May 20, 2011 Posted Under: Back Pain

Transverse Abdominal Muscle Function

The Transverse Abdominal Muscle is the prime mover in stabilizing the lumbar spine. It is responsible for controlling movement and hence pain in the lower back. The transverse abdominal muscle when tight and controlled becomes functional. The benefits of the transverse abdominal muscle are many. When it is used consistently and correctly it will flatten your tummy, align your spine and control your back pain. The use of this muscle must be taught by an expert and it must be understood to actually get the maximum benefits from using it.

This muscle is also known as the Transversus Abdominis muscle. So if you see these two names used together or separately then don’t think they are talking about different muscles, they are one and the same. This muscle is the key stabilizer for people to function during daily activities. It is the single most important muscle for every human to have control of. Every person needs good core strength to perform their daily activities. The transverse abdominal muscle will do this if trained properly. It is not enough to just attend an exercise or Pilate’s class to think you are working this muscle. You must know you are or you are not.

A Quick Test
Breathe in through your nose (not a big breath). Now blow slowly and gently out through pursed lips. Do this 4-5 times.

Now as you do the blow parts, draw your belly button and the muscle below your belly button in toward your spine. Keep blowing and keep tightening until you need to breathe in. Did you feel the tightening through your lower tummy? If you didn’t then keep practicing the pattern as worded and focus on the muscle not the breath.

You will also feel your pelvic floor tighten if you have it right. If you got this then over the period of your day practice this little muscle crunch of the Transverse abdominal muscle. For the muscle to be trained and become functional this is the first step. That is you can feel it and actually tighten it on command and then progress on to train it to be strong and functional.
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Training the function of the Transverse abdominal muscle must be taught by and expert though, don’t think just any exercise class will do it for you.

To have a strong functional core means a better posture, stronger muscle tone generally and certainly pain control in the lower back. The benefits of this training are many explore your core and enjoy.

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