Alright, I’m still not done with this TVA stuff yet. I talked about where the transverse abdominus is and why we need to work them (here if you missed that post). First things first, you have to find and activate your TVA muscles before you can work them out. Basically, you gotta wake them up! Do these three times a week. Here are two exercises you can do to wake them up. After you have woken them up you can move on to engaging them (stay tuned for next post) and finally you can do regular ab work while engaging the TVA.
3 Sets Total
Hold each exercise for 20 seconds (build up your hold time each week)
1. Bracing: Basically stand up tall and brace yourself as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Don’t try to suck in your belly, just brace and hold. Doing this several times and feeling the difference between sucking in and that tightening feeling when you “brace” means you are doing it right!!
2. Vaccum: Here is where you can suck in your gut to do this move. Stand tall and and as you exhale bring your navel in towards your spine. Hold this for 20 seconds and as you hold breathe normally. Once you feel like you got this move down, you can do it laying down, or seated (so no excuses why you aren’t doing these at work, in the car or while eating dinner). My favorite way is to lay on your back and place an object (a kids toy or your phone will work since we know those are probably within arms reach at all times) on your belly. Slowly exhale and draw your belly in towards your spine. The object should lower as your belly lowers.
“This is one of the best exercises you can perform to shrink your waistline in a very short amount of time. Many can knock 2 to 4 inches off their midsection in as little as 3 weeks with this technique. Also, building this area of the abdominal muscle will help you gain more control over your “abs” and assist you better in explosive lifts. Stomach Vacuums take practice, but they are extremely effective.”- Bodybuilding.com