Introducing you another of my favourite core exercises that target the deepest level of abdominal muscles – transverse abdominis. They are a part of Deep Core Stability Muscles so they basically support and stabilize the entire midsection. For having an healthy and working spine, I’d suggest you to stop being obsessed with the “sixpack” of your rectus abdominis but rather start to train you transverse. There are plenty of people having sixpacks but they are actually not aware of their deepest core muscles so their functional strength in this area is missing. They may suffer from the back pain (due to overcompensating with their lower back) and they are more likely to develop diastasis. Whether you are man or woman, whether you have diastasis or not, try to concentrate on your Deep Core Stability Muscles – they are the key to your performance and day-to-day activities and movements.
TRICEPS PRESS MATRIX w/ MEDBALL
This exercise targets not only your core but your triceps and quadriceps muscles as well. Here I prefer to work with 5kg medball but you can take dumbbells of your choice. Put yourself on your knees and hold the ball at your chest. Engage your core and with the exhale lean back, keeping your spine straight. With an inhale, bring your body back and extend your arms overhead. Bend your elbows and lower the ball behind your head. Quickly bring the ball back at your chest and repeat the lean.
HEAD TO KNEE weighted BIRD DOG
Even if this exercise primarly targets the glutes, by adding the weights you can get quite a nice core strengthening move. Starting position is on all fours. Your knees in line with hips as well as your wrists in line with shoulders. With an inhale, raise your right arm together with the left leg at the same time until they are straight with the body. With an exhale, round your spine to bring your head, lifted arm and knee together to touch and immediately move to another rep. Always move together with your breath. Change the sides.
There are more advanced variations of this exercise, such as Knees Up Bird Dog or Single-side Bird Dog – will post for the next time.
MINI-CRUNCH & BALL SQUEEZE
This exercise works as a “waist cincher” and is an ideal move for diastasis. As for the equipment, you will need a small pilates ball.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Bring your ball in between your knees. Your arms behind your head. With an exhale, keep your core and pelvic floor engaged and raise your head just a slightly above the ground, towards your spine. At the same time, squeeze the ball in between your knees and hold for a second or two. With an inhale, release the both and lower your head to the ground. Repeat.
For all these moves, do at least 10 reps in 3 sets – the aim is to incorporate them into your daily training routine.