In my opinion, one of the most underrated aspects of pregnancy and on into postpartum recovery is being able to activate your transverse abdominal muscles. Women focus on preventing stretch marks and losing weight and many other aesthetic things, when an incredibly important aspect of healing includes muscles that you can’t see.
What are the TA muscles?
TA stands for transverse abdominis. They are often referred to as “corset” muscles because they wrap around your waist. They wrap around both sides of your body and connect at various points including your xiphoid process, linea alba and the pelvis. They lie underneath other layers of muscle, so they aren’t muscles that you see, like you would a bicep.
What do the TA muscles do?
The TA muscles are vital to providing stability for the trunk of your body and can also assist in breathing. Breath work is something I discuss a lot in training pregnant and postpartum women as it contributes to much of the pressure within your abdomen. Being able to control that pressure and where it is distributed affects so many areas of your daily life and fitness. One of the best ways to learn to connect properly to your breath is by learning to activate and control those TA muscles.
Since they connect to the linea alba, these muscles are also important for strengthening that tissue, particularly in the postpartum period.
How do I connect to the TA muscles?
Concentrated breath work during pregnancy and postpartum is one of the best ways to “find” and activate these muscles. If you haven’t activated them for awhile, it may be tricky to connect to them at first. Other muscles in your glutes and back will fire, because they have been compensating for your weak core muscles. But, don’t worry! You can retrain your mind and body and strengthen your TA muscles. You’ve just got to put in a little work.
Follow along with me this week and I’ll give you some great tips on finding, activating and strengthening your transverse abdominis!