The foundation of our workout begins with the transverse abdominis. It is the deepest muscle of your abdominal wall and acts as a “girdle” wrapping from your low back all the way around to the front of your low belly. When strong and engaged it creates a zipping up effect on your entire torso, helping you stand straighter and literally “zipping up” your midsection. On top the transverse abdominis are the internal and external obliques (your side waist muscles) and then finally your rectus abdomens (your 6-pack muscles).
The latest research shows that building and maintaining a strong transverse abdominis not only keeps your tummy flat, but prevents low back pain, as well as pain throughout your entire body. It’s what we consider to be the most important muscle in your body, which is why we begin and end each class with core connection. Once your core is “locked and loaded” as we say, you can safely challenge the rest of your body with resistance work to give you the strongest, healthiest body of your life!
Try this simple exercise to find your transverse abdominis:
Sit with your back straight, head high and shrug your shoulders up, back and down. Place your hands on your stomach with your pinky on the top of your hip bone and your thumb at the base of your ribs. Take a deep breath in and feel your rib cage expand. Breathe out through your mouth like you are blowing out one hundred birthday candles and feel your rib cage and core zip up. That is your transverse abdominis!
We encourage continuous engagement of the transverse abdominis to keep you safe and protect your low-back while working out. The great side effects are flat abdominals, good posture and a trim waist.