In our last piece we talked about the transverse abdominis (TA) what it was, and how it could be impacting your life. So now that you know a little more about the TA let’s talk about an exercise that you can do to strengthen it.
Palpation and Training for TA:
Finding the TA and getting it to fire for the first time can be a bit confusing. Particularly if you have been suffering with lower back pain and your TA is not working correctly, you will have to take your time with this exercise.
Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Place two fingers on the inside of the pointy bone that sticks out on the front of your hips on right and left. Bring your fingers about one inch towards your belly button and then let them sink into the soft tissue. You are now palpating your TA.
To activate your TA muscle draw your belly button into your spine. Some people suggest pretending to hold in urine using your pelvic floor muscles. Another visual that is helpful is holding in your stomach like when you are trying to fit into a pair of skinny jeans.
While you are doing this you should be able to feel a heightening tension under your fingers. This tension should not be pushing your fingers up though as that would indicate a different muscle is working. Hold the tension for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. Try not to hold your breath, but instead maintain an active and easy contraction of the muscle.
Once you have mastered activating your TA you can progress to bridges, clamshells and other exercise. If you are having trouble activating your TA or if you are suffering from back pain or other maladies, schedule an appointment at Miccass Physical Therapy. One of our amazing staff will be able to show you specific ways to help alleviate your pain and get you back on the road to full function. Give us a call today!