These transverse abdominal exercises focus primarily on the transverse abdominis muscle, although other muscles will be engaged during some of the workouts. The transverse abdominis muscle is one of the most neglected and forgotten muscles.
It is critical for strengthening the core and minimizing back injury which includes these muscles. There are not too many ab exercises for this deep muscle, however you don't need a wide variety to help tone and strengthen the transverse abdominis.
This is the deepest of the abdominal muscles. By strengthening this muscle, you are helping prevent lower back pain and injuries. This is because this muscle helps stabilize your spine and pelvis.
It is a key component to your core muscles. Core muscles are those that stabilize the spine and pelvis during exercise and activities.
To see the instructions for all of these transverse abdominal exercises, simply scroll through the page. If you want to view a specific exercise, then use the links below to jump to that one.
Many abdominal exercises will inherently activate and strengthen the transverse abdominals but at a lessor extent. To really strengthen this muscle, you want to do workouts that will target it specifically.
While there are not a wide variety of exercises like with crunches, it does not take a wide range of movement to activate the transverse abdominis. In fact, slight movements, such as sucking in your stomach as if you were trying to touch your belly button to your spine, will activate the muscle. This simple movement will contract and strengthen this abdominal muscle.
The fibers of this muscle run horizontally around the abdomen and works as a girdle or belt. Hence the nickname for the transversus abdominis of the "corset muscle". The primary function of this muscle is to compress the ribs and viscera, stabilizing the pelvis and spine. The TrA will help prevent a protruding belly. Basically, it helps hold the stomach in.
While achieving achieving a flatter belly is one of the benefits of strengthening the muscle, preventing lower back injury is a greater benefit. Since this muscle acts as a girdle, or your weight lifting belt if you will, keeping this strong will help you when lifting heavy objects.
It has been estimated that the contraction of the transverse abdominis and other muscles reduces the vertical pressure on the intervertebral discs by as much as 40%. If this muscle is not engaged while lifting, you are more prone to spinal injuries. Working all the core muscles will help minimize back pain and injury.
The Plank Pose is an isometic exercise which means a non-mover. Instead you will hold the "pose" for a set amount of time to engage and strengthen the transverse abdominal. Your body is positioned as such that you will resemble a plank of wood, hence the name for this exercise. This is also sometimes called the front hold, hover or abdominal bridge.
These are the steps for the front plank pose. There are other plank pose transverse abdominal exercises such as the side plank and reverse plank.
With this workout you will find three different exercises to strengthen that deep abdominal muscle. There are step by step instructions for each of the three different moves.
The first of the three is the pilates 100 but done using the exercise ball. While your arms are moving with this one, your abdominal muscles stay contracted as you hold your position.
The second of the stability ball moves is the toe drop. This one is an isotonic, or mover, exercise. Make sure to inhale as you lower the ball and exhale as you bring the ball back up.
The last of these transverse ab workout is the knee drop. Just as the name suggests, you will be dropping your knees (while holding the stability ball with your legs) down to the mat. This last exercise with the stability ball also engages the oblique muscles.
Performing all three of these transverse abdominal exercises with the stability ball will give your deep abdominal muscles a great workout.
This particular transverse abdominal exercise is small movements but very effective. You can do this with or without a ball. The instructions is without a ball. If you want to use a ball, place it under your hips and stretch your arms out to the sides.
Remember this transverse abdominal exercise is small in movements. You don't have to lift very far in order to engage the transverse abdominal muscle.
Your legs will make a scissor like movement with this exercise, hence it's name. This exercise is one that engages the transverse abdominals as well as the rectus abdominis and obliques. So this one exercise is a full abdominal workout. You want to ensure that you do this one correctly otherwise you could be putting some strain on your lower back.
This stomach exercise can be easily adapted for your fitness levels. Beginners can keep their legs at a 45 degree angle and their knees bent. The lower your legs and the straighter, the more advanced the workout. You can also either point your toes or flex the toes when doing this move. By flexing, you are adding more challenge and working those muscles harder.
The last of the transverse abdominal exercises on is the stomach vacuum. This abdominal workout gets it's name due to the sucking in, like a vacuum, of your belly. By sucking in you are contracting the abdominals and building the strength.
Beginners may find this easier to do laying down face up on a mat with their back to the floor. You can do this in a sitting position, while at your work desk or watching television but you will get the best results standing up.
In addition to these transverse abdominal exercises, try these abdominal crunches to work other areas of your ab muscles.
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