The linea alba is a tough strip of connective tissue on the body's midline, running from pelvis to chest, up the front of the abdomen.
The navel (belly button) lies on the linea alba.
Named for its appearance, linea alba means "white line" in Latin.
As the lateral abdominal muscles wrap around the abdomen (in the space between the ribs and pelvis), they turn into aponeuroses (strong sheets of connective tissue) towards the anterior (front) of the abdomen. The linea alba is created by the fusion of these aponeuroses, as they merge midline at the front.
Before the aponeuroses meet, they form a sheath (a tunnel between the layers) on either side of midline. Within these sheaths lie the rectus abdominis muscles (like ribbons of muscle within a tunnel), and are thus known as the rectus sheaths.
The linea alba is a linear structure situated on the body's midline, and is our primary anatomical guide for body alignment and balance.
The linea alba should be fully extendable, and be able form a straight line i.e. to be positioned in a state of full alignment.
Three of the body's five midline markers lie on the linea alba: The pubic symphysis, navel and xiphoid process. Find these points on your body, use them to help you feel your state of alignment.
The linea alba is closely associated with our Base-Line muscles. Working from Base-Line allows the position of the linea alba to be felt so we can judge our own state of body alignment and balance.
The rectus abdominis muscles are the closest muscles to the linea alba, running either side from pelvis to chest. Focusing on activating and extending the rectus abdominis muscles has the effects of: