What do you envision when someone says abs? A flat tummy or a six-pack, right. In anatomical terms, the rectus abdominis muscle is the most focused. But there are other muscles in the stomach and one of them is the transverse abdominis, which is hardly worked on. The transverse abdominis lies behind the rectus abdominis and if it is trained then the chances of a six pack increases.
Training the transverse abdominis will not just give you a flat tummy but it will also strengthen the core and give more stability. In simple terms, the transverse abdominis holds the tummy in and without this muscle we all will have a beer belly.
So, how to train a muscle that lies behind another one? Here’s where the vacuum pose comes in. It simply means sucking in the stomach. The exercise for this muscle trains you to mold in the stomach. The transverse abdominis exercises are more of endurance training than weight training, think deadlifts and bend over cable rows for the front muscle and planks for the rectus abdominis. Besides the exercises targeting the transverse abdominis squats and deadlifts also contributes to strengthening the muscle. Rectus abdominis exercises such as crunches and leg raises are also helpful.
Other benefits of a strong transverse abdominis muscle are that it gives the body a good posture, stabilizes and strengthens the spine and pelvis, and enables a person lift more weights.
While performing the below exercises make sure to compress the abdomen.
Standing vacuum position
Think of a yoga pose done by Baba Ramdev wherein he sucks his tummy in. For this exercise, you need to stand straight and focus on sucking in your tummy. Suck in so much that the belly button is near the spine.
Perform regular sets and reps and hold the sucked in or vacuum position for 3-5 seconds each rep.
Vacuum in plank position
This is identical to a regular plank position but with a vacuum. It is an advanced version of the standing vacuum because of the gravity pull.
Swiss ball roll out
Place the hands on the floor and the shin on a Swiss ball in an elongated position. Do a vacuum when the legs are extended and slowly bring the knees towards the chest by rolling the ball.
Transverse abdominis muscle should be trained three times a week for better results.