Hard-Core! The Best Exercises for the Transverse Abdominus
Shhhh…we’ve got a secret, and it’s a doozy.
It’s all to do with getting that sleeker, slimmer waist – the one that people spend hours upon hours, angrily doing crunches trying to achieve. But the secret, in fact, lies in an often-overlooked set of muscles sitting deep within your core. They’re called the transverse abdominus muscles, and have been called everything from the ‘abdominal corset muscles’ to the ‘body’s natural girdle’. Sometimes, they’re even referred to the ‘Spanx of the Body’!
Working out core muscles like the rectus abdominus or obliques tend to make your belly jut out, without actually reducing the size of your waist. And that’s where the transverse abdominus comes in – not only do these wonder muscles tighten your midsection, they also help with stability, posture, breathing and lower back strength. The question is: is there anything the transverse abdominus muscles can’t do?
With that said, let’s take a look at five essential transverse ab exercises, to get that lean, slender look you’ve always wanted.
Not surprisingly, the plank is one of the best transverse abdominus exercises around. The keys to getting results from the plank are time and form. You want to hold your plank for as long as you can, increasing over time, while always maintaining proper form. When your form starts to break down, that’s a good sign you’ve had enough and it’s time for a rest.
To perform the plank:
· Begin laying face down on your stomach
· Lift yourself up onto your elbows and toes
· Keep your spine flat, with your buttocks in-line with your body
· Try to stare straight ahead of you, making sure you don’t strain your neck
· Hold for 5-10 seconds to start, then lower yourself back down
· Gradually increase your duration by 5 seconds with each rep
· Repeat 3 times
Cat Kom is a celebrated expert in the fitness world, who launched a global movement to bring fitness to the masses, no matter their age, ability or skill level. Through her company Studio SWEAT onDemand, a fitness studio based in San Diego, California, she produces streaming workouts that can be accessed through their app, any internet browser, Roku and many others. As one of Huffington Post’s ‘Limit Breaking Female Founders,’ Cat has gained notoriety for her classes featuring passionate trainers and real people, getting real results.