What is your Transversus Abdominus (TA)?
It is the deepest abdominal muscle that runs longitudinally across the trunk like a belt. This muscle is important because it provides stability to the trunk, allowing safe distal mobility of the arms and arms to decrease the risk of injury.
6 progressions of abdominal exercises to strengthen your TA:
1. TA contraction: First thing you want to do is turn on the TA. Lay on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor/bed. Push your low back flat into the floor/bed. Draw your belly button slightly in and up towards your spine. You should be able to breathe while maintaining this contraction. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
2. Bent Knee Fallout: Turn on your TA. Then, slowly lower your one leg out to the side (approximately a 45-degree angle) while controlling the other leg (you want minimal movement). Return to the starting position. Focus on the control of the stationary leg and the pelvis, the movement should be slow and controlled throughout. (You can use a cup on your knee for a visual cue to decrease movement of the stable leg). Complete 10 reps per leg.
3. TA marches: Turn on your TA. March one leg up while holding the muscle contraction. Repeat with your other leg. Complete as many marches as you can without relaxing muscle contractions. Complete 10 reps on each leg.
4. Alternating arm drops: Turn on your TA. Hold your legs in a 90/90 position (hips to 90 degrees and knees at 90 degrees). Try to keep the legs stable throughout the exercise. Alternate your arms by bringing one arm overhead at a time while keeping your back flat on the ground/table. Complete 10 reps per arm.
5. Alternating toe taps: Turn on your TA. Hold your legs in a 90/90 position and bring your arms up into the air as well. While holding the TA muscle contraction, alternate heel taps bringing one heel down at a time, and completely return to the 90/90 position before switching to the next leg. Remember to keep your back flat on the ground/table. Complete 10 reps per heel.
6. Dead bug: Turn on your TA. Bring your legs to a 90/90 position. Hold pelvis/hips stable and then slowly straighten out a leg (can do a heel tap if a straight leg is too difficult). While raising the opposite arm overhead. Keep your back flat on the ground/table throughout the exercise. Return to starting position and then repeat on the opposite side. Complete 10 reps per side.
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