What if I told you that your midsection could shrink just by breathing? Yes! It’s that simple if you say hello to your Transverse Abdominus. If you have ever taken one of my classes you have heard me say it a million times..."you must engage your Transverse Abdominus (TVA) if you want a stronger core!" By activating you TVA every day you can take inches off your waist, increase core strength, and improve posture. Plus, it can help decrease lower back pain, repair diastasis recti, and help with incontinence.
What is your TVA?
You TVA is the deepest layer of muscle in your abdomen. It’s located between your ribs and your pelvis and, it wraps around your torso from back to front. Imagine the TVA being a built in corset for your midsection.
What does your TVA do?
This important muscle group holds your organs in place, assists with breathing, stabilizes the spine for movement, and helps in the birthing process. The stronger the TVA the flatter the abdominal wall will be.
How do I activate my TVA?
Activating your TVA is done most easily through deep breathing. We have to “tighten the corset” as we breathe.
*Here are 3 exercises that can help you activate the TVA by using the breath:
Beginner- the Pull-In
Sit or stand comfortably with a long spine. Place your hands on your belly on either side of your navel. As you inhale let your abdomen relax. You should feel your hands move forward as your belly expands. On your exhale, super engage your TVA by pulling your navel to your spine. Your should feel your hands move back and closer together. Repeat for 10 breaths.
Intermediate - Cat/Cow
Take a tabletop position on all fours. Your shoulders should be directly over your wrists, and your hips should be directly over your knees. On your inhale let your belly drop to the floor and your spine arch. This is Cow pose. On your exhale super engage your TVA as you round your spine and pull navel in. This is cat. Repeat for 10 breaths.
Advanced- The Plank
Place your hands under your shoulders and step both feet back into an upper push-up position. This is your plank. Shoulders should stay over wrists. Hips should stay at shoulder height. Engage your core as you breathe deeply. Pull navel closer to the spine with each exhale. Hold for 10-15 breaths.
Yes, strengthening your core is that simple. Try it at home! If you have questions feel free to email me personally at [email protected].