment of gym class together.