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How to Get Flat Abs with TVA (Transversus Abdominis) Exercises

Updated on May 13, 2016
Transversus Abdominis Muscle
Transversus Abdominis Muscle | Source

Transversus Abdominis

The Transverse Abdominis (TVA) is a muscle that is similar to saran-wrap and as it wraps from your front to your back and pulls your abs inward. TVA also assists with forced expiration, assists with urination and defecation, but from an exercise standpoint its important to us is because it supports and stabilizes the spine.

Below are a few key exercises to assist in flattening your abs through Transverse ab exercises. The exercises below are Plank Pose, Stomach Vacuum, Pelvis Lift, and a look at lifting weights to stimulate TVA

Plank Pose

This exercise is an isometric exercise that requires you to simple hold the position for a period of time. You can perform the plank on your forearms or hands. Similar to holding a pushup position. Make sure your back is straight and head is not dipping down. You may also raise one leg into the air to increase intensity of of this exercise or bring your knee to your elbow to really increase the intensity. For more information and instruction on performing the plank click here!

The Plank
The Plank | Source

Stomach Vacuum

This exercise is also known as Abdominal Vacuum or ab vacuum and can be performed siting, standing or as I prefer it, lying down. With this exercise your goal is to pull your belly button into and towards your spine then hold. While lying down, try to perform this exercise with out raising your chest or contracting your rectus abdominis muscle if you can.

This exercise can also be performed while standing or kneeling. However remember you bring your belly button to your spine, but you don't just suck in.

Bridging or Pelvis Lift

Although this exercise targets more the gluteal muscles, the movement and pause at the end do target the Transverse muscle. Begin this movement by lying on your back with your feet pulled into you so your knees are comfortable bent. Then raise your hips up while keeping your hands, head, upper back and shoulders on the floor. Pause for 10 - 15 seconds when your reach the top and repeat.

Diagram of Abdominal Muscles
Diagram of Abdominal Muscles | Source

Lift Weights

Now If you remembered, I mentioned at the beginning on how the TVA muscle supports and stabilizes the spine. It does this with assistance of the obliques and rectus muscles as well depending on the type of lifts you choose. So another great way to target the TVA muscle is to do weightlifting where you are standing and not sitting on a machine. Also the weight needs to be heavy enough to support muscle, joint, and bone growth however keep in mind your limits.

Three lifts that are a good example of lifting weights while standing are to help with contracting the muscles that deal with stabilization and support.

  1. Dead lifts
  2. Squats
  3. Standing dumbbell press

These are just three examples but you can see how they would also target the Transverse Abdominal muscle throughout the movements

Hope you enjoyed this article and always remember to work within your limits and enjoy the exercise you are doing. Feel free to look at my other ab and core workout articles by clicking on the links below and try some of the different movements,


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