That song is so freaking annoying, isn’t it? My kids listen to it all the time. Did you know they have a variety of finger types. Shark families, fish families, super hero families, bug families. The list goes on. The twins love them all. Enough about bad nursery rhymes. Let’s talk about our transverse abdominis. (I hear you clapping and shouting “hooray.”)
Your transverse abdominis is your inner most abdominal muscles. They act like a corset to hold your innards…in. After we have babies, it is very common for the linea alba tissue (the line between the six-pack) to get stretched. Linea alba means white line, and it is white because it is composed mostly of collagen connective tissue. Because it is connective tissue, and our bodies stretch with pregnancy, that rubber band sometimes doesn’t want to snap back (my boobs didn’t either, as it turns out). The result is often diastasis recti, an abdominial separation experienced by one in three moms. It is important to heal these overtaxed muscles by strengthening our transverse abdominis and tightening that corset. Even if you don’t have an abdominal separation, it is super beneficial to learn how to use these muscles. It will help tone and flatten your core, give you added strength, and protect your back. I wish I had known about my TA years earlier. Oh, and how I wish I knew about them while pregnant. I would have been training these giant abdominal muscles.
These two exercises can help you get in touch with your TA. Once you understand how to engage your core, you will find that you feel stronger and that you abs look more toned even though you aren’t doing crunches (gasp). Check it out. Let me know if you have questions. It can be very confusing to learn, and the whole breath timing bit takes some getting used to!