How to Activate the Inner Core: Transversus Abdominus

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

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent up and your head on a pillow.
  • You want your feet to be in line with the knees and hips
  • We want the big toes to stay connected to the ground. We also want your knees and hips to stay lined up with your body so that they don’t fall apart from each other.

Now I want to work on connecting our breath with our core. Because the diaphragm forms the roof of the core, it’s important to learn how to breathe; so often we start with this.

  • Think about breathing laterally and getting some expansion sideways into your ribcage and the lower ribcage
  • As you breathe out, think about a slow sigh, ahhhh, letting your chest soften so that the diaphragm can relax
  • We can then get activation 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. 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.

  • Bring one hand onto your hip so you can feel just inside the hip bone
  • Think about using a Kegle muscle contraction getting a little tightening underneath your finger tip and contracting it in.
  • Usually with your hand there, you’ll feel an in-drawing towards your spine – not popping up towards the ceiling

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 putting it together.

  • Breathe into the lateral rib cage trying to get the ribs opening towards the elbows
  • As you breathe out, soften your chest bone and doing that little Kegle exercise for in-drawing

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