Monday, March 24, 2014

Transversus, transversus, transversus!

Engage your transversus! You hear us say it a million times in every class, but why? What is it and what does it do?

The transverse abdominal muscle is the deepest layer of muscle within your abdomen and is located under your inner obliques. It is responsible for helping you maintain pelvic and thoracic stability while you're working your twisted body.

So, while you're on the mat doing double leg stretch your transversus is keeping you from scooting off of it and out the door. If you're on the reformer pumping out the hundred, the transversus keeps the carriage stable. And if you're working the pole transversus keeps your legs up as you spin into the chair.

Keep it engaged…yes, we say this a lot too. Engaging this super fabulous muscle is not the same as sucking it in. To properly engage start with an inhale, taking the breath through your rib cage and on the exhale gently bring your belly button away from your shirt towards your spine. While engaging you should not be pushing down through your pelvis or tensing through your shoulders. You should be able to breathe comfortably while maintaining your engagement. Still having trouble? While laying on your back, place your index and middle fingers on both sides of your abdomen about an inch in from your hip bones. You should feel a tensing of the muscle. 

There, you've done it! Now remember to breathe and enjoy the burn!

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