The Transverse Abdominus (TVA) is a layer of abdominal muscle, which is the most important muscle within the ‘core’. A strong TVA is critical to a healthy back and pelvis, and is necessary for efficient human movement and function. People that suffer from Lower Back Pain and other Back Pain pathologies often have significant weakness within this muscle. Lack of movement, sedentary lifestyle, and prolonged sitting can lead to a de-activated TVA, which leads to poor posture, which leads to pain. The TVA is also directly to the diaphragm, lung function and breathing. Co-ordination of these structures is paramount when correcting posture and eliminating all kinds of Back Pain.
Correct implementation of core strengthening exercises can have immediate effect in eliminating back pain. Completing perfect isometric holds can neurologically up-regulate core function and calm pain receptors within the Back (think introducing the brain to the core once again – making them friends again!). The following series of planks are sourced from Functional Patterns, and are aimed at activating the TVA, within 3 differing contexts of hip flexion (think sitting to standing). Depending on what type of back pain you are suffering from or whether you have more pain whilst seated or standing, it is important to attempt and master all 3 of these planks in order to increase your core function and improve your posture. Following on from this series of planking, it is important to understand how to activate the TVA and diaphragm whilst going about your daily life. Creating intra-abdominal pressure whilst increasing rib cage expansion is paramount to finding neutral spine whilst standing and moving. Planking will increase your ability to create intra abdominal pressure, which will aid in the elimination of your lower back pain.