The transverse abdominis muscle, located beneath the obliques, is the deepest muscle in the abdomen.
Even though the abdominis won’t give you six-pack abs, it's important to keep the muscle in good shape, as it works as a natural lifting belt, keeping the internal organs, pelvic floor, and lumbar region supported and protected.
This muscle also gets used and engaged every time you move your limbs. The good news is that there are several transverse abdominis exercises you can do to keep the muscle strong and in shape.
We’ve compiled a list of certain exercises, particularly for beginners. You can incorporate these moves into your full body workout routine, or practice them on your abs day.
Transverse Abdominis Workouts for Newbies
Here are six transverse abdominis exercises beginners must try to keep their core strong and in shape:
1) Dead Bug
The dead bug exercise is a great beginner-friendly move for core engagement and to work on your transverse abdominis. This exercise also works wonders for people with balance issues.
- Lie down straight on your back with your arms towards the ceiling and both knees bent at 90 degree.
- Engaging your core muscles, straighten your right leg, with your toe pointed out.
- Lower your left arm to reach it behind your head. Make sure you don’t allow your legs and arms to touch the floor.
- Return your leg and arm to the initial position, and alternate sides.
- Repeat for 30 seconds to up to a minute.
The plank is another excellent workout to achieve a strong and toned core. When doing this exercise remember to contract your abdominals towards your spine.
- Take a standard push-up position, and keep your forearms and elbows straight in front of you, with your palms facing the floor.
- Push your hands firmly into the floor, and lift your torso off the ground.
- Ensure your body is in a straight line, and shoulders and hands are aligned.
- Engage your core throughout the exercise, and hold the posture for as long as you can comfortably while maintaining the right form.
3) Bird Dog Crunch
This exercise requires you to raise your opposite leg and arm while maintaining posture. That helps target the transverse abdominis.
- Start in a tabletop position, with your knees and hands on the floor and wrists stacked properly under your shoulders.
- Extend your left arm forward and right leg back while keeping your back flat and hips in line with the ground.
- Engage your abs, and draw your left elbow and right knee in to reach the center of your body.
- Reverse the movement, and straighten your leg and arm back out.
- Continue for the desired number of reps, and perform the movement with your other leg and arm.
4) Toe Tap with Alternate Arm
Toe taps are an easy and famous Pilates exercise that targets your entire core muscle, particularly the transverse abdominis.
- Lie down on your back, with your knees bent and arms by your sides.
- Keep your core tight, and lift both legs and arms up.
- Lower your right leg to tap the floor, and simultaneously stretch your left arm behind you.
- Bring your leg and arm to the starting position, and switch sides.
- Remember to keep your core muscles engaged and spine straight at all times.
5) Hollow Body Hold
The hollow body hold is a great transverse abdominis exercise that challenges core strength.
- Lie on the floor, and position your hands above your head and legs on the floor.
- Keeping your core engaged, point both your toes at the same time, and lift your legs a few inches off the floor.
- Lift your shoulders so that only your hips and lower back are on the floor.
- Make sure to keep your neck stable, with your chin tucked in.
- Hold the pose for as long as you can.
6) Donkey Kick
Donkey kicks engage your glutes and transverse abdominis as well.
- Take a tabletop position, with your hands under your shoulders and legs extended behind properly.
- Engage your core, and extend your right leg behind as far as you can.
- Return to the starting position by squeezing your glutes, and switch legs to repeat.
Now that you know the exercises for the abdominis, include them in your workout routine, and practice regularly. Always remember that having a strong and toned transverse abdominis can help prevent injury, reduce lower back pain, and even make your waist look slimmer.