Sahrmann Progression Exercises

Transverse Abdominal Exercises Video Series

This set of exercises follows the Sahrmann Porgression. These are a set of abdominal exercises that help rehabilitate your lower abdomen.

These are especially useful for women who have recently given birth and want to strengthen their core muscles.

This series of abdominal exercises were created by Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, a physical therapist and associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. These are used in physical therapy and fitness programs.

This set of five stomach exercises are designed to strengthen below the belly button without placing stress on the abdomen or lower back.

These transverse abdominal exercises are to be done in order. You are to master the first exercise before moving onto the second. But before you can do the first exercise, you must master the basic breathing for these workouts.

To master an exercise, you must be able to complete a set of 20 without losing the contraction in your abdominal muscles. Once you have achieved this, then you move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 6 - Sarhmann Progression Exercises

Rather than giving a step by step for each exercise, below the video is a brief overview of how each one is done, including the basic breath.
After viewing this video, be sure to read the overview of each of the exercises to help you better understand each step and ensure you are doing them correctly.

Not all mobile devices will display the video correctly. If you are not seeing the full video (or it's not displaying at all), click here to view the Sahrmann Progression on youtube.

The Sahrmann Exercises Progression

Basic Breath

To do the basic breath, lie down on your back on the mat.

Bend your knees and place your feet, hip-width apart, on the floor. This is the starting position most of these exercises.

Inhale and as you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your belly button toward your spine without arching or flattening your back.

When you can hold this for 3 to 5 seconds, you are ready for the first exercise.

Sarhmann Exercise #1

In the starting position, initiate the basic breath to contract the muscles. Take one leg and bring it straight out until it is parallel to the floor.

Repeat this for 20 reps and then repeat on the other leg. Once you are able to do each leg 20 times, without losing your contraction, you are ready for the next exercise.

Sarhmann Exercise #2

Initiate the basic breath while in the starting position. Bring one knee up towards your chest and the slowly extend the leg out parallel to the floor without touching the floor. Keep it a few inches above the ground.

Bring the leg back to the starting position and relax. Re-initiate the basic breath and repeat on the other side. Once you have mastered 20 reps for each leg, you can move on to the next move.

Sarhmann Exercise #3

In the starting position, bring both knees up until your legs are at a 90 degree angle and hold this position. This is the starting position for this one.

Now drop one leg down, keeping your knees bent, until your foot touches the floor. Bring this leg back up and then drop the other leg.

Do 20 reps on each side without losing your contraction. Then move on to the next exercise.

Sarhmann Exercise #4

Using the same starting position as in the Sahrmann Progression exericse #3, initiate your basic breath. Extend one leg out, straightening the knee, and bring it parallel a couple of inches above the ground.

Come back to the starting position and repeat on the other leg. Master 20 sets on each side before moving onto the last of the exercises.

Sarhmann Exercise #5

This is the last in the Sarhmann Progression exercises.

Lie down on your back with your legs straight up towards the ceiling. Initiate the basic breath. Drop both legs at the same time as far as you a comfortable. Remember, don't let you back arch or straighten on the mat.

Once you have brought your legs as far as you comfortably can, bring them back up towards the ceiling. Repeat for 20 repetitions. Ideally you want to bring your legs down all the way to the floor, but without touching the floor.

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