Beat the belly bump
Ever wondered why you can’t beat the baby belly bump – even after your children have already left home?
You’ve tried every possible sit up and crunch, but you still have that extra little bump which rolls over your bikini bottom. Well, I might have the solution you’re looking for: TA Activation!!!
TA stands for Transversus Abdominis. This muscle runs across your abdomen from the one end to the other. It is responsible for compressing the abdominal contents. This muscle is the main muscle responsible for activating the core. Strengthening this muscle improves lower back pain as it acts as a corset, wrapping around the body, relieving the pressure on the spine as it contracts toward the umbilicus (belly button).
During pregnancy this muscle is stretched extensively for a prolonged period, reducing its capability to recoil to its original state without some serious intervention. Learning how to contract the TA effectively is a difficult but very important task to master. It is most beneficial for those whom have beard children (especially if you had a C-section as this muscle was cut and needs to be taught how to recoil) and even for those who just can’t seem to get rid of their lower tummy bulge. All of us will benefit from strengthening this muscle, creating awareness before pregnancy to assist both labour and recovery, for those who sit or stand for prolonged periods, to reduce lower back pain as well as simply to improve appearance of the abdomen or to improve general core strength.
It is not simply pulling your stomach in, but activating the muscle correctly to contract your TA and flatten your spine.
An example of how to activate your TA:
Place your fingers slightly above your hip bones. Cough and feel what happens beneath your fingers. Your stomach muscles should tense and slightly lift against your fingers. Now attempt this without coughing and maintaining this for 10 seconds. Repeat this 10 times a day for 10 seconds to see improvements.
Please note that this is very basic activation of your TA muscle and you should begin to advance the movement with various stomach exercises and higher intensity TA activation patterns. I have run out of space for more info about this, however, it will be recommended that you contact your nearest health professional or biokineticist to assist you in mastering this movement and teaching you some more advanced TA activation techniques.
Information compiled by: Renette Venter – Biokineticist