So if you’ve ever had a baby, whether it be
six months ago or six years ago, I want you to listen to this because a lot of distended
bellies or mommy bellies or muffin tops or whatever ugly word you have for it comes from
us doing just traditional core exercises like crunches but not knowing how to cue our transverse
abdominis, which is so undercued and overlooked. But it is one of the most important muscles
in getting your body back, or your belly back, after having a baby. Basically, your transverse abdominis, it’s
like a corset. It’s your innermost core muscle and it kind
of pulls everything in. But we don’t know how to activate it during
exercise. Now, we activate the TA, or transverse abdominis,
unknowingly when we pick up a car seat or step off a curb. But I want to teach you how to do it in everyday
exercise so that you get basically more bang for your buck. You’ll get more out of every ab or core exercise
that you do. So first, I’m going to show you a TA breath, or a transverse abdominis breath, which is basically just getting the brain to talk to the transverse abdominis, which is harder than you think. And then I’m going to show you how to incorporate
it into a crunch. So first, let’s just take a regular ol’ breath. Regular ol’ breath. Inhale and exhale. And a lot of us do that. Our rib cage expands. I want you to let your belly expand and your lower rib cage expand. And then as you exhale, I want you to pull your transverse abdominis. A good key for that is belly button to spine. But even as I say belly button to spine, I don’t want you to think belly button to spine, shove everything to the ground, and tuck your hips. Okay? What I want you to think is belly button to spine and it’s all coming from the belly. Keeping a nice, neutral spine here. And again, not tucking the hips because then you just let go of the cue that I am trying to teach you. Now, if you’re sitting and watching this, you can also do this sitting. What I want you to do is place your hands on your belly, and we are going to do that TA breath I talked about. We also do it in my postnatal slimdown workout series. But what you’re going to do is you’re going to take an inhale. Let the belly rise. Lower rib cage rises. And as you exhale, think about pulling your belly button towards your spine. The transverse abdominis pulls in. And again, you’ll notice I did not tuck my hips. I did not shove my spine to the ground. It’s all coming from the belly. And this takes a lot of practice. So inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Now also as you’re doing that TA activation, I want you to also think about pulling up the pelvic floor. The pelvic floor is like basically a sling. The bottom of your core. A good way to cue the pelvic floor is coming off the floor you’re in. So as you’re doing that belly button down, think about pulling the pelvic floor up. Now again, it’s not traditional. It’s not what you usually see. It’s not going to burn like 600 crunches or doing some wacky crunch workout would do, but it’s going to be so effective in getting that innermost muscle to work. So again, big inhale. Belly rises. Lower rib cage expands. Diaphragm contracts. Exhale. Pelvic floor lifts. TA activates. Inhale and exhale. Again, keeping everything just nice and neutral. Not tucking here. Now, let’s take this into a crunch. Alright. So first, I’m going to show you how most of us do crunches the wrong way. We crunch and just everything kind of pushes up. I used to do it too and it took me months to correct it. So this time what I want you to do is take your inhale. Belly button rises. Exhale. Pull the transverse abdominis in. And crunch. Notice again as I crunch, I’m not tilting and shoving everything in. I’m just going inhale. Exhale. Inhale. So this time as I’m crunching, my belly button is more or less flattening because I’m using the transverse abdominis. I’m not tucking the hips. I’m using the transverse abdominis to make that action happen. So it’s something like I said earlier: Your brain has to make it happen and your brain usually likes to go around and take the easy route out. Okay. So it’s going to take a lot of practice. But I promise that you’ll see a huge difference not only in your posture and your core just feeling better and maybe less back pain, but you’ll see a huge difference in a distended belly or mommy tummy or whatever you want to call it because we’re activating that innermost core muscle.