We recently shared a great, simple exercise for, and basic information about the transverse abdominis, which is the inner core muscle that makes up the sides and front of your trunk. In this article, we are going to teach you a more advanced exercise for this same muscle. Strengthening the transverse can help with nearly any other exercise that you can imagine, as it is perhaps the most foundational muscle of the inner core.
Start the exercise by lying on your back with a neutral (comfortable) spinal position, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and the soles of both feet on the bed or ground. Breathe in deep and relax, then breathe out as much as you can. Now, with breath still out of your lungs, pull your belly button inward toward your spine as far as you can to activate your transverse. Lastly, with breath still out of your lungs, straighten only one leg completely and lift that leg (see position 2). Lower that straight leg to floor (position 3), then return to initial, bent position (position 1). Repeat this until you need to breathe, and then repeat with the other leg. Throughout the exercise, it is important to keep your belly button as close to your spine as possible.
Merely activating your transverse (by pulling your belly button toward your spine) is great, but this exercise increases the difficulty and ensures activation of all parts of the muscle, so it is more beneficial. Strengthening your inner core is one of the very best things you can do for whole-body injury prevention. Give this exercise a try and reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions!