How to Activate the Inner Core, Transversus Abdominus

Hi there, here we are again at Body Works Physiotherapy with Holly as our model and we’re going to talk a little bit about how we activate our core muscles now. If you watched the last video you saw how we talked about what the muscles are and now we’re going to teach Holly how to use her inner core muscles.

So usually we start in the position like Holly is in now; lying on your back with your knees bent up and your head on a pillow. Now we want to look at the position of the feet; so you want your feet to be in line with the knees and hips, so we want the big toes to stay connected to the ground and we want your knees and hips to stay lined up with your body so that your knees don’t fall apart from each other.

Now I want to work on trying to figure out how to connect our breath with our core because the diaphragm forms the roof of the core so it’s important to learn how to breathe; so often we start with this.

So first I want to talk to Holly about breathing laterally and get some expansion sideways into her ribcage and the lower ribcage and as she breathes out thinking about a slow sigh, ahhhh, letting her chest soften so that the diaphragm can relax and we can get activation then with the core in a moment.

Once we’ve taught Holly how to breathe and let her chest soften; then we’re going to teach her how to find her inner core muscles and this is a little bit different for different people. So we know that deep core transverses abdominis muscle runs horizontally like a girdle through here. Often I’ll have people bring one hand onto their hips so they can feel just inside their hip bone and what they do is think about using like a Kegle muscle contraction and so you want to get a little tightening underneath your finger tip and contracting it in. Usually with your hand there what you’ll feel is a little bit of an in drawing towards your spine not popping up towards the ceiling and then it’s important to figure out how to connect the breathing with your core so that you don’t hold your breath once you contract your core muscles.

So the next step we’ll then be trying to put it together so you breathe into the lateral rib cage trying to get the ribs opening towards the elbows, as you breathe out starting to soften your chest bone and doing that little Kegle exercise are in drawing,

For other tips on how to find this you can refer to our hand out or we’ll have another little video following this one.