Carlos Roel's picture

Working Your Core Outside of Practice or the Gym?

The transverse abdominis muscle, or “T.A.”, is a muscle that acts as a natural corset. It helps in protecting your back and the rest of your body by helping keep your spine stable, which makes a good foundation for the rest of your body to move.The muscle fibers travel in a horizontal direction starting in from your back, and end all the way in the front of your body. You can’t see the T.A. because it is covered up by some of the back and abdominal muscles (ex. latissimus dorsi, and external and internal obliques).Neutral spine is when each of your vertebrae (back bones) are aligned in their correct position.Proper alignment can help decrease the forces on your back and helps prevent injury.

To find neutral spine

  • Slowly roll your pelvis forward and backward, starting off with big motions, then making the motions smaller and smaller, until you reach the midpoint between a totally arched back and a totally slouched back.
  • This motion might feel funny at first.You can try to find neutral spine in standing, sitting, or lying on your back.

To activate the T.A.

  • “Pull” your bellybutton towards your spine.A common way to cheat, is to suck in your bellybutton and holding your breath.Try activating your T.A. and breathing at the same time. 
  • A way you can tell if you are activating the T.A. correctly is to lightly poke 1 or 2 fingers into your left and right side, below your ribs.When you contract your T.A. (“pulling” in the bellybutton), you should feel the T.A. push into your fingers.

It is recommended you keep this muscle activated as much as you can throughout the day. You definitely want to keep this muscle activated when you are working out at the gym or competing on the field. 



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