How to Properly Engage Your Transverse Abdominis Muscle
When it comes to strength and stability, the importance of our core cannot be overstated. A strong center is the foundation for optimal performance in everything we do: from the simplest of everyday tasks to the most taxing athletic activities.
Our abdomens are comprised of four muscles that each play a role in strengthening our movement functions; however, some of the most important abdominal muscles that aren’t typically engaged are the transverse abdominis (TVA) muscles.
4 Steps to Engaging the Transverse Abdominis Muscle
As the deepest part of our core and the most important for stabilization, the TVA muscles support your back, improve posture, and assist with deep breaths for heavier lifts. Therefore, it’s crucial you understand how to properly work out your TVA muscles. To optimally strengthen this all-too-important group of muscles, engage them in the following steps:
Find the TVA.
- Before engaging them, you need to know how to contract the TVA.
- Lie flat on your back and bend your knees with feet flat on the floor.
- Place your fingers in your hip crease and inhale deeply.
- Exhale and draw your belly towards your spine. You should feel tension, indicating you’ve located the TVA muscles.
Contract the TVA.
- Now that you’ve located the TVA muscle, you can contract it consistently.
- Lay on your side and slowly contract up into a crunch position.
- Hold this contraction for 3 seconds.
- Release the contraction for 3 seconds.
- Work up to 10 second contractions for each step.
- Once you’ve got your TVA crunches down, you can start to add variety.
- Lay on your back and lift each leg up in tabletop position to engage different angles.
- Using just your core, lift both legs up into tabletop position for deep engagement.
Try Other Positions.
- Once you’ve mastered engaging the TVA laying down, you can try other positions.
- You can engage the TVA in a seated and standing position.
- You can even engage it while walking around.
If you find yourself injured because of heavy physical activity or an unfortunate movement, don’t hesitate to call Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. Our Rehabilitation Team includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, and athletic trainers that specialize in orthopaedic rehabilitative therapy that is specific for musculoskeletal system injury recovery.
Regain Your Strength at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine
At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, we’re proud to play a role in helping patients regain mobility and get back to their daily routines without pain. If you’ve experienced any type of orthopaedic injury, our team is here to help you recover. To schedule a consultation, please request an appointment online or give us a call at 904-825-0540.
Casey McClone, MD
Board Certifications in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. Dr. McClone specializes in treating musculoskeletal pain for patients of all ages with ultra-sound guided injections.