What is my Transversus Abdominus & why is it important?
Today I want to share with you what your Transversus Abdominis is and WHY it plays an integral part in your pregnancy & postpartum healing journey; as I always say, postpartum healing BEGINS during pregnancy!
What is my Transversus Abdominis (TVA)?
Your TVA is your inner-most abdominal muscle(see figure 1 below). It wraps around your entire core, from your spine all the way around, wrapping your abdominals and stretches from your pelvic floor up to the bottom of your rib cage. Your TVA muscle supports your bodies breathing process through your diaphragm, by supporting the exhalation part of your breathing. It also provides some minor compression to your intestional track, which is actually needed to support healthy digestion.
Why is my TVA important?
Your TVA is important because it is the muscle that supports your entire core unit. It stabilizes your back, pelvis and must fire before you perform any movement. The main function of your TVA is to activate the core muscles as a whole and stabilize the pelvis and low back prior to any movement in your body. The TVA, if activated correctly, allows the rest of your body to stay in a neutral position during any core or stablizing movements. It supports proper posture alignment, muscle balance and your TVA is one of the major muscles supports in pushing a baby out. In otherwords, your TVA is the BASE of your core unit. Your core unit is what provdies you with daily stability and movmement throughout your day.
Another reason your TVA is vitally important to activate during pregnancy is that is going to reduce any abdominal separation that may occur during pregnancy as well as keep your body in alignment despite all the off balance changes that take place as your body grows a tiny human.
How do I activate/strengthen my TVA?
Activating your TVA properly is done through proper breathing of your diaphragm. Many fitness indsutry leaders today will cue “belly button’ to spine. Momma’s this is NOT the same thing and will cause your core much more harm than good. The issue with holding your belly button to spine is it results in you holding your breath, leaving other parts of your core out such as your TVA, your pelvic floor and your diaphragm.
In order to do this CORRECTLY, (be sure to grab by free Core Basics Course below) you want to:
- Inhale and release your abdomen, your pelvic floor and sides/rib cage laterally. Think of a balloon expanding.
- On the exhale you will tighten from the bottom of your core unit upward…so pelvic floor lifts, hip bones connect, zip up through your belly button up into the top of your rib cage as you knit that together. If you exhale a loud ‘sssss’ sound you can activate it much more accurately.
Connecting and strengthening your transverse abdominus takes practice, it is a mind-muscle connection. The more you practice the stronger your core will become, the stronger YOU will become in all movement areas of your life. Strengthening the TVA is the backbone of all my programs, from my express workouts, strong for birth and core restore.
Your TVA is your inner-most abdominal muscle. It wraps around your entire core, from your spine all the way around and stretches from your pelvic floor up to the bottom of your rib cage. It is important to understand how to activate and strengthen because it is the main muscle that will support your core while baby grows, it will help you push baby out and it will reduce abdominal separation, otherwise known as Diastasis Recti.
Get access to your Core Basics Course today and learn how to activate your TVA today!