TVA Activation... Wait, what?
Nicely said bootcampbritt!
Transversus abdominus activation sounds scary. And crazy hard. But it’s actually one of the most subtle motion’s you’ll ever do in a workout. Activating your TVA, or transverse abdominus, is the best way to “engage” your core in every day activities and exercise. It may be a small motion, but it can be difficult to master.
Here’s your anatomy lesson for the day: Your “abs” are made up of four basic muscles. You’ve got your rectus abdominus (this makes your “six pack” or “washboard” abs). Then there are your external and internal obliques and then below that you have your transversus abdominus. Your TVA wraps around your body like a corset. It provides stability for your spine so that you can go do crazy exercises without you know, breaking your back or whatever.
Now that your head is spinning, I’ve broken TVA activation down into three different examples to make it easier to practice:
This should all be practiced while either laying on a flat surface or standing straight up.
- Bring your belly button in towards your spine. This is not “sucking in.” You should still be able to breathe normally while activating your TVA.
- Cough. The same tightening you feel in your stomach when you cough is the tightening technique I am trying to teach you.
- Have someone (or yourself) PRETEND to punch you in the stomach. That tightening you feel when the fist is about to touch your stomach is the TVA activation.
These are just three ways of making the TVA tightening technique more easy to understand and practice. You can do this while you walk, jog, squat, crunch, etc. It is just a great way to engage your core while you do other activities.
Think of your core as a locked door that leads to even better workouts and results. If that door is locked, than engaging your core, or the TVA activation technique is your key, my friends.
4 Point Tummy Vacuum