In class I am often referring to the Transverse Abdominis (TVA) and purposely doing exercises to engage this muscle. The TVA is the deepest layer of your abdominals. Check out this link from physio-pedia (a free online resource for physical therapists) which presents helpful diagrams as well as useful information.
Intentional breathing techniques are crucial to tapping into these deep muscles. Inhaling to expand the belly and fill with air, exhale to push out the air while drawing the naval to spine. Increasing intensity and time you hold the contraction as your TVA gets stronger.
Benefits and function of a strong Transverse Abdominal Muscle
Stabilizes pelvis and ribs
Greatly reduces lower back pain
Supports internal organs
The wonderful thing is you can exercise and practice deep breathing and TVA engagement anywhere and from any position! Standing, seated, lying on your back or from a plank. You can do it in the morning, evening, at work, in the shower or while watching television. So what are you waiting for, get started today!