4-Point Tummy Vacuum

The tranversus abdominis is a deep abdominal muscle that wraps around the mid-section. As it contracts it draws the belly-button toward the spine and forms a ‘corset-like’ protective girdle. If this muscle is kept strong it will help to flatten the stomach as well as offer a huge amount of support and stability for the rest of the body. A simple way to train the TVA is an exercise called the 4-Point Tummy Vacuum.

Kneel down on all fours with your spine in a neutral position, your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Take a deep breath in and let your stomach drop towards the floor (pictured below).

As you exhale try to pull your belly-button up towards your spine without rounding your back (if you are this indicates rectus abdominus activation) and try to hold this for 5 seconds (pictured below).

Practice this until you can hold the contraction for 10 reps of 10 second holds (being able to breathe and keep the contraction is a skill that is very important).